Do Health-Minded Convenience Store Shoppers Really Exist?

Angela Hanson
Senior Editor
Angela Hanson profile picture

NATIONAL REPORT — Many convenience stores have enhanced their fresh-food and better-for-you offerings in recent years, but the channel is still often associated with unhealthy and indulgent foods and beverages. Yet, findings from the exclusive 2018 Convenience Store News Realities of the Aisle study show that consumers who view themselves as “health conscious” can and do shop at c-stores.

This means c-store retailers have an opportunity to expand sales — but to be successful, they must understand who health-conscious shoppers are and what they really want.


Health-conscious convenience store shoppers do differ from those who view themselves as “definitely not health conscious” or “neutral” on the topic. However, they don't differ significantly in how often they visit c-stores. Fifty-one percent of health-conscious consumers shop for in-store merchandise and/or foodservice at a c-store once a week, compared to 50 percent of health-neutral shoppers and 48 percent of non-health-conscious shoppers.

While more than a quarter of health-conscious c-store shoppers say they are "very" or "extremely" satisfied with the selection of healthier/better-for-you foods and beverages currently available at convenience stores (27 percent), a significantly larger amount (45 percent) are only somewhat satisfied with what's available, and 28 percent say they are unsatisfied, indicating there is room for improvement in the average c-store’s heathy product offering.

More than half of consumers who self-identify as “health conscious” typically shop at convenience stores during the dinnertime daypart. And more so than other shoppers, health-conscious consumers typically shop at c-stores while running other errands, while traveling for pleasure, or on special trips from home.

When they buy prepared food, health-conscious consumers show a slight preference for made-to-order food (43 percent) over prepackaged/grab-and-go food (39 percent).

C-stores should also consider what other items health-conscious consumers are likely to purchase as add-ons with prepared food. More than four in 10 (41 percent) said they purchased bottled water with prepared food in the last month, compared to just 31 percent of health-neutral shoppers and 28 percent of non-health conscious shoppers.

Look in the February issue of Convenience Store News for more findings from our exclusive 2018 Realities of the Aisle consumer study.

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