Watch out Starbucks, customers are turning to c-stores more often for their coffee fix.
C-stores have improved their coffee offerings over the last several years, now providing a quality ‘cup of joe’ for an affordable price that rivals the competition, and customers have noticed.
In honor of National Coffee Day on Sept 29, GasBuddy revealed which gas station brands have the highest-rated coffee in each state, making them the best bet when you need a caffeine fix.
According to NPD Group Inc, traffic growth to large coffee chains is slowing and traffic to small coffee chains and independent shops is declining. Consumers are noticing the growing number of other options available to them, including gas station convenience stores.
In 2017, hot dispensed beverages were the second largest category in convenience store foodservice at 14% of sales. The quality of coffee at gas stations has improved as well. Of the stations in the U.S that have ever received a coffee review in the GasBuddy app, more than 75% received positive reviews. Additionally, coffee was voted the “favorite food and beverage item in the gas station” according to a recent GasBuddy survey.
“Gas station convenience brands are investing heavily in their hot beverage programs, with retailers like 7-Eleven and Wawa adding permanent specialty coffee offerings at their locations,” said Frank Beard, convenience store and retail trends analyst at GasBuddy. “Over the years, gas station c-stores have increased their coffee quality to a level where they now compete with coffee shops. Their offer is also more affordable, drawing in tens of millions of consumers a day.”
As for the gas station brand that has the best coffee, GasBuddy data scientists reviewed more than 3 million coffee ratings covering more than 150,000 retail locations where gasoline is sold and found that Buc-ee’s captured the highest ratings in the nation as being the best gas station c-store for a cup of joe. On the state level, Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip captured the top spot in seven states, while Media, Pa.-based Wawa, and Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms tied for second, both with six states.
The top 5 states with the highest-rated gas station coffee are Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Wisconsin and Florida.
Consumers can review the c-store and their coffee directly on the free GasBuddy app.