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    C-store Dining Depends on Dollars Earned

    CSNews Realities of the Aisle study findings uncover income influence.

    By Linda Lisanti, Convenience Store News

    NATIONAL REPORT — When it comes to dining at convenience stores, the salary dollars earned annually by shoppers makes a difference. In fact, income plays a factor in the purchasing patterns of c-store shoppers more so in the foodservice category than in most other categories.

    According to the exclusive 2015 Convenience Store News Realities of the Aisle consumer research study, c-store foodservice shoppers earning $75,000 to $99,999 a year are the most likely to stop at a convenience store almost every day, followed by those earning $50,000 to $74,999.

    Meanwhile, c-store foodservice shoppers in both the lowest income bracket (less than $35,000) and the highest income bracket ($100,000 or more) tend to stop at a c-store two or three times a week. Across every income bracket, a majority of the consumers surveyed said they stop several times a week.

    Delving into the influence of income on the specific foodservice products sought at a c-store, mid-income consumers — those earning $35,000 to $49,999, or $50,000 to $74,999 — show the highest frequency of shopping at a c-store to buy a fountain/frozen beverage. When looking at hot beverages, the highest frequency is seen among the income brackets of $50,000 to $74,999, or more than $100,000.

    Interestingly, higher-income consumers (earning $50,000 and upward) are more likely than lower-income consumers (earning less than $50,000) to shop at a c-store specifically to purchase prepared food for immediate consumption. Consumers earning less than $35,000 are the least likely to do so.

    The CSNews study also revealed how income affects when c-store foodservice shoppers visit:

    • While running other errands: Cited most by those earning less than $35,000.
    • While traveling to/from work or school: Cited most by those earning $100,000 or more.
    • While traveling for pleasure: Cited most by those earning $100,000 or more.
    • Special trips to the c-store from home: Cited most by those earning less than $35,000.
    • While traveling for business: Cited most by those earning $100,000 or more.

    Editor's note: For more findings from the exclusive Convenience Store News 2015 Realities of the Aisle consumer research study, look in the February issue of Convenience Store News. A digital edition of the issue can be accessed by clicking here.

    By Linda Lisanti, Convenience Store News
    • About Linda Lisanti Linda Lisanti is editor-in-chief for EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner media brands. In this role, she is responsible for content development across all of CSNews' print and online properties, with a specialty in coverage of the foodservice category in convenience stores. Lisanti has more than 13 years of experience in the journalism field. After working as a reporter for several daily newspapers, she joined CSNews as a staff writer in August 2005 and held senior writer, senior editor and executive editor positions before becoming editor-in-chief in August 2014. Lisanti has a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from Rowan University.

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