Convenience Store News

Consumer Insights Guide 2017

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56 Guide to Consumer Insights | FEBRUARY 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Tobacco T he legal minimum age to buy cigarettes is increasing in municipalities across the country, and state lawmakers continue to rely on higher tobacco excise taxes to fund health care initiatives and budget shortfalls. Still, despite being a product that always comes under fire, cigarettes remains a significant cat- egory for convenience stores. This year's CSNews Realities of the Aisle research shows that when you look at the average dollars spent per month by category, cig- arettes comes in second at $79.43 spent per month — trailing only behind gasoline at $96.81. This is particularly notable con- sidering that although c-stores have the reputation of "Cokes-and-smokes" outlets, only about one quarter of total respondents (23.1 percent) in CSNews' study of convenience store shoppers said they purchased cigarettes at a convenience store in the past month. FREQUENT VS. INFREQUENT SHOPPERS (Per Month) FREQUENT INFREQUENT C-STORE SHOPPER C-STORE SHOPPER % who purchase cigarettes 28.4% 13.4% # of times 9.25 4.79 Avg. $ spent $86.50 $52.20 Frequent defined as daily or weekly shopper. Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2017 The number of c-store cigarette purchasers was split evenly among men and women, however the figures were highest among lower-income buyers (28.8 per- cent), 45- to 54-year-olds (27.2 percent), and consum- ers in the South (25.2 percent). Cigarettes outpace other tobacco products in the convenience channel. For example, only 6.6 percent of consumers purchased cigars or snus at a convenience store in the past month, and an even lower 3.2 percent purchased electronic cigarettes. Picking up a pack at a c-store five to nine times a month seems to be the most popular frequency. However, 19 percent of c-store cigarette buyers are making such purchases 15 or more times a month. This figure reaches 28.4 percent among consumers in the Northeast. For those who do shop for cigarettes outside the convenience channel, they are buying at tobacco stores (28.4 percent), supermarkets (23.5 percent) and super- centers (19.9 percent). To appeal to cigarette buyers, it's vital to have a convenient location, as 56.3 percent of smokers point to this as their top influencer. Location is fol- lowed by consumers who stick with one brand (43.4 percent), and those looking for a good price/value (37.6 percent). — Melissa Kress BY GENDER: TOTAL MALE FEMALE (Base) (327) (191) (136) 1 time 10.1% 12.0% 7.4% 2 times 14.4 14.7 14.0 3 times 11.9 7.9 17.6 4 times 10.1 9.9 10.3 5-9 times 22.3 23.6 20.6 10-14 times 12.2 12.0 12.5 15 or more times 19.0 19.9 17.6 Mean 8.32 8.27 8.40 Median 5.43 5.55 5.13 Base: Purchased cigarettes at a c-store in the past month Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2017 CHILDREN IN HOUSEHOLD TOTAL YES NO (Base) (327) (155) (172) It was a convenient location 56.3% 53.5% 58.7% I always buy the same brand 43.4% 46.5% 40.7% It was a good price/value 37.6% 31.0% 43.6% It was a special promotion for brand 15.6% 15.5% 15.7% Other stores don't carry cigarettes 2.1% 1.3% 2.9% Other 2.4% 1.9% 2.9% Base: Purchased cigarettes at a c-store in the past month Multiple responses accepted Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2017 How many times in the past month did you purchase cigarettes at a convenience store? Which factor(s) influenced your last cigarette purchase at a convenience store?

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