Global Convenience Shopper Insights

Global Convenience Shopper Insights Where do shoppers go for food-to-go? • Convenience stores in some countries have had a strong food-to-go offer f...
Author: Edmund Allen
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Global Convenience Shopper Insights

Where do shoppers go for food-to-go? • Convenience stores in some countries have had a strong food-to-go offer for many years (eg USA).

• But food-to-go has been a relatively new development for operators in other countries, including the UK. Convenience stores even only a decade ago were still “dabbling” in food-to-go, as operators struggled to get their heads around a potentially attractive high margin proposition but one which came with complexities like high wastage, a significant investment in personnel (recruitment, training) and how to market themselves as credible alternatives to existing food-to-go outlets. • It now looks like convenience operators’ efforts have paid off – c-stores are now perceived to be almost as an acceptable place to buy food-to-go as fast-food outlets, and more use c-stores for food-to-go outlets than use traditional food-to-go stores. Twitter: @him_int


Where do shoppers go for food-to-go? • In our first global c-shopper study, 10,000 shoppers were asked which types of outlet they are happy to buy food-to-go from: • 43% of shoppers said a fast-food chain • 39% said a convenience store. • 31% said a food-to-go chain • While 23% cited a petrol forecourt convenience store. • This should come as no surprise, of course – convenience stores have got the outlets, in the right locations, open when shoppers typically want to buy food-togo (mornings, lunchtimes, snack-times, evenings) – all that was lacking in some markets was the credibility in food-to-go. But they’ve got there.

• Obviously some convenience stores and forecourt outlets are in partnerships with national or international food-to-go brands….but by hook-or-by-crook, shoppers now see and use convenience stores as acceptable places to buy FTG the world over Twitter: @him_int


Shoppers all over the world are eating “on the move” Eating on the move is common-place across the globe: • 28% of shoppers say they regularly leave home without eating breakfast. • A similar proportion say buy lunch-on-the-move regularly. • Almost a third admit to snacking regularly through the week. • And over a half of shoppers often don’t know what they are going to have for that night’s dinner until the day itself – these shoppers could well be open to ideas and suggestions from convenience retailers.

That’s a lot of shoppers for c-stores to target across a wide number of different “on the go” eating occasions – full steam ahead! Twitter: @him_int


Which of the following types of store do you buy food to go from? Source: him! international 2014/5 43% 39% 31%


23% 13%

Coffee shop


Food-to-go outlet

Convenience Store

Petrol Forecourt Shop


Note: these are global average figures. Individual country data is available by each of 11 markets Twitter: @him_int

© him! international Ltd 2015. All rights reserved.

Food-to-go from discounters? Really?

What may surprise some people, though, is that 13% of shoppers around the world say they buy food-to-go from discounters. This highlights that discounters are being used for a wide variety of shopper missions – missions which can only be identified by speaking to shoppers. Twitter: @him_int


How many shoppers say they buy food-to-go from a convenience store? UK vs Ireland? 44%



Ireland Twitter: @him_int

© him! international Ltd 2015. All rights reserved.

UK vs Ireland

The benefit of global benchmarking means we can compare the shopper attitudes across countries. What we see is that a higher percentage of Irish shoppers use convenience stores to buy food-to-go than in the UK. We’ve long said that Irish c-stores are amongst the best in the world. If you want to learn more about the Irish convenience store shopper, and see examples of great Irish c-stores, then we have a few places remaining on our “Irish c-stores seminar” on 20th May 2015 in London. For more information or to reserve a place (free of charge) please email [email protected] Twitter: @him_int


28% of shoppers globally regularly leave home without eating breakfast: Source: him! international 2014/5

…with 20% of all shoppers buying breakfast-to-go, or 32% buying lunch-on-the-go, in a month Source: him! international 2014/5 Twitter: @him_int


44% of the world’s population visit a convenience store in a typical month. Source: him! international 2014/5 Have you used one of the following in the last month? % “yes” A main large supermarket A convenience store


A specialist retailer (eg butcher, baker) A smaller store owned by a supermarket

Global average (across 11 nations)

A discounter A local independent store A petrol forecourt store Online - supermarket chain Online - not a supermarket chain

Our research shows that “convenience shopping” takes place in all formats of stores - large and small, not just “convenience stores”. Twitter: @him_int

© him! international Ltd 2015. All rights reserved.

How many shoppers use petrol forecourt stores in a typical month? Almost half the number who use a c-store. Q2. In the last month, have you bought food/groceries/drinks/tobacco from …% from a petrol forecourt shop?

Forecourt stores are increasingly convenience stores which also sell fuel rather than the other way around. 21% Twitter: @him_int

© him! international Ltd 2015. All rights reserved.

Discounters are increasingly a competitive threat to convenience stores - 1/3 of shoppers visit them each month. Source: him! international 2014/5 Q2. In the last month, have you bought food/groceries/drinks/tobacco from …% from a “discounter”?

34% Twitter: @him_int

© him! international Ltd 2015. All rights reserved.

39% of shoppers will buy food-to-go from a convenience store compared to 43% from a fast-food outlet source: him! international 2014/5 Twitter: @him_int


Something new – shopper insights for the convenience proximity retailing channels around the world Twitter: @him_int


The launch of him! international - 2015

Launched to provide shopper insights to global convenience chains and their suppliers: • All retail businesses need shopper feedback and insights to improve customer attraction, retention, loyalty and sales. • Businesses have plenty of sales data (what gets bought) but not ‘the why’ things get bought – the shopper motivations and drivers.

• Suppliers need shopper insights to understand how to develop ranges suitable to shoppers’ needs in retailers’ outlets. • If we can create a single common language for convenience retailers and suppliers around the world, then all parties can come together to focus on the needs of the shopper. Twitter: @him_int


New for 2015….. him! international has launched a global convenience/proximity shopper tracking programme which interviews thousands of shoppers in 10 markets around the world. This programme is an annual syndicated subscription-based product which compares shopper insights from one country/market to the next.

him! international is also launching a key account (convenience/proximity) shopper tracking programme which identifies, trends and benchmarks the behaviours, needs and wants of selected key retail accounts around the world. This programme is also a syndicated and subscription-based product Twitter: @him_int


him! international’s first global convenience / proximity shopper tracking programme – launched in February 2015 10,000 shoppers interviewed 11 nations Russia

Plus UK (to benchmark) Market

Sample Size

UK France Germany Ireland Australia Japan South Africa Russia Poland Taiwan Netherlands

1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 500 1000 500

UK Ireland France

Netherlands Poland Japan


More countries to be added in 2015 Taiwan

South Africa


Research carried out November/December 2014 Nationally representative samples in each country. Research remains the property of him! international © HIM Int Ltd 2015


To provide shopper insights across 11 convenience nations Q19. Compared to 3 years ago, are convenience stores offering better value for money overall?

GLOBAL AVERAGE Russia Ireland Taiwan Poland South Africa United Kingdom France Japan Australia Germany Netherlands

Answering ‘Yes’

To help: 18% 29% 25% 24% 21% 20% 17% 15% 14% 12% 11% 6% Twitter: @him_int

• Convenience businesses stay ahead of the competition. • To identify new and emerging shopper trends. • To provide an independent “reality check” on shopper attitudes and behaviour.

© him! international Ltd 2015. All rights reserved.

Issues covered in our first global study – all related to convenience shopping (1): Influences & drivers which affect convenience shopping Do shoppers shop little & often? Looking for more convenient solutions? In a rush when grocery shopping? Time poor? Digital/tech savvy? Financially secure? Looking for the cheapest prices? Are shoppers “foodies”? Do they check calorie information? Health conscious? Food-to-go, meal-replacement

Do shoppers leave home without eating breakfast? Do shoppers know what they will be having for dinner? Keen to try new experiences and foods? Have shoppers bought food to go in the last month? If so, what meal occasion? How often do they buy food-to-go? What food to go would they consider buying from a convenience store/petrol convenience store? What are shoppers’ views on food to go offered by c-stores? Fast/quick? Healthy? Filling? Good value? Tasty? Served better? Food value for money? Aimed at people like them? Channel usage/penetration in the last month

Which retail sectors have shoppers used in a typical month? Sectors include supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol forecourt shops, discounters, specialist food stores (butchers, bakers etc), newsagent/tobacconist, online retailer, an independent store. Twitter: @him_int


Issues covered in our first global study – all related to convenience shopping (2): Top-up vs main shop shopping? Missions? Top-up shop? Do they conduct main shops? Or a combination of the two? How often do shoppers conduct “main shop” shopping trips? And how often do they do smaller “top-up” trips? What are the reasons/drivers/missions shoppers go top-up shopping for typically? How often do shoppers top-up shop? Which types of stores do shoppers top-up shop at? What are the benefits of top-up shopping?

Importances & ratings Out of 19 product/service criteria, which ones are most important to shoppers around the world and in each country? And how do shoppers rate convenience stores/petrol forecourts against these criteria/10? Convenience sectors’ category credibility Which categories do shoppers typically need to buy on convenience or top-up trips (from a list of 25 categories)? And which categories would they be willing to buy from convenience stores? Are shoppers happy for store staff to recommend products for shoppers to buy? Twitter: @him_int


Issues covered in our first global study – all related to convenience shopping (3): Promotions What are shoppers’ views on promotions? Do shoppers think they save them money? Do they think stores offer too many promotions? Should c-stores be focusing on things other than promotions (like availability, service, food to go)? Do shoppers like price marked packs? Are the products c-stores offer on promotion relevant to shoppers? Customer service How does the service offered by convenience stores compare to other format of stores? Use of technology

How do shoppers think c-stores should/could be using technology better? Queue management systems? Marketing? Promotions? Staff training? Loyalty cards? Marketing, communication and engagement How should c-stores market themselves, say shoppers? Websites? Apps, Leaflets? Engage with local communities? Advertise in newspapers? Announce new products and services? Twitter: @him_int


Issues covered in our first global study – all related to convenience shopping (4): Price image? Do shoppers think convenience stores are more expensive than other stores? Or no difference? What are shoppers views on the prices charged by convenience stores for 24 categories? Deterrents? What – if anything – deters shoppers from using convenience stores more? Price? Range? Service? Availability? Lack of healthy options? In what ways are convenience stores better now than 3 years ago? Better range? Value for money? Better fresh? Better food-to-go products? Better service? Better marketing? Which businesses should c-stores align with, if any? Pharmacies? Other local businesses? Charities? Specialist food businesses? Specialist food businesses? Twitter: @him_int


The 2015 Global C/P Shopper Programme • Minimum 10-15 markets covered to produce a global picture • New countries added to existing list – likely to include South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Scandinavia… • Minimum 500 shoppers interviewed per country – more in some markets.

• Conducted in September 2015. Results late October 2015. • Every client has the opportunity to influence the questionnaire.

• New issues introduced (in agreement with programme subscribers) and all categories covered Twitter: @him_int


For more information please contact: [email protected] +44 (0)7469 150 606 Twitter: @him_int


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