Top retailers like Kum & Go, Kwik Trip, Sheetz and Thorntons are attracting customers and beating the competition with E15.
E15 can outsell mid-grade and premium fuels—at a lower price ($0.03 to $0.10 per gallon) than regular fuel—while delivering higher octane and burning cleaner.
The E15 movement continues to expand its footprint with nearly 1400 sites today, and that rapid growth has peaked consumer interest along with the value E15 offers. E15 allows American drivers to save money at the pump all while making a smarter choice for their engines and the environment and those factors are bringing more and more loyal customers to retail sites that offer the fuel. While E15 continues growing its fan base, there are key elements that can help sell more E15. Proper marketing impacts overall consumer adoption.
Over the past 18 months, Growth Energy has conducted more than 6,000 consumer surveys; both qualitative and quantitative. The consumer has spoken, and research has concluded that there is a strong correlation between sales and how E15 is being marketed at the pump. The results concluded that the sales were much higher when the fuel is marketed similarly to other grades of gasoline like unleaded. When asked if having E15 or 15 in the name consumers overwhelmingly said it was not important. Sales at the pump of Unleaded88 and similar names demonstrate that consumers willingly accept E15.
There have been key drivers that have helped with E15 adoption that include the competitive advantage of .03 to .10 less per gallon. In most cases, E15 is outselling premium and midgrade. In fact, E15 sells more than 50% of total volume when sold through the same hose as 87.
Other best practices include offering E15 at the majority of the dispensers. Like any other product, if you treat it like a niche, the product will perform like a niche. Retailers who advertise the price advantage of E15 on the street also typically see better sales of the product.
One of Growth Energy’s first retail partners, Twin cities based Minnoco has been selling E15 for almost five years. The executive director at the Minnesota Service Station and Convenience Store Association, Lance Klatt shared that he believes there are a few different attributes to the growth of E15; higher octane, lower cost, supporting local Minnesota communities. On Average, E15 contributed to over 35% of the overall fuel sales for Minnoco. The highest trend they’ve seen is up to 49% of their fuel sales.
Perhaps a little more recent to the E15 team is Wisconsin based retailer, Kwik Trip. Last spring, Kwik Trip installed and converted existing stores, bringing their total store count of E15 from 0 to over 300 in a matter of a few months. Kwik Trip looked for a realistic approach for mass adoption for their E15 strategy. They wanted to focus on what the general consumer understands, the octane and the price. Their approach has been treating E15 as a standard fuel for standard vehicles.
Growth Energy has been working hand-in-hand with fuel retailers for the past six years to bring E15 access to more and more American drivers. E15 provides unique marketing opportunities for retailers, and Growth Energy is committed to providing tools to our partners to facilitate their adoption of E15. We provide all point of sale information, which can be customized to your brand; pump toppers, nozzle talkers, employee pocket guide, consumer pocket guide, and pricing sign graphics.
Hands down, marketing impacts consumer adoption and can drive overall sales. The price sign, marketing materials, and the actual name of the fuel all can contribute to the growth and adoption of E15 in your store.
Join the leading retailers and innovators and see what the E15 movement is all about. For More information, contact Mike O’Brien: [email protected].