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Meet the C-store Candy Shopper


NATIONAL REPORT — Candy and gum may be an impulsive purchase for some consumers, adding it to their baskets while making their way to the checkout counter, or even while at the counter. But for other consumers, their sweet tooth fuels their convenience store visits — whether it’s purchasing candy to feed a nightly indulgence, as an afternoon pick-me-up, or a special daily treat.

The CSNews 2017 Realities of the Aisle consumer study found that in the last month, more than half of the shoppers surveyed (63.8 percent) made a candy or gum purchase from a c-store. Of those who did, females outweighed males 68.8 percent to 60.2 percent, respectively. And not surprisingly, shoppers with children in the household made a candy or gum purchase more than shoppers without kids at home (72.2 percent vs. 57.7 percent, respectively).

Looking at the purchasing habits of c-store candy and gum shoppers, the highest percentage buy twice a month (28.1 percent), followed by once a month (26.3 percent) and then four times a month (14.3 percent). Shoppers aged 25-34 purchase candy or gum the most frequently, averaging 3.4 times per month. The data also shows that even though upper-income shoppers are the most likely to make a candy/gum purchase, they average less buys in a month.

Shoppers spent $8.49, on average, for their candy and gum purchases in the past month. By income, consumers in the $35,000-$49,000 range posted the largest candy spend at $10.24 per month, followed by those with the biggest wallets, the $100,000 or more income bracket, whose monthly average was $10.09.

By age, younger shoppers (aged 18-24) spent $12.66 on candy/gum in a month — a whopping 49 percent more than the average c-store candy and gum shopper.

Even though candy is a popular c-store buy, consumers do tend to make confectionery purchases in other retail channels, too. Sixty-one percent of c-store candy purchasers report buying sweets at supercenters, while 58 percent make candy purchases at supermarkets. Only 5 percent of shoppers are completely loyal to c-stores when it comes to their candy/gum spending. 

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