“C-store snack shoppers are unique in the importance they place on convenience and fun,”
according to Kathy Risch, senior vice president of thought leadership and shopper insights for Acosta Group. She spoke on the topic of “The State of Snacking in Convenience” at the NACS Show 2023 this past week in Atlanta.
Knowing what c-store shoppers are buying, and when and where they are buying these products, are key factors for creating a strategy to target the market, said Risch.
Data from Acosta Group’s Convenience Store Shopper Study (July 2023) and Snacking Study (April 2023) show:
- The most common snack or meal trips to c-stores are in the afternoon, particularly between meals with 56% of these snacks between lunch and dinner.
- It’s common to make a special trip for a snack, especially for Millennials, with more than half (53%) reporting that they visit a c-store when they are feeling “snacky.”
- Most c-store shoppers (78%) consume their snacks on the go.
- Snacking preferences are split between healthy and junk food, and most prefer salty (59%) over sweet (41%) when forced to choose.
- Nearly half of survey respondents buy hot foods at a c-store at least once a week, and half agree the quality is as good as a fast-food/quick-serve restaurant.
- While most shoppers are satisfied with the c-store experience, healthy meals and snacks are an opportunity.