By Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group Inc.
Think about one of the biggest trends in the convenience store industry: the addition of fresh and healthy food options.
Now I’m going to tell you how that is related to your fuel offerings.
As noted in a CSD blog post earlier this month, new data shows that more and more c-stores are selling fruits, vegetables, health bars, bottled water and other healthy items, leading to a “surge in c-store sales” in the first half of 2016.
Biodiesel is the sustainable choice
The conscientiousness over what we put in our bodies is extending to what we put in our vehicles. And while one of the biggest trends in the c-store industry is expanding in-store food options, sustainability is one of the biggest trends in the world, with transportation and fuel playing a major role.
Companies large and small, governments, fleets and individual drivers are more mindful than ever of greenhouse gas emissions, and they’re taking action. Alternative fuels are becoming more attractive, and biodiesel is leading the way.
Just consider that Google runs its employee shuttle service on a B5 blend, meaning it contains 5% biodiesel. The California Air Resources Board, which oversees the state’s effort to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuel, recently gave biodiesel the best carbon score among liquid fuels.
In fact, the National Biodiesel Board says several research institutions have affirmed that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% and often as much as 85% compared with petroleum diesel.
Biodiesel attracts customers
All of this presents an opportunity for c-stores. First, you should add diesel to your fuel offering if you do not have it already. The number of diesel-powered passenger vehicles is on the rise, in part because they get up to 40% more miles per gallon than gasoline cars.
Next, go a step further and offer biodiesel blends. This gives drivers an additional choice, and having more options often makes a store more appealing. It also will help entice the growing number of drivers who care about the environment.
Getting more customers to the pump also correlates to increased in-store traffic.
Who would have imagined a decade or two ago that a renewable fuel could attract a driver who would fill up and then head inside the store to grab a salad and a bottled water?
That, however, is the way things are trending in the convenience store industry.
Visit regi.com to learn more about biodiesel.
Jon Scharingson — Jon oversees the sales and marketing efforts for Renewable Energy Group Inc., a leading biodiesel producer.