AACS has reported that the Convenience channel has maintained the strong growth seen in 2014, with sales growing by 4.6%, or $171 million, in the first half of 2015.

While Non Food excluding Tobacco sales were down 0.3% in 2014, there has been early signs of success in 2015, AACS reporting with 1.6% growth. OPAL and GO card – NSW and QLDs respective transport ticket cards – are considered the primary drivers of growth in sales, but there have also been stronger gift card sales.

As in 2014, Tobacco is considered to be a driving factor in Non Food, thanks to the price increases resulting from the excise tax. Sales growth continues to be strong at 6.4% or $89 million dollars in additional sales, however, this growth is slowing relative to last year’s growth of +8.9%.

The 4.5% growth in Food Sales (up 3.2% on 2014) can mostly be attributed to a significant improvement in the performance of ‘On The Go Food’, which has grown 11.2% this year. However, there has also been improvement in confectionery performance with growth of 5.3% this year so far, compared to 1.0% last year.

While Beverages continue to slow, increasing at only 2.7% this year compared to 3.55 in 2014, some key segments have shown that there is potential for success. Hot Drinks experienced sales growth of 30%, furthering the strong performance of 2014 – this is most likely the result of strong coffee offerings across the nation. Ice Coffee is another strong performer, growing at 14% this year, an increase of 3.7% on 2014.

Golden Gaytime has been the success story for Ice Cream, growing at 7.0%, compared to the rest of the category, which has flattened to -0.4% versus a year ago. This is most likely thanks to recent media attention after the release of the tub range and flavour extensions.

So far, then, it looks like 2015 will be a bumper year for Convenience channel sales.

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