Convenience stores sales set new records
Convenience store sales, both at the pump and inside the store, set new records in 2011, according to NACS. In-store convenience store sales grew 2.4 percent, reaching a record $195 billion. Combined with $486.9 billion in motor fuels sales, total convenience store sales in 2011 were $681.9 billion, or one out of every 22 dollars of the overall $15.04 trillion U.S. gross domestic product.
In-store sales growth was driven by strong sales gains in several beverage categories. Alternative beverages (a category that includes energy and relaxation drinks) were up 15.3 percent, sports drinks were up 13.9 percent and cold dispensed beverage sales were up 12.3 percent. Several beer subcategories also saw strong growth: super premium beer sales increased 10.6 percent and craft beer sales were up 13.9 percent.Convenience stores continued to evolve their foodservice programs with more meal offers and healthy food options. Prepared food sales rose 13.0 percent and emerging snacking subcategories also grew. The nuts/seeds subcategory saw 5 percent growth, leading salty snack sales.