Private Label Penetration Remains Low At C-Stores

October 12, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Brand Metrics | CPG & FMCG | Men | Mobile Phone | Retail & E-Commerce

Unlike at supermarkets, drugstores, and other channels, private label brands have not made much of an imprint at convenience stores, finds Nielsen [download page] in an October 2012 report. In the 52-week period ending August 4, 2012, just 2.4% of C-store sales were private label goods, and that’s consistent with previous years. By contrast, private labels have accounted for 18-19% of supermarket sales in the past 3 years, and around 15% of drug store sales. The report suggests this is at least partly due to name brands in several categories doing much of their business from C-stores. These categories include tobacco and accessories, beer, and carbonated drinks.

Yogurt Tops Fastest-Growing Categories List

Looking at which categories have seen the fastest change in dollar sales over that 52-week period ending August 4, Nielsen reveals that yogurt (+57%) tops the list, with non-carbonated soft drinks (50%) and fresh produce (35%) also seeing strong growth. These categories have seen relatively smaller growth (10%, 6%, and 5%, respectively) across all outlets including convenience and gas stores.

A list of the top 10 CPG growth categories in the US during the same time period can be found here.

C-Store Sales Skew Towards Males

Nielsen’s “Growing Appetite for C-Stores” report also profiles the convenience store customer, finding that more than half of C-store sales are to customers with household incomes below $40,000 per year, and that 73% of sales are to customers without kids. About two-thirds of sales come from households with 2 members or less, and roughly one-quarter are male-only households. In fact, during 2011, men accounted for 54% of shopping trips to convenience stores, while at the same time accounting for a minority of trips to other retail channels such as groceries (37%), drugstores (32%), and supermarkets (31%).

These male customers might be comfortable making purchases on their mobile phones: according to Paradigm Sample survey results also released in October, 71% of convenience store shoppers would be wiling to use mobile wallets to pay for items. (It is worth noting that the panel base is mobile-recruited and largely comprised of 18-34-year-olds.)

Other Findings:

  • Convenience stores have seen a 4.9% increase in sales during the 52-week period ending in August 4, outpacing the growth rate for drugstores (2.5%) and supermarkets (1.5%), per the Nielsen report.
  • African-Americans customers account for 17% of convenience store sales, while Asian households account for just 1% share.

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