According to a new report published by dunnhumby, a leader in customer data science, QuikTrip, Wawa, and Sheetz are the top retailers in the $654.3 billion U.S. convenience market. The Retailer Preference Index for the Convenience Channel (RPI) surveyed nearly 7,000 U.S. households to determine which of the top 27 c-store retailers have the strongest combination of financial performance and consumer emotional connection. The retailers with the highest overall index scores are: 1) QuikTrip, 2) Wawa, 3) Sheetz, 4) Kwik Trip/Kwik Star, 5) RaceTrac, 6) Casey’s General Stores, and 7) Maverik.

“There is a raging battle for the stomach that is being fought not only by grocery retailers, fast-food restaurants, and food delivery services, but also now by convenience stores. The convenience retailers winning today and substantially growing are catering to the time-starved consumer by offering not only groceries, but also quality fresh and ready-to-eat food,” said Jose Gomes, president of North America for dunnhumby.

The RPI study explored the evolving food retail landscape to help retailers navigate an increasingly challenging market. The overall RPI ranking evaluated retailer performance on five pillars: convenient quality, price, fresh and healthy, discounts and rewards, and digital.

The survey also revealed that the biggest difference in c-store retailers from those at the top and bottom of the ranking is size. Smaller regional retailers outperform most of the national retailers by better adapting to the evolving needs of their customers. Additionally, focusing on fresh, healthy, and ready-to-eat items are the biggest differentiators for top performing retailers. The top four convenience retailer in the RPI—QuikTrip, Wawa, Sheetz, and Kwik Trip—have made foodservice a priority and a key differentiator from other convenience stores. But by also focusing on fresh, they are positioning themselves to be able to steal trips from supermarkets and quick-service restaurants.

Cross-shopping is on the rise between the convenience, grocery, dollar, drug, and quick-serve restaurant channels. Nearly seven out of 10 convenience customers regularly shop each of the other channels each month. Category differences appear to somewhat buffer convenience from drug and the growing dollar channels.

Press release

More News right arrow

Apeel Sciences receives $250 million in financing

Startup company Apeel Sciences has announced $250 million in new financing led by GIC.

Startup PeaTos launches BetterSnacks.com on heels of PepsiCo’s Snacks.com launch

To compete with PepsiCo's new direct-to-consumer websites, the startup brand PeaTos launched BetterSnacks.com this week.

President Trump signs executive order to make U.S. seafood industry more competitive

On May 7, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to “increase America’s competitiveness in the seafood industry and protect our seafood supply chain.”

Danone Manifesto Ventures invests $10 million in Laird Superfood

Laird Superfood has closed a $10 million financing round, funded entirely by Danone Manifesto Ventures (DMV), the corporate venture arm of Danone, to support its growth initiatives.

Aleph Farms commits to being carbon-neutral by 2025

Aleph Farms, the maker of cell-cultured meat, has announced its new sustainability strategy: to eliminate emissions associated with its meat production by 2025 and reach the same net-zero emissions across its entire supply chain by 2030.

IFT Weekly Newsletter

Rich in industry news and highlights, the Weekly Newsletter delivers the goods in to your inbox every Wednesday.

Subscribe for free