Kwik Trip Leads Ranking of Top Gas Station Brands in U.S.

A Kwik Trip convenience store and gas station

BOSTON — The convenience channel is changing the definition of a gas station, and several top brands are leading the charge.

After reviewing nearly 7 million reviews in the GasBuddy app, the GasBuddy's 2018 Top Gas Station Brands in the U.S. report reveals which gas station and convenience store brands had the best-of-the-best experience.

Taking the No. 1 spot is La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip Inc. With more than 560 convenience stores in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, Kwik Trip swept the rankings by capturing the highest ratings and reviews in four of the six GasBuddy categories: cleanliness, outdoor lighting, restrooms and overall experience.

"Gas may be the primary reason consumers stop at the gas station, but it's everything else that keeps them coming back," said Frank Beard, convenience store and retail trends analyst at GasBuddy. "GasBuddy ratings and reviews data show that customer service, food, and amenities are the top factors in generating positive reviews. All the brands that made our list this year demonstrate how the industry continues to move towards being a destination for fresh food, clean facilities, and excellent customer service."

Rounding out the Top 10 are:

  • Cenex. The Inver Grove Heights, Minn.-based company placed second in the overall category and in three individual categories including cleanliness, outdoor lighting and restrooms. It received top marks in customer service.
  • Kum & Go LC. Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, Kum & Go placed in five of the six categories, including cleanliness (third), customer service (fifth), outdoor lighting (four), restrooms (four) and overall experience (third).
  • Casey's General Stores Inc. The Ankeny, Iowa-based retailer placed in the following categories: overall (fourth), cleanliness (fifth), outdoor lighting (fifth) and restrooms (third).
  • Cumberland Farms. The Westborough, Mass.-based retailer took the fifth overall spot and placed first for gas station coffee.
  • Irving. With more than 325 locations in New England, Canadian-based Irving placed sixth overall in the U.S. market and ranked high in cleanliness (fourth), coffee (second) and outdoor lighting (third).
  • Kwik Fill. Operated by Warren, Pa.-based United Refining Co., the retailer ranked seventh overall and took third place in customer service.
  • Holiday StationStores. The West Bloomington, Minn.-based division of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. landed at No. 8 overall and No. 5 in the gas station coffee category.
  • Sinclair Oil Corp. Based in Salt Lake City, the company placed ninth overall and fourth in customer service.
  • Maverik Inc. Also based in Salt Lake City, Maverik finished out the Top 10 and placed fifth for top-rated restrooms.

According to the GasBuddy ratings and reviews data, the top factors that generate positive sentiment in customer reviews at gas station convenience stores include customer service in the top spot, followed by food and amenities.

Conversely, the top categories that generate negative sentiment in customer reviews are customer service, gas/diesel pumps and amenities.

In addition, the top keywords in customer reviews include "gas station," "customer service," "friendly staff" and "gas prices."

The categories that received the most ratings in 2018 were overall experience, outdoor lighting and customer service.

The states with the highest average number of ratings per station in 2018 were Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

To read the full report, click here.

For the national report, Boston-based GasBuddy's data science team compiled ratings and reviews data from Jan. 1 – Dec.31, 2018, considering stations with more than 250 locations in the United States.