Although all consumers are unique in their shopping habits, there are some key trends that retailers can appeal to.
General Mills Convenience & Foodservice has identified four distinct consumer segments—each with their own attitudes, behaviors and needs—to help convenience retailers best serve each segment.
- Breakfast Barons
- Vice Squaders
- Pit Stoppers
- Meals & More
“These macro consumer segments help convenience retailers get into the mindset of the different types of consumers coming through their door,” said Amy Woulfe, consumer insights associate for General Mills Convenience & Foodservice. “By understanding the nuances of each distinct c-store consumer segment, c-stores can evaluate their product mix, merchandising and promotions in order to win each segment over.”
Nearly 3,200 convenience store food and beverage shoppers, ages 18-64, participated in a nationwide online survey in November 2014. Consumers were segmented based on self-reported shopping behaviors including categories purchased, time of day of their visits and location of their most frequented stores.
- 22% of c-store shoppers are Breakfast Barons, who seek out c-stores to satisfy their workday breakfast needs.
- Breakfast Barons are more likely to look for baked goods, granola bars and coffee.
- Breakfast Barons’ visits are most frequent on weekday mornings.
- Breakfast Barons are more likely to be employed at high-paying jobs, and frequent c-stores in urban business districts.
- HOW TO WIN: Win over Breakfast Barons by exceeding their expectations on their key occasion: weekday breakfast. Focus on variety and quality of breakfast offerings to delight them.
- 18% of c-store Shoppers are Vice Squaders, who hit up their local c-store for liquor, cigarettes and lottery tickets.
- Vice Squaders are likely to make late night visits during the week to a convenience store near home.
- Older and with lower incomes, Vice Squaders are more likely to be found in rural and residential locations.
- Since these consumers are regularly purchasing cigarettes, they are likely to spend most of their time by the check-out counter.
- HOW TO WIN: Maximize Vice Squaders shoppers with an exhaustive selection of alcohol and tobacco products, and plan to reach them at the counter when waiting for cigarette or lottery purchases.
- 38% of c-store shoppers are Pit Stoppers, on-the-go shoppers whose quick in-and-out trips center on gas, the restroom and the ATM.
- Pit Stoppers visit most often on weekends in the early afternoon, usually while traveling.
- Pit Stoppers typically visit stores in small towns and residential areas.
- Pit Stoppers are more likely to purchase cold fountain beverages and gum.
- HOW TO WIN: Draw Pit Stoppers in starting at the pump and capture their interest along their short path from the restroom to the checkout with deals on fountain beverages, gum and video rentals.
- 22% of c-store shoppers are Meals and More, young shoppers who head into the c-store in search of meals, particularly lunch and dinner.
- Meals and More seek hot and fresh foods, but also like to indulge in candy and salty snacks. Meals and More frequent urban residential areas closest to where they live, and will often visit convenience stores that do not offer gas.
- HOW TO WIN: Entice Meals and More visits by offering a variety of fresh, hot meal options and substantial snacks over dinner and lunch, as well as basic personal and household items for when they are in a rush.