The expansion of the grocery aisle in petrol and convenience

It’s no longer about consumers running out of a grocery item and popping down to their ‘local servo’. It’s about suppliers capitalising on a consumer with a wider purchase decision making process in a convenient store format. In my eyes, it’s the ultimate inception point. 

As an FMCG specialist, my thoughts are that it’s not just about supplying great products. It’s about understanding consumer preferences and adapting swiftly to meet their needs. You need to innovate, differentiate, and deliver value to drive success in the exciting world of petrol and convenience.

The expansion of grocery offerings in petrol and convenience presents a lucrative opportunity for suppliers aiming to secure ranging and capitalise on shifting consumer behaviours. As P&C retailers strive to boost non-fuel earnings to over 50 per cent of their total revenue, understanding and catering to consumer preference and behaviour is paramount for suppliers looking to thrive in this market.

Understanding the product landscape is essential

Value and Convenience: Consumers are increasingly prioritising convenience and affordability, whether it’s for their morning coffee, on-the-go lunches, or quick snacks. Meal solutions catering to busy lifestyles such as easy lunch or dinner alternatives are gaining traction.

Emphasis on Healthier Choices: Industry data confirms consumer’s heightened awareness of the nutritional content of their food is leading them to make conscious efforts to choose healthier options with offerings such as grain-based snacks and protein snacks, which are the top two segments in health snack food. Products that are suitable for various dietary requirements/preferences are also increasing in demand.

Customer offer leaders OTR stand out with their extensive jerky range, featuring brands like Byron Beef Jerky, known for high protein and gluten free options. Suppliers will benefit by aligning with the growing demand for healthier options and look to see if they can update their recipes or launch new products that align with dietary needs – gluten free, dairy free etc.

Exclusive Ranges and Flavours: Like the well-known Slurpee offering at 7 Eleven, exclusive ranges or flavours can drive customer excitement and loyalty, setting retailers apart from their competitors. Suppliers can take advantage of this by offering new and innovative products exclusively to a specific retailer for an agreed period of time.

Strategies for Success

Drive Customer Loyalty Through Value: Offering value meal combinations and enticing promotions such as fuel or coffee plus offers can attract customers seeking affordability and convenience in their purchases.

Innovate and Differentiate: Suppliers should focus on innovation to stand out in a crowded market, offering unique products and experiences that resonate with consumers.

Promotion and Placement: Strategically executing promotions that highlight convenience and value, such as bundle deals like ‘2 for $7.50’ on milk and bread or ‘$1 coffee with every fuel purchase’ can drive sales and customer uptake.

For suppliers, seizing the opportunity presented by the expansion of grocery offerings in P&C will be paramount. By understanding consumer preferences, providing innovative product offerings, driving customer loyalty through value, and forging strategic partnerships with retailers, suppliers can continue to thrive in this market. 

This article was written by Jade Burnett, Sales Team, Consult Group for the April/May issue of Convenience & Impulse Retailing magazine.

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