Pandemic Boon to Gas and Convenience Stores Reversing

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Pollara Strategic Insights has partnered with Caddle to launch Convenience & Gas Shopper Intelligence – a new syndicated study that provides subscribers with unprecedented insights into C&G shopper patterns throughout the pandemic and onwards.  Since April 8, 2020, our study has been tracking these shoppers’ behaviours and attitudes. The wave one results – compiled over multiple surveys through April to June – are now available.

During the peak of the pandemic, C&G stores were used by many as an alternative to shopping for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) in traditional grocery stores., but as pandemic numbers decrease, so too does the incidence of C&G shoppers.

In April, 78% of adult Canadians were shopping FMCG in C&G stores. During this month, the incidence was higher among shoppers from younger generations (86% among Gen Z, 83% among Millennials).

In June, as COVID-19 restrictions eased, the percentage dropped to 70%. The share of younger Canadians shopping in C&G dropped to 72% among Gen Z and 78% among Millennials.

In general, during the past 3 months, shoppers’ price sensitivity has increased. However, this is less of a concern for regular C&G shoppers who are willing to pay more given C&G stores’ location and ease of shopping.  Amongst those not shopping in C&G stores, higher prices and the perception that C&G stores are not as clean or safe as traditional grocery stores are among the top barriers.

During April and May, the items most purchased in C&G stores were food essentials, such as bread and milk. In the past month, purchases of these items have decreased significantly.

As summer unveils and pandemic numbers remain stable, products within the categories of RTD/cold drinks, confectionery, snacks in general, and lottery, rise to the top as the items most purchased.

How will C&G shoppers’ attitudes and behaviours change as we move into a new normal? How will a resurgence of COVID-19 impact current trends?  Future waves of this study will highlight for subscribers how to prepare for, cater to, and maintain new C&G shoppers.

For more insights, including profiles of key C&G shopper segments, download the full report. If you are interested in subscribing to future C&G Shopper Intelligence quarterly reports, please contact  

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