Convenience and gas outlets have long relied on males to pay the bills, but the rising share of female shoppers tends to bring a higher ring and wield more influence.
In early 2020, Ipsos FIVE tracking study revealed that close to half of c/gas shoppers were women (47%), which represented a notable shift in a five-year period (+18%). However, as pandemic lockdowns negatively impacted movement rates and trip frequency, the channel gave up some of the gains among this lucrative target.
Fast forward to 2023 and the most recent data release reveals that women are once again returning, with year-over-year visit rates up by 8%.
For retailers and manufacturers alike, understanding the evolving needs and preferences of women shoppers and, in particular, how they are different from their male counterparts, will be critical to continuing to ensure rebounding in traffic in the channel.
The millennial factor
Women returning to the channel are more likely to be millennial suburbanites, with visit rates rebounding most prominent in Ontario. Interestingly, women from multicultural origins (led by South Asians) are increasingly shopping at c/gas outlets.
Tip: Consider the opportunity to refine shelf sets by targeted geographic locations to include more multicultural food options.
Men and women may have different preferences when it comes to the types of products they purchase at c-stores. For example, both groups show strong development for sweet and salty snack options. However, growth in salty snacks outpaces male buying habits by close to a two to one margin. Additionally, women show stronger development for seeking fresh snack options, particularly during the daytime hours. Coffee drinks (hot and cold) are also a strong draw by women shoppers.
Tip: Consider portion sizes when building coffee orders. Perhaps a reusable and refillable cup would appeal to women coffee drinkers.