Whether operating a transient or a neighbourhood site, soft drinks are big sellers for forecourt stores. But whatever the location, in a competitive market it’s vital to understand the most relevant shopper missions that drive consumers to the store, helping owners to tailor their offerings to better meet consumer needs, improve the shopping experience and ultimately increase sales.

Let’s look at how to make the most of some of the most common shopper missions:


The main mission for shoppers visiting a forecourt store is to buy food-to-go . Indeed, forecourt stores over-index on food-to-go missions versus convenience stores1.

Brand, price and quality are the top considerations for shoppers here, with many forecourt stores delivering a much better choice than in the past. Drivers on journeys dropping into transient sites will be looking for fast, easy-to-eat options, while neighbourhood shoppers may have a bit more time on their hands and will peruse the aisle looking for something to tempt them.

Pre-packaged sandwiches still perform well, but freshly made sandwiches to order and hot food options can encourage shoppers to keep coming back on a regular basis.

While lunch is king in the food-to-go category, breakfast is another important mission for forecourt stores, with many people relying on them thanks to their location and/or their 24-hour or early opening.

Meal deals are a great way to showcase value to shoppers, particularly if they include a big brand-name soft drink. Cola and energy drinks are the priorities for shoppers, but fruit-based soft drinks – such as Robinsons Ready to Drink – and fizzy and flavoured water can also help drive sales. Format is important too, with drivers often keen to have an easily portable resealable bottle while shoppers returning to the office or home might prefer a can.

Forecourt Trader image


With inflation and economic pressures affecting what people buy and how much they spend, more people are looking to enjoy an indulgent dinner at home2 versus treating themselves to a night out. Quality is key for this shopper who is looking to bring the restaurant experience to their home – especially for couples and the over-45s. Premium meal-for-tonight deals can prove beneficial here, helping to increase basket spend.

With 21% of shoppers buying soft drinks and 16% buying alcohol as part of their meal-for-tonight3, there is room for growth here when a main meal, dessert and drink are all packaged up easily. It’s therefore a good opportunity to upsell with premium soft drinks, such as J2O, to bring the out-of-home dining experience into the living room.


Top-up shops are still the number one reason for footfall across convenience stores4, which of course includes many forecourt outlets. To capitalise on this, ensure you have a range of everyday essentials and fresh food, and cater for the growing treat segment. Alongside staples such as bread and milk, meals are a growing part of planned top-up missions, both in-store and for home delivery. While health is a consideration in 23% of planned top-up shops5, there is a focus on finding quick and easy meal solutions that are both affordable and satisfying.


Treat missions are on the rise6, with shoppers most likely to purchase sweet and savoury snacks, chilled products and food-to-go7. Crisps and chocolate are the most popular treat items, alongside soft drinks8, with single cans popular for those looking for a small pick-me-up.

buying wine gift

Entertainment and the Big Night In

Whether an impromptu barbeque or a drinks and nibbles get-together, forecourt stores can be a lifesaver for shoppers on entertainment missions. Alcohol, soft drinks and crisps are staples of this occasion, with larger soft drink bottles ideal for sharing. When it comes to the Big Night In, chocolate, confectionery and ice cream all perform well, with people looking for indulgent treats to go alongside a movie or a catch-up with friends and family.


Gifting missions make up a small proportion of total convenience visits, but there are opportunities to tap into. Consider stocking gifting items, such as boxes of chocolates or even wine/fizz gifting bags all year round. And there is scope to maximise sales around seasonal occasions such as Easter and Christmas, where people will make more last-minute trips to the local store (which can often be a forecourt store) to pick-up a present. Consider packaging up hampers for seasonal occasions too, putting complementary products together for an easy win.

At your convenience…

For the most up-to-date info on the soft drinks category and tips on how to grow your soft drink sales, Britvic has developed the At Your Convenience website. It is a one-stop-shop where you can access expert advice and get your hands on free POS kits. Sign up today at www.atyourconvenience.com


[1] Mintel & Lumina Intelligence CTP 52w/e 08.01.23

[2] Lumina Intelligence CTP – 52 w/e 08.01.23

[3] Mintel & Lumina Intelligence CTP 52w/e 08.01.23

[4] Lumina Intelligence Convenience Tracking Programme, 52 w/e 09.01.22 and 52 w/e 08.01.23

[5]Lumina Intelligence Convenience Tracking Programme, 12 w/e 08.01.23

[6] Lumina Intelligence Convenience Tracking Programme, 52 w/e 09.01.22 and 52 w/e 08.01.23

[7] IGD, December 2022

[8] Lumina Intelligence Convenience Tracking Programme, 52 w/e 08.01.23