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Consumers purchasing fuel more frequently: U.S. study

A quarter of U.S. consumers surveyed said they buy fuel at a c-stores exclusively.
Worker filling car. Man in work gas station uniform pouring tank of car driver, petrol gasoline pump fuel transportation oil refuel biofuel automobile, splendid vector illustration of gas station

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. 

Download the 2023 Convenience Store News Realities of the Aisle Study here. 

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