More consumers are choosing to fill up on gas at c-stores, according to a new study by Convenience Store News. The 2023 Convenience Store News Reality of the Aisle study surveyed 1,500 U.S. consumers who shop at a c-store at least once a month.
According to the study, purchase incidence of fuel significantly increased year over year. In this year's report, 58% of the consumers surveyed said they purchased fuel at a c-store in the past month, a four-point increase from last year. The average consumer in the study reported 5.8 monthly fuel purchases.
Younger generations seem to be fuelling up more frequently. The study found that Gen Z and millennial consumers tend to make more monthly gas trips, with Gen Z making 9.6 monthly trips on average and millennials making 8.4 monthly trips on average.
The average consumer in this year's study is also more cost-savvy. The study reported a sharp 5-point increase (to 86%) in the percentage of shoppers that rated price as an extremely important or very important decision factor.
Of those respondents, 89% of Gen X and baby boomer respondents rated price as either very or extremely important.
More than 75% of fuel purchasers said a convenient location matters to them, and 44% of consumers said that store or gasoline brand was important to them – a 4-point increase from last year.
Overall, 25% of fuel purchasers said they exclusively purchase fuel from c-store locations. Among the other respondents who also purchase fuel elsewhere gas-only retailers, mass/super-center retailers and wholesale clubs were the top three competitors for c-stores.