Forecourts have a higher weekly spend and frequency than the average convenience shop, revealed Flora Zwolinski, senior insight manager at Lumina Intelligence, at Forecourt Trader’s Summit 2022.
Using data from the company’s convenience tracking programme, Zwolinksi said forecourts were also more likely to be used for food-to-go opportunities which can be maximised further by investing in home delivery.
“One thing to point out is that there’s been a real big shift in consumer interaction with forecourts more recently, compared to a year ago,” she said. “So this data takes an average from 13 December 2020 to 6 February 2022 and compares them to the same period a year ago. What we can see is there’s been a huge increase in frequency at 28%, so shoppers are now visiting forecourts more often than the same time last year. At the same time, average basket size is down 16% to 3.2 items per basket. And this really makes sense if you think this time last year we were in a period of lockdown where shoppers weren’t wanting to go out as much or to leave the house, and therefore they were buying more items per trip than they did. Now we have much more freedom so we can go out on more trips and don’t need to buy quite as much on one trip. But positively for forecourts, what we’re seeing is there’s been a 12% increase in the average weekly spend per consumer at £58.65 on an average week.”
Zwolinski also highlighted the importance of food-to-go opportunities with forecourts, stating they are more likely to be used for these missions than total convenience store shoppers. She said: forecourts are consistently being used for food to go missions much more than your typical convenience shopper. As restrictions started to ease, both from a forecourt and convenience lens, food to go to mission share increased. This was very much a direct response to a) being able to go out more, but also using forecourts a little less for top up missions because we didn’t necessarily need it. But again, what’s quite interesting here is comparable September time when people were more going back to the office, total convenience wasn’t really being used as much for food to go but there was a real growth in forecourts being used for this, demonstrating this growing area and big opportunity for forecourts.”