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Not Your Average Pit Stop

Who doesn’t love a good gas station hotdog? For a lot of people, the answer to that question is, “Umm, ME. I don’t love a “good” gas station hotdog.” For Millennials, the gas station and convenience store niche is booming. Whether it’s due to the actual convenience of these stores or changes in who does the shopping in their households, 11 percent of food purchased by everyone’s favorite generation is from their favorite gas station.

Getting Fresh

Grocers are taking note of this trend and moving to acquire, construct or otherwise cobble together their own convenience locations in order to attract this notable percentage of shoppers. With an emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetable purchases, including the odd and questionable snack-sized sushi sighting, retailers are seeing increased snack traffic through the hours of 3p.m. and6 p.m. This has led to greater selections of fresh food and pre-packaged options for folks looking to satisfy their post-lunch/pre-dinner cravings.

Party at the Fuel Pumps, Bro

Aside from upgrades to grocery selections, these locations are also adding a bit of flair to the mix. Recently, a Convenience store/Café/Market super-mega-gas station-oasis-thing in Brunswick, Ohio, held a grand-opening party with television personalities and a guest list that rivaled most wedding receptions in length. We’ve all heard that marketing to younger generations can be difficult. Most of us have tried something increasingly wacky to interest those groups. But, a star-studded grand opening for a pit stop shopping center has to be on the list of things we considered to be horrible 2a.m. napkin scribblings, right?

Well, with the exclusion of gas, tobacco and alcohol, food and beverage purchases at these munchie-meccas account for over 35 percent of total sales. I’m not very good at math, but that’s a much larger number than I would have expected based on only 11 percent of total food purchases.

 

I’ll keep crunching the numbers, right after I finish crunching some gas station taquitos.

After graduating from the University of Missouri – Kansas City with degrees in Sociology and Anthropology, I enlisted in the United States Navy to see the world and gain life experience that a classroom couldn’t offer. Upon completion of my contract as an engineer, I began the pursuit of my scholastic passion for writing by enrolling in a Master of Arts program in Communication and by working in field-related internship programs to reintroduce myself to the industry that I’d been apart from while serving. When I’m not at work, I like to continue my role as a student of life by engaging in philanthropic endeavors with Kansas City area non-profit groups and by serving as the Co-Chairman of the KC IABC Young Professionals Organization.

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