Over a quarter of forecourt shoppers come for planned top-ups, report shows

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The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of the convenience store offering within a forecourt as planned top-up is what drives most shoppers to the stores, a new report has revealed.

According to the UK Forecourt Market Report 2021 of Lumina Intelligence, over a quarter of shoppers (26%) visit forecourts on planned top-ups, whereas the number of those on fuel mission is just 9 per cent, same as those on distress top-up.

Food to go (16%) and newsagent (11%) are the other key missions that are driving shoppers to forecourts.

“Strict restrictions on movement and travel over the last year have severely impacted the forecourt sector and forced operators and retailers to adapt in order to generate sales and footfall. With fuel sales down, a forecourt’s convenience store offering has never been more important,” Alice Dolling, insight lead at Lumina Intelligence, said.

The most popular categories purchased on the planned top-up mission are bakery (45%), chilled foods (exc. milk) (44%), fresh fruit and veg (35%) and tinned or packaged grocery (32%), the report has found.

Besides, forecourt shoppers are 51 per cent more likely to distinguish between stores through an in-store bakery offer and 44 per cent more likely through choice of food to go, compared to convenience average, it noted.

“Ranging should be targeting top up missions through the expansion of ambient food ranges, whilst chilled ready meals are key to serving meal occasion missions as forecourt shoppers are more likely to b elooking for quick and easy solutions,” Dolling added.

Compared to the total convenience average, on average forecourt shoppers visit three times per week (+0.6), purchase 3.7 items per visit (+0.2) and spend £15.18 (+£3.77), the report has shown.