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CHICAGO -- More consumers are making convenience stores their destination for meals and snacks, a new Technomic study revealed.
According to the just-released "Consumer C-Store Brand Metrics Shopper Insights Report," consumers are taking advantage of a wider variety of food offerings provided by c-stores. Of 3,755 consumers polled nationally, 27 percent said if they had not bought their meal from a c-store on their most recent visit, they would have purchased the food from a quick-service restaurant.
The news gets even better for c-stores, as a nearly identical percentage said if they had not bought their meal or snack from the c-store in question, they would have made the purchase from another c-store.
"Convenience stores are increasingly falling into the same consideration set as fast-food restaurants," said Technomic Director Tim Powell. "This really speaks to the enhanced foodservice offerings in convenience stores, as well as evolving consumer behaviors. In our recent survey of more than 3,700 consumers who visit convenience stores, 82 percent said they purchase prepared foods from them at least once a month, while 52 percent do so once per week."
Consumers surveyed visited both chains and single stores. Among the chains visited by consumers during the study were 7-Eleven, Circle K, Cumberland Farms, Kangaroo Express, Kum & Go, Kwik Trip, Speedway and Stripes.
The survey also revealed that 27 percent of customers purchased an afternoon snack during their most recent c-store visit, while 19 percent bought lunch. Twenty-three percent of respondents also said they purchased a beverage while shopping at a c-store.
In addition, 31 percent of c-store foodservice visitors said they saw an item at a c-store and bought it impulsively because the food triggered a craving.