Tobacco Basket Value at C-stores Is Up 28% From Last Year


ADDISON, Texas — Despite the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, if there's one thing convenience store retailers can rely on it's the tobacco category.

According to the latest Koupon Insights report from Koupon Media, tobacco and its subcategories are demonstrating strong growth from 2019, with dollars per basket growing by an average of 28 percent and units per basket growing by an average of 12 percent.

The variance indicates that: on average, consumers are purchasing more expensive tobacco products and tobacco is price inelastic, according to Koupon Media.

Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and cigars are hovering around average while the vape subcategory experienced 7 percent dollars per basket growth. This minimal growth reflects impacts of the Food and Drug Administration’s 2020 regulatory changes.

Smaller tobacco brands are also seeing above-average increases in dollars per basket growth and units per basket growth. Brands witnessing the most significant growth include:

  • Pipe tobacco company Red Buck experienced 63 percent year-over-year dollars per basket growth and 58 percent units per basket growth.
  • Smokeless brand Kayak experienced a 63 percent increase in dollars per basket.
  • Stokers, a smokeless brand, experienced a 58 percent increase in dollars per basket.

Koupon Media also found that c-stores continue to experience a decrease in trips with a corresponding increase in dollars per basket. However, sales have returned to growth on a year-over-year basis. While trips are down 16 percent, dollars per basket continue to hover near 20 percent.

Addison-based Koupon Media works with brands to deploy personalized, channel-wide promotions, and helps retailers to secure additional brand trade spending and grow shopper engagement. Since its founding in 2011, it's delivered more than 4 billion offers.