More than seven in 10 (71%) adult consumers, ages 18 and over, say they discover new products and brands in c-stores. Nearly four in 10 (38%) say they shop at c-stores two or more times a week, while overall, nearly two-thirds (62%) visit c-stores at least once a week.
The findings are part of a new nationally representative consumer sentiment survey on c-store shopping commissioned by NCSolutions (NCS), the leading company for improving advertising effectiveness for the CPG ecosystem.
"These new consumer insights accentuate the considerable role convenience stores play in America today. At the c-store, the shopping moment is low risk for the consumer and high opportunity for brands," said Alan Miles, CEO, NCSolutions. "With mostly single-serve portions, consumers are looking for products on the go. It is a perfect place to engage and secure new brand buyers and identify the viability of new products."
American consumers find shopping at c-stores offers numerous benefits. Seventy-nine percent of shoppers say the stores offer a lot of product variety, while 77% say c-stores provide a good shopping experience. Sixty-three percent see c-stores as delivering good value for their budgets.
CPG brands looking to engage Gen Z can tap into this generation's favorable view of convenience stores. Ninety-one percent of Gen Z say c-stores provide a good shopping experience. They're also more likely to use a delivery service for c-store items, with almost half (49%) reporting they have used a service such as 7-NOW, Instacart, DoorDash, Uber and others. This is 96% higher than all Americans who reported using a delivery service (25%) for c-store shopping.
Americans visit convenience stores for various reasons, but the location is number one, cited by 65% of American consumers. Fifty-nine percent say convenience stores meet their immediate needs, while 54% like that they can conduct transactions quickly and be on their way.
Nearly one-third (30%) say price brings them into the store, while 28% enjoy the variety of products c-stores have to offer. Additionally, thirty-four percent shop at c-stores because they are less crowded.
"The c-store channel offers a compelling potential for CPG brands to motivate new buyers to try their products. It's an especially attractive channel to reach the Gen Z consumer, who is very loyal to c-stores," said Dan Malmed, Chief Revenue Officer, NCSolutions. "Appealing to Gen Z c-store enthusiasts enables advertisers to build and drive loyalty as well as improve the return on ad spend of their campaigns."
More than two-thirds (67%) of Americans feed their sweet tooth with candy purchases from convenience stores, and many rely on c-stores as a place to quench their thirst. Fifty-seven percent of consumers said they purchase on-the-go drinks like coffee, tea, or fountain beverages at c-stores, while 40% buy milk, juice, and other staples. In addition, 32% pick up packaged beverages and 23% buy beer.
Consumer purchase behaviors are also influenced by what they see on social media. Seventy percent of c-store shoppers said they're more likely to purchase products they see promoted on c-store social media channels.
To learn more about consumers and how they shop at convenience stores, download the insight report.