OPINION: Forecourt food to go declines in favour of top-up shopping

Over the last five years, the relevance of food to go has declined in forecourts, while in contrast, the number of shoppers looking to top up and buy a treat has grown.

The number of people buying food to go in forecourts has declined in the past five years in favour of a surge in top-up shopping. 

According to research conducted by Him, since 2013 the number of shoppers saying that the main reason they visit forecourts is fuel more than halfed from 33% to 15%.

This drop has seen it fall from the number-one reason for visiting a forecourt to fourth. Over the same period, shoppers coming in to purchase food to go fell from 22% to 19%.

Meanwhile, top-up shops have grown significantly, from 12% to 21%, and is now the main reason why shoppers visit a forecourt.

Val Kirillovs, research & insights director at Him, said: “Retailers need to place greater focus on range and merchandising in order to attract shoppers. Stocking core top-up lines and using in-store theatre is the key to success.”

Matt Collins, sales director at KP Snacks, agreed, adding with the number of people using top-up shops growing by 34%, retailers can increase profit by capitalising on promotions and in store merchandising.

“Use branded PoS to catch the shopper’s attention and use secondary display to drive impulse purchases,” he said.


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