Convenience stores are witnessing another significant shift in consumer behavior since the COVID pandemic began in 2020. In the early stages of the pandemic, shopping methods changed considerably, pushing retailers to invest in curbside delivery and other last-mile fulfillment strategies. The next significant shift was from commuting to work to a large segment of the workforce working from home. Now a new trend has emerged. In 2021, sales of health and beauty products (HBC) sales experienced its largest c-store industry sales growth in five years.
Why are C-Store Sales of HBC on the rise?
According to a May 2022 press release from the Food Industry Association,
“GM/HBC sales constituted an estimated 10% of all grocery sales in the most recent 52 weeks, or $49.1B, demonstrating that GM & HBC categories have consistently represented an opportunity for both food retailers and manufacturers to optimize the store environment and enhance consumer satisfaction.”
In many ways, you could say we’ve experienced the perfect storm for increased sales of HBC. Three primary factors combined to skyrocket c-store sales of HBC in 2021.
- Since 2020, consumers have been focusing on health more than ever before. One of the strategies many individuals use to guard themselves against contracting or being severely affected by COVID is by staying healthy. The outlook has translated to a focus on healthy living in all aspects of their lives. From getting more exercise to eating more nutritious foods, people are trying to take better care of themselves. For convenience stores, that means more sales of vitamins and supplements, cold medications, first aid solutions, and skin care products.
- Illnesses are on the rise. There’s a surge of COVID, RSV, and other general cold and flu conditions going around. Since many more people are back at restaurants, theaters, and other populated places, they are subjected to germs they may not have had contact with for the past few years. Sales of cough syrup, cold and flu medication, and cough drops at convenience stores have increased in 2022.
- Convenience stores are promoting HBC better. Although convenience stores have always stocked a basic level of HBC products, the choices were minimal, and the prices were steep. Today, c-stores are stocking a wide range of products that are competitively priced with supermarkets and drugstore chains. By giving the HBC section better placement and more shelf space, shoppers now realize how much easier it is to purchase these items at the c-store instead of dealing with the hassle of going to a big box store.
Are you looking for strategies to achieve success in 2023?
Now is the time to create winning strategies that lead to success in 2023. The good news is, you don’t have to try to do it alone. GP Energy works with convenience stores across the country to help them achieve their financial goals. We’ll review your product lineup, facilities, marketing plans, technologies, and more to help you gain efficiencies, reduce costs, and boost your revenues. Our goal at GP Energy is to make crossing the finish line of goal achievement easily within your reach. Contact us today to get started!