In the first quarter of 2023, U.S. inflation slowed, as did price-per-unit increases in the convenience and multi-outlet channels. In response, consumers felt continued financial anxiety along with optimism for the future.
Circana’s new report, “The Convenience Store Landscape Q1 2023,” explores the latest trends in the convenience channel and how they compare to the broader MULO landscape. It also shares the top private label, foodservice, and price and promotion tactics that c-store retailers should employ to drive growth in the coming months.
- Convenience channel YOY sales growth accelerated in Q1 2023 (+4.7% vs. +3.4% in 2022) while MULO continued to outpace all other channels with 7.5% growth.
- C-store shopper count (+4.3%) and trip count (+7.4%) continued to show YOY growth.
- Channel YOY private label sales dollar growth (+7%) did not keep pace with national brands (+11%) in comparable categories in Q1 2023. But 80% of consumers plan to purchase more value brands in the next six months — highlighting a strong retailer opportunity.
- C-stores have seen a YOY decline in foodservice traffic, while that traffic has increased in QSR. Retailers should monitor trending items and leakage across the foodservice categories to capture share from QSR competitors.
- Retailers should closely manage price and promotions in the coming months to retain shoppers and limit leakage to mass and other competitive channels.