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Industry Trends

Winning over Women in Convenience Stores

Research Overview

As convenience stores look to meet the needs of women, General Mills Convenience & Foodservice recently conducted a research project to uncover the unique perceptions and desires of female convenience store shoppers.

Sample/Research Method

  • General Mills Proprietary Study of 474 convenience store food and beverage shoppers who visited once a month or more, ages 18-64, participated in a nationwide online survey in January 2014
  • NPD Group

Key Findings

  • Men are often viewed as the core convenience store shoppers, but women should not be overlooked.
    • C-Store food and beverage traffic is made up of 47 percent women and 53 percent men (NPD Group)
    • Women are more likely to make a gas-only trip to c-stores, (23 percent of women compared to 19 percent of men) meaning there is opportunity to entice them to come inside
  • Women tend to have higher expectations for food in c-stores than men. For example:
    • 76 percent of women would visit more frequently if fresh, made-to-order food was offered in store (compared to 68 percent of men)
    • 71 percent of women would visit more if better-for-you food and beverage choices were available (compared to 62 percent of men)
    • 29 percent of women wish food was fresher at c-stores (compared to 18 percent of men)
  • The #1 reason for visiting c-stores is convenience, regardless of gender; however, certain aspects of the experience are more important to women:
    • Store cleanliness: 63 percent (versus 45 percent of men)
    • Feeling of safety: 62 percent (versus 44 percent of men)
    • Prepackaged foods are not out-of date: 62 percent (versus 50 percent of men)
    • Low gas prices: 59 percent (versus 38 percent of men)
    • Prepared or hot foods are not stale or soggy: 53 percent (versus 44 percent of men)
    • Clean restrooms: 51 percent (versus 38 percent of men)
    • Uncluttered aisles: 45 percent (versus 29 percent of men)


  • Pump signage and merchandising must be particularly strong to entice women to come inside.
  • Over-communicate the freshness and quality of offerings to overcome negative preconceptions.
  • Clean and uncluttered floors, counters, and restrooms will increase appeal to women.

Source: General Mills Convenience


Foodservice No. 1 Driver for C-store Stops

NACS Daily
February 28, 2018

NEW YORK CITY – Convenience stores should focus on foodservice, including healthy options, according to a new survey from AlixPartners, Chain Store Age reports. Foodservice (27%) came in first for what consumers bought at convenience stores, followed by packaged beverages (17%) and cigarettes (13%). Foodservice included prepared foods as well as hot, cold or frozen dispensed beverages.

Foodservice eating and purchase frequency has been increasing, with a compound annual growth rate of 13.2% since 2012. However, the survey recommended that retailers who offer more choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner will be best able to continue that growth. To that end, healthier foods will be necessary because 45.6% of consumers want “better for you” options.

Other findings from its Convenience-Store Consumer Survey include that factors going into stopping at a convenience store for a meal are location (21%), price (18%) and food quality (14%). However, older consumers favor location and convenience, while Gen X and millennials point to price and food quality as deciding factors.

Consumers also like convenience stores that offer in-store dining areas, drive-thru windows and delivery, as well as self-checkout, mobile coupons and mobile loyalty programs.

SAS meets the demands of a growing foodservice category.

SAS is continually adding new items and programs that help retailers build sales across all day parts. We are proud to be working with The Partnership for a Healthier America to bring to market healthy and delicious meal and snacking items.

Please check our weekly SAS New Item Packet for new convenience foods opportunities.

Source: NACS Daily and Chain Store Age