What Do Thirsty People Want?

An exclusive CSP/GasBuddy survey has the answers
water pour

No pressure, but thirsty people look to you first. And their thirst can strike at any time.

Are you ready for it?

A CSP/GasBuddy beverage survey of more than 13,000 consumers conducted in November 2015 found that while driving and thirsty, 56% of consumers typically stop to purchase a drink at a gas station/convenience store.

And apparently, one way to grab this bull by the horns is to promote the heck out of it—think promotional offerings and discounts.

More than half (57%) of consumers say they would be “most excited” to receive a discount on beverage products compared with candy/confection (9%), salty snacks (9%), tobacco (7%) and protein (6%), the survey found.

Specifically, 48% said a buy-one-get-one discount would most likely persuade them to make an additional beverage purchase vs. a combo offer with food/snack (17%), product they can’t find anywhere else (14%) or new flavor (6%).


Amount of consumers who typically shop for packaged beverages at gas stations/c-stores, according to CSP/GasBuddy data

Combo offers have increased potential around lunch because “packaged beverages sell the strongest during the lunch hour, and during this time there is a great deal of interaction with foodservice items and salty snacks,” says Don Burke, senior vice president of Pittsburgh-based Management Science Associates (MSA). “Many retailers … offer a bundle price based on the purchase of an item from each category, such as a carbonated soft drink (CSD), a foodservice sandwich and bag of chips.”

And although at face value a buy-one-get-one offer doesn’t seem as if it would do much to boost sales, consider the basket ring of packaged beverages. Consumers typically purchase packaged-beverage varieties (48%) over fountain (27%), the study found.

Packaged beverages generate an average of $2.59 in sales, but that coincides with $4.13 in other category sales for a basket ring of $6.72, according to data from MSA.

“There is a strong level of cross-purchases with cigarettes, particularly with packaged CSDs, so signage showing promotional pricing of the CSDs and/or a cooler at the front register where the tobacco products are sold should encourage incremental purchases,” Burke says.