U.S. inflation lessened in the closing months of 2022, but price-per-unit increases continued in the convenience and multi-outlet retailer (MULO) channels. Convenience channel YOY dollar sales growth slowed in Q4 2022 to 3.3%, far lower than the 9.5% MULO growth that outpaced all other channels for the quarter.
IRI’s new report, “The Convenience Store Landscape Q4 2022,” explores the latest trends in the convenience channel and takes a detailed look at how those trends compare to the broader MULO landscape. It also shares the most promising growth opportunities for c-store retailers in this environment.
- The convenience channel increased YOY sales dollars by 3.3% for the year, but its dollar share of MULO+C decreased to 17.6% in 2022 from 18.2% in 2021.
- As in previous quarters, the convenience channel outperformed MULO in Q4 2022 versus Q4 2021 in cigarette (-4.5% vs. -6.3%) and beer (+5.1% vs. +2.2%) sales.
- Customers averaged 7.5% more c-store trips in 2022 versus 2021, but dollars and units per trip are down for most recent months.
- Promotional depth and frequency will be critical in 2023 as consumers prioritize sales and deals.
- Private label dollar share in c-stores grew YOY from 9.4% to 9.9% but lags other retail channels. Increased assortments and low opening price points in key categories can spur additional growth in 2023.
- Growth in c-store foodservice breakfast traffic outpaced QSR restaurants in 2022. Expanded fresh offerings and combo meals can further boost share in this valuable daypart.