Increasing C-Store Profits With Pre-Packaged Beverages

Posted by RDT on Dec 20, 2022 3:23:13 PM

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Running a convenience store means stocking many items to serve a diverse array of customers. While c-stores can have everything from hot food to frozen treats, one area remains a bedrock of most stores' bottom line -- beverages. From sodas to energy drinks to beer, drinks that are ready to go are always in high demand, and while some trends come and go, pre-packaged beverages have always been a staple of the convenience store business model.

Beverage Sales are Booming

In 2021, non-alcoholic beverage sales saw a steady increase of 14.7 percent. The year before, they saw a rise of over 17 percent. It's also not surprising that demand for these beverages peaked over the summer, as hot weather inspires consumers to cool off with a refreshing drink. With so many new options available, it's never been easier to quench one's thirst, providing a profit opportunity for c-stores.

Convenience Stores are the Backbone of the Community

In the United States, convenience stores represent over a third (35 percent) of all brick-and-mortar businesses. With over 148,000 c-stores, individuals are never far from one, no matter where they live. 

During the pandemic, convenience stores were considered an essential service, and it's easy to see why. For many areas, both rural and urban, c-stores are fast, accessible, and multifaceted. For example, while a grocery store may close at 8 or 9 pm, a convenience store may be open all night and offer essential items for most customers. 

Overall, c-stores conduct over 165 million daily transactions, and almost half of Americans (43 percent) say they live within a mile of one. For rural areas, a convenience store is the literal backbone of the community as individuals can take care of many of their errands in one stop. Gas, food, paycheck cashing, ATM withdrawals, personal hygiene products -- it's all in one place. 

Convenience is Valuable

Almost every gas station in America doubles as a convenience store, so most consumers are used to seeing the two together. And the reality is that gas stations don't make much money at the pump. Revenue is primarily driven by the items sold inside the store.

However, with rising gas prices and fears of climate change, many individuals are switching to electric vehicles to mitigate their environmental impact. So, many c-stores are adapting to the times and offering electric charging stations. While the practice is still relatively limited, EV sales have been increasing steadily year after year, so demand is growing exponentially. 

Fortunately, these stations can help convenience store owners add another revenue stream. Since charging a car could take up to half an hour, stores need to become both hangout spots and rapid-service stations. If operators can cater to the EV crowd, they could open up new markets from scratch. 

Alcoholic Beverage Sales

While gas, food, and soda are essential components of a convenience store, alcohol sales make up a significant part of the store's bottom line. During the pandemic, stores saw sales rise over 30 percent, and while they've since dipped slightly, demand is still high. In fact, it's so high that many major c-store brands are branching out into their own beer and wine products. 

Alcoholic beverages are a unique revenue stream because demand for them is always high. While stores must adhere to local liquor laws, the profitability of these drinks exists in locations where c-store alcohol sales are legal.

Let Polarcraft Help Increase C-Store Beverage Sales

When it comes to pre-packaged drinks in convenience stores, the vast majority of them require refrigeration. However, c-store refrigeration units have unique challenges. For example, the doors are constantly being opened, letting cold air out and warm air in. So, the compressors must work extra hard to keep beverages at the right temperature. With Polarcraft compressors and condensers, operators can rest assured that their refrigeration systems can handle anything thrown at them in an efficient and cost-effectively.

Discover how Polarcraft can help your convenience store's profits - click below to learn more. 


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Topics: refrigeration, convenience stores, Polarcraft

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