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Couche-Tard Highlights Foodservice & Loyalty Programs in Challenging Q4 FY24

The parent company of Circle K focuses on value in the face of inflation and consumer pressures.
Melissa Kress
Alimenation Couche-Tard logos

LAVAL, Quebec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. reported some bright spots in the fourth quarter of its 2024 fiscal year, including growth in loyalty and success in foodservice. 

"No doubt this was another challenging quarter with persistent inflation and continued pressure on consumers who are carefully watching their spending. However, we believe this is transitory and we remain very optimistic about our business," Couche-Tard President and CEO Brian Hannasch said during the company's earnings call on June 26. 

"Even with recent softness in same-store sales, overall they've been steadily growing globally over the last two years, particularly in the U.S., which saw a 2.8% growth on a two-year stack for the quarter," he added. 

Hannasch's remarks came after announcing that he is retiring after 25 years with the Laval-based convenience company. Effective Sept. 6, he will hand over the leadership role to Alex Miller, current chief operating officer. Hannasch will remain a special advisor to the board of directors for the next couple of years, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. 

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In the face of continued pressures on consumers, Couche-Tard delivered value to its customers and saw its Inner Circle loyalty program reach more than 6.3 million fully enrolled customers as it ended fiscal year 2024. 

"Across the 30 states with the membership program, we're seeing visit frequency and spends per member growing consistently month over month," Hannasch pointed out. "Florida, which is our first business unit on the program, finished its inaugural year with about 20% of customer transactions linked to our Inner Circle program."

In Europe, the updated Extra loyalty program ended the year with strong key metrics across the board. "Nearly half of all fuel volume is coming through Extra, and merchandise penetration is also seeing year-over-year growth with close to 30% of our merchandise sales attributed to Extra members," the chief executive said. 

"The program has just launched in Ireland and we're exploring ways to expand it into our new European countries. Both programs enable us to offer personalized value to our most important customers," Hannasch explained.

Food & Drink

Couche-Tard is also growing its Fresh Food, Fast program — in both reach and offerings. 

The foodservice platform is now available in nearly 5,800 Couche-Tard locations globally and, according to Hannasch, the company's operations teams continue to focus on improving profitability and reducing spoilage. To that end, the company implemented a new production planning tool that improves the accuracy of forecasting, allowing store teams to better identify what products are needed and at what times of day. 

"We're seeing strong sales and satisfaction with our freshly prepared cookie program, and we've introduced some great LTOs [limited-time offers], including our Kong Breakfast Slamwich with triple meat and double cheese this quarter," he said. "We've also completed the rollout of our global digital food safety program, which earned a Foodservice Innovator of the Year industry award recently."

Convenience Store News in its 2024 Foodservice Innovators Awards presented Couche-Tard with the Silver Medal for Best Use of Technology in Foodservice Operations. 

Additionally, the company has launched several summer campaigns to drive traffic and deliver value. At participating locations in the U.S., customers can purchase any size Polar Pop or Froster for 79 cents. For Inner Circle members, the price drops to 69 cents. 

[Read more: Circle K Puts Dispensed Beverages in Summer Spotlight]

The parent company of Circle K also added an exclusive Gatorade flavor called Lightning Blast, which has contributed to overall growth in sports drinks. 


Even with some wins inside the store, Couche-Tard faced struggles on the forecourt. As Hannasch reported, same-store road transportation fuel volumes in the fourth quarter of FY24 decreased 1.6% in the U.S., 1.7% in Europe and 3.5% in Canada. 

"In our fuel business, we have a strong leadership position across most of our markets and our margins remain healthy. We also continue to build value for our customers and businesses through the optimization of our supply chain globally," Hannasch said. "In this quarter, low market volatility persisted, which is not optimal for our results, but our supply trading logistics teams are working to find new opportunities to improve supply optionality and increase arbitrage capture."

Notable Q4 FY24 Numbers

For its fourth quarter, Couche-Tard reported merchandise and service revenues of $4.1 billion, a decrease of 1.7%. Same-store merchandise revenues decreased by 0.5% in the United States, 2% in Europe and other regions, and 3.4% in Canada, all impacted by constraints on discretionary spending due to challenging economic conditions for low-income consumers.

Merchandise and service gross margin remained stable in the U.S. at 34.1%. This metric decreased 1.7% in Europe and other regions to 39.2%, mainly due to the integration of certain European retail assets from TotalEnergies SE, which have a different product mix than the operations in Europe and other regions. Merchandise and service gross margin increased by 0.8% in Canada to 34.9%.

Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and mobility, operating in 31 countries and territories with more than 16,700 stores, of which approximately 13,100 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States, and is a leader in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, Belgium, as well as in Ireland. It also has an important presence in Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, as well as in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. 

About the Author

Melissa Kress

Melissa Kress

Melissa Kress is Executive Editor of Convenience Store News. She joined the brand in 2010. Melissa handles much of CSNews' hard news coverage, such as mergers and acquisitions and company financial reports, and the technology beat. She is also one of the industry's leading media experts on the tobacco category.

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