Wawa and Cumberland Farms are the nation’s top ranked convenience stores, according to a new report, which also projects big c-store growth for fresh, ready-to-eat foods.
In its 2017 Store Choice Drivers Report for the Convenience Channel, released Oct. 17 at the National Association of Convenience Stores show in Chicago, Nielsen Holdings PLC reports that Wawa has the highest brand equity among c-store chains, followed by Cumberland Farms. Sheetz and Kwik Trip are also in the top five.
The report measures why shoppers visit certain stores, how attitudes impact shopper behavior and how retailers are responding to changing perceptions and attitudes.
According to Nielsen, 33 percent of c-store shoppers expect to purchase fresh food in c-stores in the future. In the report, the company recommends that c-stores offer more fresh, ready-to-eat and healthy foods, as quality is the biggest barrier to fresh food c-store purchases.
Nielsen also measured the fastest growing c-store categories in the year ending April 1. Liquid tea is No. 1, with 27 percent growth over the previous year. It was followed by tobacco alternatives (up 25 percent), premixed alcohol cocktails (up 19 percent), cookies (up 10 percent) and liquor (up 9 percent).