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Black Consumers and Convenience Stores - US - April 2018

Convenience stores’ value among Black consumers is rooted primarily in the amount of time they are able to save in traveling to and from the store as well as the shopping experience itself. Black men are the main c-store shoppers and they use these outlets as one-stop shopping locations, mostly at gas stations and chain stores, where they buy a range of items that satisfy immediate needs from snacks and beverages to prepared meals and nonfood items not as readily available at other nearby stores.

Black consumers are satisfied with their convenience store shopping experience, but technological advancements, expanded food and beverage options, as well as rewards for their existing behavior would give frequent shoppers the incentive to shop at c-stores more often. Sale items and cents-off promotions are appreciated among Black c-store shoppers, but secondary to easy access and fast service.

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Black c-store shoppers are segmented by time and need constraints
  • Black consumers shop at gas station-owned c-stores multiple times during the week
  • Packaged snacks are the number one item purchased in c-stores
  • Black consumers shop at the convenience store closest to home

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • Black c-store shoppers are segmented by time and need constraints
              • Figure 1: Black convenience store shoppers, December 2017
            • Black consumers shop at gas station-owned c-stores multiple times during the week
              • Figure 2: Frequency of convenience store visits by type of convenience stores visited, December 2017
            • Packaged snacks are the number one item purchased in c-stores
              • Figure 3: Items purchased at convenience stores, December 2017
            • Black consumers shop at the convenience store closest to home
              • Figure 4: Convenience store attributes, December 2017
            • The opportunities
              • Target consumer promotions to frequent shoppers to drive more trips
                • Figure 5: Convenience store shopping influences, Black versus all, December 2017
              • Communicate modernization of c-store core offerings to expand shopper base
                • Figure 6: Desired improvements in convenience stores, Black versus all, December 2017
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Most Black adults live in single-headed households
                  • Black shoppers take more trips to convenience stores versus the average shopper
                    • Rising gasoline prices may impact convenience store traffic
                    • The Black Population by the Numbers

                      • There are 43.7 million Black people in the US
                        • Figure 7: Population by race, 2013-23
                      • Black population skews younger than the total population
                        • Figure 8: Population by age group, Black versus all, 2018
                      • More than half of Black adults are single
                        • Figure 9: US households by detailed type, Black versus all, 2017
                      • One third of Black households earn less than $25K
                        • Figure 10: Median household income, Black versus all, 2017
                      • Nearly six in 10 Black people live in the South
                        • Figure 11: Distribution of the Black population, 2016
                    • Market Perspective

                      • Convenience stores are more integrated in Black shoppers’ trips
                        • Figure 12: Shopping trips to convenience stores, Black versus all, October 2016-November 2017
                      • 7-Eleven is Black shoppers’ preferred convenience store
                        • Figure 13: Leading convenience store shopped at, Black versus all, October 2016-November 2017
                    • Market Factors

                      • Gasoline production and consumer demand will drive price volatility in 2018
                        • Figure 14: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-February 2018
                      • Lottery industry taps into new technology to increase business
                        • Rise in pharmacy deserts in Black and Hispanic communities impact food access
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • C-stores get help from organizations to increase their healthy food and beverage offerings
                            • Tobacco and e-cigarette consumption to impact c-store sales
                              • Target’s new small format retail stores create new competition for c-stores
                              • What’s In?

                                • C-store organization partners with government organization to help stores offer healthier food and beverages
                                • What’s Out?

                                  • New tobacco regulations and rising e-cigarette usage may put sales at c-stores in flux
                                    • Figure 15: Current cigarette smoking status among Black adults aged 18+, 2012-16
                                • What’s Next?

                                  • Target turns to small format to accommodate young shoppers
                                    • Amazon cashless store experiment expands to new markets
                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                      • Nearly one third of Black consumers are core c-store shoppers
                                        • Gas station stores most visited type in c-store category
                                          • Instant desire for snacks drive c-store purchases
                                            • Store proximity to home is main c-store shopping driver
                                              • Healthier food and customization most important to frequent c-store shoppers
                                              • Black Convenience Store Shopper Segments

                                                • Black consumers are segmented into four c-store shopper groups
                                                  • Figure 16: Black convenience store shoppers, December 2017
                                                • Ambivalent Shoppers give into temptation while stopping at c-stores
                                                  • Figure 17: Profile of Ambivalent Shoppers, December 2017
                                                • Core Shoppers visit c-stores for fast and easy service across product categories
                                                  • Figure 18: Profile of Core Shoppers, December 2017
                                                • Impulsive Shoppers shop in c-stores when other retail options are inaccessible
                                                  • Figure 19: Profile of Impulsive Shoppers, December 2017
                                                • Harried Shoppers shop at c-stores for fast service on-the-go
                                                  • Figure 20: Profile of Harried Shoppers, December 2017
                                              • Convenience Store Visits by Type

                                                • Black shoppers visit convenience stores close to home
                                                  • Figure 21: Convenience store types shopped, Black versus all, December 2017
                                                • Preferred store type differs by geography and setting
                                                  • Figure 22: Convenience store types shopped, by census division and location, December 2017
                                                • Black men are c-store primary shoppers, but preferences differ by age
                                                  • Figure 23: Convenience store types shopped, by gender, December 2017
                                                  • Figure 24: Convenience store types shopped, by men and age group, December 2017
                                                • Chain c-store shopping preferences increase alongside income
                                                  • Figure 25: Convenience store types shopped, by household income, December 2017
                                              • Convenience Store Visits by Frequency

                                                • Immediate product needs drive frequent c-store trips
                                                  • Figure 26: Frequency of convenience store visits, December 2017
                                                • Gas fill-ups drive c-store visits
                                                  • Figure 27: Frequency of convenience store visits, by type of c-store, December 2017
                                              • Items Purchased at Convenience Stores

                                                • Snacking on-the-go drives c-store purchases
                                                  • Figure 28: Items purchased at convenience stores, December 2017
                                                • Meal purchasers buy more food than snackers do
                                                  • Figure 29: Items purchased by items purchased at convenience stores, December 2017
                                                • Convenience stores are a one-stop shop for Black men
                                                  • Figure 30: Items purchased at convenience stores, by gender, December 2017
                                              • Reasons for Shopping at Convenience Stores

                                                • Store proximity to home most important to c-store shoppers
                                                  • Figure 31: Convenience store attributes, December 2017
                                                • Men like c-store amenities in addition to convenience
                                                  • Figure 32: Convenience store attributes, by gender, December 2017
                                                  • Figure 33: Convenience store attributes, by age of men, December 2017
                                                • C-stores close to home and regularly visited places make life easier for parents
                                                  • Figure 34: Convenience store attributes, by age of children in household, December 2017
                                                • Harried Shoppers shop close to their destination, Core Shoppers visit for the amenities
                                                  • Figure 35: Convenience store attributes, by Black convenience store segments, December 2017
                                              • Convenience Store Shopping Influences

                                                • C-store shopping driven by immediate needs, but promotions may increase occasions
                                                  • Figure 36: Convenience store shopping influences, Black versus all, December 2017
                                                • Frequent c-store shoppers are the primary promotional target
                                                  • Figure 37: Convenience store shopping influences, by gender, December 2017
                                                • Mature shoppers focus on convenience, middle-aged shoppers may be swayed with offers
                                                  • Figure 38: Convenience store shopping influences, by age, December 2017
                                                • C-store parent shoppers prefer to buy on deal
                                                  • Figure 39: Convenience store shopping influences, by parental status, December 2017
                                              • Desired Improvements in Convenience Stores

                                                • Better food and shopping experience can drive more store visits
                                                  • Figure 40: Desired improvements in convenience stores, Black versus all, December 2017
                                                • Better food, tailored promotions, and faster experience most important to current shoppers
                                                  • Figure 41: Convenience store by type visited, by desired improvements in-store, December 2017
                                                • Improved food and beverage options would drive more occasions among current c-store meal buyers
                                                  • Figure 42: Items purchased in convenience stores by desired improvements in convenience stores, December 2017
                                                • Technological advances would spur shopping occasions among Black consumers aged 18-34
                                                  • Figure 43: Desired improvements in convenience stores, by age, December 2017
                                              • Attitudes toward Convenience Stores

                                                • C-stores’ product offerings and quick service boost its appeal among Black shoppers
                                                  • Figure 44: Attitudes toward convenience stores, December 2017
                                                • Convenience more important than prices for busy shoppers
                                                  • Figure 45: Attitudes toward quick shopping experiences at convenience stores, by select demographics, December 2017
                                                • C-store treats satisfy young adults and pacify the kids
                                                  • Figure 46: Attitudes toward unhealthy food/drinks at convenience stores, by select demographics, December 2017
                                                • Most shoppers agree c-store food has improved over time
                                                  • Figure 47: Attitudes toward convenience store food improvements, by consumer segments, December 2017
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                        • Terms
                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                            • Figure 48: Shopping trips to convenience stores, Black versus all, October 2016-November 2017
                                                            • Figure 49: Leading convenience store shopped at, Black versus all, October 2016-November 2017

                                                        Black Consumers and Convenience Stores - US - April 2018

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