​Younger Consumers Are Driving Two Big C-store Trends

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​Younger Consumers Are Driving Two Big C-store Trends


SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Younger cohorts are more receptive to cannabis products and in-store automation than expected, according to TrendSource's end-of-year Convenience Store Industry Report.

As cannabis-derived products, particularly CBD products, begin to appear in more convenience stores, operators shouldn't be weary that such products alienate certain or current consumers. In fact, the market research firm's report suggests that non-cannabis users are comfortable shopping in a c-store with such products.

The only resistance c-store cannabis products face come from the silent generation, where opposition to cannabis remains firm. In every younger generation from baby boomers to Generation Z, respondents noted enthusiasm and comfort shopping in c-stores carrying cannabis and CBD products.

Issues surrounding in-store automation similarly break along generational lines with younger consumers proving far more interest in and comfortable with frictionless checkout and other technological innovations. Older consumers, particularly in the silent generation, expressed concern about automation obviating in-store employees. While millennials similarly expressed concern about this potential, the majority proved willing to overlook this so long as automation makes their in-store experience more convenient.

While there may be some resistance to implementing technologies to streamline the checkout process, this resistance will likely prove short-lived. As these technologies become prominent thanks to Amazon Go, c-store operators should begin considering the most efficient and effective ways to begin going frictionless, according to TrendSource.

"As convenience stores enter the next decade market research will become increasingly important to ensure new initiatives are properly implemented in order to stay ahead in a very competitive landscape," stated TrendSource Vice President of Business Development Sarah Rowlett.

TrendSource's Convenience Store Industry Report focuses on generational differences: how different age cohorts understand the issues facing c-stores, what they want, and how convenience stores can plan for a millennial-driven future while ensuring they do not alienate their Gen X and baby boomer base. The full report is available here.