CCentral-Main-logo-EN-trans

Convenience Central
Join our community
extra content
beverages-cold-colorful-1154756_1

Younger consumers prefer c-stores to quench thirst

beverages-cold-colorful-1154756_1Younger consumers are feeding their beverage cravings at gas stations rather than supermarkets and drugstores, according to Boston-based GasBuddy’s 2019 C-Store Beverage Study.

According to the study, 51% surveyed said they purchase a beverage at a gas station C-store at least once a week, 20% of which do so daily. Convenience stores are the destination of choice for 165 million U.S. customers each day, resulting in $242 billion of in-store sales in 2018. The GasBuddy study confirmed that packaged beverages — which includes carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, water, sports drinks, juices and teas — are impulse buys: 65% said their beverage purchases are typically unplanned before getting to the store.

“Today’s consumers—especially millennials—are buying more food on-the-go, including snacks, drinks and prepared meals,” said Frank Beard, convenience retail analyst at GasBuddy. “Efficiency is paramount in today’s society, and convenience stores are providing the desired ease and choice of options for an evolving customer. C-stores are also responding to a growing desire for healthier options.”

Additionally, the study revealed that younger consumers, aged 18-29, prefer C-stores over drug and grocery stores, are the least brand loyal, and most easily influenced by coupons/discounts. The survey also revealed how greatly product preferences vary between generations. Water is the No. 1 beverage product purchased at a gas station C-store by 18-29 year-olds, while carbonated soft drinks topped the list for the 30-44 and 45-60 age group.

To read the GasBuddy survey, click here.

 Originally published at Store Brands. 

Packaged beverage options are exploding: 4 tips for boosting offerings and efficiencies in-store

From new ready-to-drink (RTD) coffees to infused teas to sparkling waters, packaged beverage options are at an all-time high, driven by innovation and consumer demand for variety.

BeverageBuyer-teaserBeverage manufacturers recognize that having diversity in their offering is critical and the same is true for convenience store operators, who want to keep customers coming back for more.

“Culturally, we’ve become so accustomed to having more choices than ever and from a consumer’s standpoint, beverages are low investment, low commitment,” explained Satoru Wakeshima, chief engagement officer at New York-based branding agency CBX. “It’s not a major decision and people like to try new things.”

Wakeshima predicts 2019 will see more of the rising beverage trends and new product explosion seen in 2017 and 2018, but with greater blurring of product types — more hybrids.

“Our expectations are higher than ever, and the bar continues to rise,” he said.

How can convenience store operators manage the packaged beverages category in a way that capitalizes on new and emerging opportunities, but maintains efficiency?

Beverage experts, offer the following tips:

1. Allocate intelligently

Because the category cannot expand infinitely, especially within the limited confines of the convenience store format, space needs to be allocated intelligently, which includes scaling back in some areas. It’s a simple concept that is not always executed.

“Reducing space for declining or slow-moving segments to make room for innovative or higher-velocity segments that attract shoppers to the store is the key to success,” says Peter Keaney, business analyst at Cadent Consulting Group. An example would be to reduce space for milk, where sales have been declining, to make space for more sparkling waters.

2. Rotate offerings with marketing support

“People want to discover new beverages, but they also want to be reassured that they’re making a good choice,” said Wakeshima. “Educating customers at retail, mobile or online to aid the deselection process becomes the expectation.”

3. Think like consumers

Thinking like consumers means in terms of “need states” rather than subcategories, as this is how consumers shop, according to Keaney. Moving forward, the plethora of packaged beverage options could be rearranged in the cooler by needs.

The NPD Group has identified four macro consumer needs: fueling, wellness, connecting and gratifying.

The NPD Group has identified four macro consumer needs: fueling, wellness, connecting and gratifying. These fundamental needs can then be broken down into more specific behaviors, known as need states. Examples of need states under fueling include “easy on-the-go” and “staying awake.” Meanwhile, need states under gratifying include “nostalgic drinks” and “morning drink favorites.”

4. Keep abreast of beverage trends

In addition to staying on top of the latest packaged beverage trends, retailers also should watch what’s trending outside the category, since trends often spill from one category into another eventually.

The fastest-growing packaged beverage segments currently are sparkling water, energy drinks and RTD coffee, all which are up by double-digits recently, according to Keaney.

Still and sparkling water continue to be big as consumers seek alternatives to carbonated soft drinks, he added. “In addition, plant-based and probiotic beverages are driving sales, as well as functional beverages and innovations like nitro cold brewed coffee. We’ll have to see how high CBD-infused beverages can fly.”

Originally published at Convenience Store News. 


drinking-water-filter-singapore-1235578_1920

Beverages: Fizzy and extreme

A look at what's quenching thirst in the c-store beverage aisle Read more

Ice Lyte New Slush Drink

Ice Lyte: New Electrolyte Slushies

The new slush mix helps you stay hydrated with less calories and no dyes or artificial sweeteners. Read more

PoP_Shoppe_PMS186.ai

Beverage World Inc.: The Pop Shoppe

The Pop Shoppe is a retro, nostalgic, CANADIAN brand leading the revitalization and growth of the craft soda category! Read more

Cott_logo.545b99d2f2566

Cott Corporation to acquire S&D Coffee

Following the completion of the proposed transaction, S&D will be a subsidiary of Cott, still operating under the S&D Coffee & Tea name. Read more

Print

Quench the thirst

Alternative beverages represent a growth opportunity in c-stores. Find out how... Read more

CCentral-Feb-BeverageSnapshotPhoto

Balance Calories aims to reduce beverage calories by 20%

The Canadian Beverage Association has launched an initiative to reduce non-alcoholic beverage calories consumed by Canadians Read more

025_YCM_Gray_In-store Feature_crop[1]

Are you merchandising to boost sales?

Foodservice combos inspire impulse snack sales at Glow Groceteria Read more