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Blacks and Convenience Stores - US - February 2012

The convenience store (c-store) is a regular stop for Black consumers who rely on them for gasoline purchases and a variety of products and merchandise. Black adults are more likely to visit a c-store than any other ethnic group, with Black men being the most active c-store visitors. Mintel also found that Black teens frequent c-stores more often than the average respondent, demonstrating that Blacks of all ages are prime c-store consumers and these retailers can benefit greatly from marketing to this ethnic group.

Location, price, and cleanliness are some of the key factors in determining whether or not Black consumers will make a purchase other than gasoline, which accounts for a large percentage of the average customer receipt at a c-store. Luring the Black consumer into the store through a variety of methods, including customer rewards programs, enhanced product selections of particular appeal to this audience, and providing a positive customer experience, could reap large dividends for the c-store owner.

This report focuses on Black consumers’ attitudes and preferences toward c-stores, including:

  • the key reasons why Black adults make purchases at c-stores, and their frequency of store visits
  • how Black teens shop at convenience stores and view these quick-visit retailers
  • c-store innovations and product specialization that are likely to appeal to Blacks
  • outlets visited most frequently, and what Black consumers wish to purchase in c-stores
  • what operators are doing to increase sales at their stores, through social media and advertising to Black consumers
  • what prevents Black consumers from frequenting a c-store.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • The Black convenience store consumer
                      • The teenage convenience store consumer
                        • Convenience stores preferred by consumers
                          • Items purchased at convenience stores
                            • Marketing strategies
                              • U.S. Black population
                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                • Product selection a key factor in luring Black consumers inside c-stores
                                  • Building brand equity and distinction requires customer care
                                    • Suburban c-stores should review Black migration from the city
                                      • Social media could help c-stores further connect with Black teens
                                      • Inspire Insights

                                          • Trend: “Cool Vending”
                                            • Trend: “A Simple Balance for Health”
                                            • The Black Convenience Store Consumer

                                              • Key points
                                                • Frequency of visiting convenience stores
                                                  • Black men with household incomes of <$75K are the most frequent c-store shoppers
                                                      • Figure 1: Frequency of visiting convenience stores, by gender and household income, December 2011
                                                    • Black adults aged 35-54 are frequent c-store shoppers
                                                        • Figure 2: Frequency of visiting convenience stores, by age and gender, December 2011
                                                      • Expenditure at convenience stores
                                                        • Black men aged 18-34 spend significantly more on non-gas purchases
                                                          • Figure 3: Expenditure at a convenience store, including gasoline, by age and gender, December 2011
                                                        • Upper-income Blacks spend far more on gas than non-gas items at c-stores
                                                            • Figure 4: Expenditure at a convenience store, including gasoline, by household income, December 2011
                                                          • Attitudes toward convenience stores
                                                            • Black women aged 18-34 are the most likely to shop at c-stores while traveling
                                                              • Figure 5: Attitudes toward convenience stores, by gender and age, December 2011
                                                            • Consumer perception of convenience stores
                                                              • Brand differentiation among c-stores lags among Black adults
                                                                  • Figure 6: Consumer perception of convenience stores, by age and gender, December 2011
                                                                • Affluent Blacks are interested in entertainment kiosks at c-stores
                                                                    • Figure 7: What consumers would like to see at convenience stores, by household income, December 2011
                                                                    • Figure 8: What consumers would like to see at convenience stores, by age and gender, December 2011
                                                                  • Skipping the c-store comes down to price, selection for Blacks
                                                                      • Figure 9: Reasons for not shopping at convenience stores, by Black consumers, December 2011
                                                                  • The Teenage Convenience Store Consumer

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Black teens are frequent shoppers at c-stores
                                                                          • Figure 10: Average number of times shopped at convenience stores in the last four weeks by Black teens, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                        • Three in four Black teens have shopped at a c-store in the past month
                                                                            • Figure 11: Convenience stores shopped at in the last four weeks, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                          • Female Black teens are more likely to visit c-stores
                                                                              • Figure 12: Convenience stores shopped at in the last four weeks by Black teens, by gender, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                          • Convenience Stores Preferred by Consumers

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Black adults are more loyal to branded convenience stores
                                                                                  • Figure 13: Convenience stores where consumers have shopped at in the last four weeks, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                • Black adults frequent c-stores slightly less than the total population
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Frequency of shopping at convenience stores in the last four weeks, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                  • Convenience store preferences among Black consumers
                                                                                    • Convenience stores
                                                                                        • Figure 15: Convenience stores where Black consumers have shopped at in the last four weeks, by region, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                      • Frequency
                                                                                          • Figure 16: Frequency of shopping at convenience stores in the last four weeks by Black consumers, by age and gender, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                        • Black consumers are not frequent shoppers at the c-stores they shop at
                                                                                            • Figure 17: Likelihood of shopping at convenience stores in the past three months and frequency by Black consumers, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                          • Young Black men are the most likely to shop at both chain and independent c-stores
                                                                                              • Figure 18: Likelihood of shopping at convenience stores in the past three months and frequency by Black consumers, by age and gender, December 2011
                                                                                          • Items Purchased at Convenience Stores

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • More than half of Black c-store consumers purchase lottery tickets
                                                                                                • Figure 19: Gasoline and household items purchased at convenience stores by Black consumers, by age and gender, December 2011
                                                                                              • Black women are more likely to purchase food and drinks at c-stores
                                                                                                • Figure 20: Food and drink Items purchased at convenience stores by Black consumers, by age and gender, December 2011
                                                                                              • Snack foods and soft drinks are key c-store products
                                                                                                • Figure 21: Other items purchased at convenience stores by Black consumers, by age, December 2011
                                                                                              • Black c-store shoppers are less likely to buy diet beverages
                                                                                                • Figure 22: Types of non-alcoholic drinks purchased at convenience stores, by all consumers and Black consumers, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                              • Black c-store shoppers prefer beer and coolers
                                                                                                • Figure 23: Types of alcoholic drinks purchased at convenience stores, by all consumers and Black consumers, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                              • Blacks who frequent c-stores enjoy lottery games
                                                                                                • Figure 24: Other items purchased at convenience stores by Black consumers, by age and gender, December 2011
                                                                                            • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Television
                                                                                                  • Circle K
                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Circle K, TV ad, September 2011
                                                                                                  • Speedway
                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Speedway, TV ad, October 2011
                                                                                                  • Speedway
                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Speedway, TV ad, June 2011
                                                                                                  • Wawa
                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Wawa, TV ad, June 2011
                                                                                                  • Online
                                                                                                    • RaceTrac
                                                                                                      • ampm Mini Markets
                                                                                                      • U.S. Black Population

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • U.S. population by race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Population, by race/Hispanic origin, 1970-2020
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Asian, Black, and Hispanic populations, 1970-2020
                                                                                                          • U.S. Black population
                                                                                                            • Generations by race
                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Generations by race, 2011
                                                                                                            • Black population by age
                                                                                                              • Population by age
                                                                                                                • Figure 33: U.S. Black population, by age, 2006-16
                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Population by age, 2006-16
                                                                                                              • U.S. Black geographic concentration
                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Black geographic concentration, by region, 2007
                                                                                                              • Black population by state
                                                                                                                • Figure 36: States with largest Black population, 2008
                                                                                                              • Population by geographic concentration
                                                                                                                • Figure 37: States with the highest share of Black residents, 2008
                                                                                                              • Black metros
                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Metropolitan status of Black households, 2006 and 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Top 10 metropolitan areas with the largest number of Black residents, 2006-08
                                                                                                              • Black purchasing power
                                                                                                                • Black income
                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Median household income, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2010
                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Household income distribution for all households and Black households, 2010
                                                                                                                • Income of Black households versus total U.S. households
                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Share of Black households with incomes of $50K or more versus total U.S. households, 2002 and 2008
                                                                                                                • Purchasing power by race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Purchasing power, by race/Hispanic origin, 1990-2015
                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Purchasing power, by race/Hispanic origin, 1990-2015
                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Top 10 states/regions with the largest share of Black buying power, 2010
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Top 10 states, by rate of growth of Black buying power, 1990-2010
                                                                                                                • Black affluents
                                                                                                                  • Black households
                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Average household size, by race/Hispanic origin/race of householder, 2001 and 2008
                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Presence and ages of children in the household, by race/Hispanic origin, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Marital status, by race and Hispanic origin, 2011
                                                                                                                  • Country of origin/heritage
                                                                                                                    • African immigrants
                                                                                                                      • Caribbean immigrants
                                                                                                                        • Geographic location
                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                          • Caribou Coffee Company Inc.
                                                                                                                          • National Beer Wholesalers’ Association (NBWA)
                                                                                                                          • Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA)
                                                                                                                          • Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA)
                                                                                                                          • Starbucks Corporation

                                                                                                                          Blacks and Convenience Stores - US - February 2012

                                                                                                                          £2,684.63 (Excl.Tax)