Thirsty customers are always a winner, and for convenience stores looking to capitalize on thirst; beer is the order of the day. Stocking beer creates a destination hot spot where customers know they can fuel up their car, grab any necessities, and grab some much-needed beer without having to haul themselves to the grocery store.
According to Euromonitor International, “mid-priced standard lager accounted for a 43% share of total U.S. beer volume sales last year.” Those mid-priced lagers include brands such as Bud-Light, Budweiser, Coors Light, and Miller Lite, who also happen to be the top four brands in the category. Overall, beer sales at c-stores totaled more than $18.6 billion last year, according to IRI, a Chicago market research firm.
“However,” Euromonitor stated, “this category has been in decline … [as] consumers have shown a preference for imported lagers and more flavor-rich beers, like dark beer and stout. Younger Millennials are also a cause for concern, as they are embracing other beer choices.”
A Trick to Keeping Beer Business Booming
It’s not that Millennials aren’t drinking beer, it’s that they’re being choosy about what beers they drink. Craft beer production (and sales) are on the rise. In fact, microbreweries can be found in almost every major city in America.
Sure, craft beer is a trend among millennials, but how do we turn this into a real c-store trend?
All signs say that the craft beer trend isn’t going away anytime soon and c-store owners would be wise to capitalize on the market by getting in on the action and giving the customers want they want:
Contact your current beer distributor and inquire about local craft beer selections, or contact your local brewery directly.
Promote seasonal offerings (a common trend from craft beer breweries).
Work with the local brewery on in-store events, sales, or other promotions.
So Many Choices, So Little Space
If you’re fortunate enough to operate in a large urban setting, you may find there are literally dozens of craft beers in your area. Choosing which ones to go with can be a challenge. Thankfully, many of these breweries operate in small batches without requiring large minimums on orders.
Consider rotating your selection weekly, monthly, or even seasonally. Use CStorePro’s reporting function to track sales as you rotate. Soon you’ll discover which selections are selling well and should be stocked full-time. (Want to learn how? today.)
It comes as no surprise that customers want their beer cold. One space solution for business owners has been to re-think their coolers. Walk-in coolers housing beer (commonly referred to as “Beer Caves”) have risen drastically in popularity. Beer Caves give customers the ability to pick out their own icy cold beverage without standing in the middle of the aisle, causing them to be in the way of other shoppers.
Go Brew Up Some Revenue
Craft beer is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. By getting in on the action, your c-store or gas station can become a destination stop for thirsty customers!