Filling Baskets Despite Inflation

Filling Baskets Despite Inflation

July 2022   minute read

Rising fuel prices and inflation have historically translated into customers managing their cash-on-hand and discretionary income between the dollars that go into their fuel tank and the funds that could be used inside the store. This means that when the cost to fill up increases, the likely response is a decline in inside store sales.

Time—or the perceived lack of it—is also a factor. 

Last year saw the resumption of more-typical pre-pandemic routines for many consumers, who needed to commute to work, run errands and get their kids to activities. In the 2021 NACS Convenience Voices survey, the number of fuel-only shoppers who indicated they weren’t coming inside the store because of “lack of time” increased year over year by two percentage points to 22.1%. The potential for lost sales attributed to “not enough time” will likely increase as more customers return to their commutes and household activities. 

What’s more, 5.7% of gas-and-go customers surveyed also reported a perception that convenience products “are too expensive.” This is in addition to the 13.3% of fuel-only customers who didn’t shop inside of the store because they were “on a strict or limited budget.” Both influences were reported more frequently in 2021, pointing to the fact that inflationary pressures and associated perceptions are weighing on shoppers. 

Overall, the perceived lack of time, limited budgets and premiumization associated with convenience products were key sources of resistance, the NACS survey found. However, there are strategies that retailers can implement to win trips. 

NACS Convenience Voices is packed with valuable, proprietary insights you can only get from NACS. Leveraging the ubiquity of mobile technology enables more precise targeting, expanded geographic reporting, powerful multimedia feedback and more. Visit to learn how to participate.

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