How Impulsive Are Beverage Shoppers?

Study offers data, tips to drive additional sales from the cold vault
soda flavors

Seventy percent of convenience-store shoppers enter a store with an intent to buy a beverage, but only ­43% of those have a specific brand in mind when they enter the store, according to an Over the Shoulder/Egg Strategy Research study.

The opportunity? “There are a lot of impulsive people making their way through the store,” said Sam Brewster, manager of shopper insights for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Plano, Texas, during CSP’s Cold Vault Summit as he discussed the results of the study.

According to the results, carbonated soft drinks are c-stores’ No. 1 planned beverage purchase/trip driver, with 51% of all beverage shoppers walking straight to the cooler when they enter a store.

But with 57% of beverage shoppers going in with no specific brand in mind, there’s a lot of room to drive impulse buying.

“Many c-store shoppers are loyal to particular stores because they offer a good selection of beverages,” Brewster said. “Shoppers want the staple brands, plus a wide variety of beverage types, brands and flavors.

“Target them with communications across the store,” he suggested. “Use product-focused, experiential messaging. Make your store an explorer’s destination by offering a variety of types and flavors.”

The most effective in-store communications, Brewster said, link a product to the shopper’s occasion/need state or use of appealing graphics/copy to make the product immediately craveable.

According to the report, the top store choice drivers are convenient location, quick in-and-out, bottle/can beverage variety, fountain beverage variety/quality, cleanliness and food quality.


Amount of beverage shoppers who enter a c-store with no speci­fic brand in mind

Source: Over the Shoulder/Egg Strategy Research study

Here are some products we think might help fit the impulse bill in your store:

  • The new Skinny Cow Creamy Iced Coffee Drink is available in single-serve and four-pack configurations. It adds another brand to the growing staple of packaged coffee beverages and ticks the better-for-you box at the same time.
  • Schweppes recently unveiled its Dark Ginger Ale, which maintains the flavor of the original but has a darker and richer taste. The familiar label will draw customers in—but it’s the product innovation that will pique their curiosity.
  • The Celsius Sparkling energy drink is now available in Watermelon and Grape Rush flavors. This functional beverage might catch the eye of that impulsive energy-drink customer—or the one on the way to the gym.