|Alexandria, VA – March
2017 / Newsmaker Alert / Americans
are increasingly seeking out fueling locations based on the quality of
the food associated with the gas station, according to new
national survey results released Wednesday (March 29) by NACS.
While survey results show that gas price is still the primary determinant
in selecting a station, an increasing percentage of consumers say that
the quality of items inside the store dictates where they buy fuel. In
fact, one in seven drivers (16%) say that the in-store offer is driving
their fueling decision, a 5-point increase since 2015.
Overall, 51% of American drivers say that the gas price is the reason that they prefer a specific store or chain, a 6-point drop over the past two years. Because of the expanded food and beverage offer, fueling customers also are going inside the store more: 42% of those fueling up also went inside the store, a 7-point jump from two years ago. For those going inside, the most popular reasons were to pay for gas at the register (50%), buy a beverage (45%) or buy a snack (36%). More than one in five (22%) say they used the restroom. Overall, 8% say they bought a sandwich or meal, but that percentage jumped to 13% for younger consumers ages 18 to 34.
“The numbers clearly show the growing trend of consumers seeking out food and beverages as part of their fueling experience. While retailers know they need to aggressively compete on gas prices—67% of Americans say they will drive 5 minutes out of their way to save 5 cents per gallon—it also shows that there are other ways to compete for customers with a quality in-store offer,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard.
Gasoline demand in 2016 reached a record 9.32 million barrels per day, but only 33% of American drivers report that they drove more in 2016. For those who say they drove more, 41% cited their job as the main reason, as opposed to only 8% who cited gas prices.
Others findings from the survey results include:
The survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,114 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed January 4-6, 2017.