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Americans Turn Towards Convenience for Food and Fuel

From freight trucking services to the average Joe getting to work to road tripping Millennials, America is a nation on-the-go. The national reliance upon individual vehicles offers Americans a specific and unique freedom of mobility, and in an economic climate without prohibitive gas prices, it seems more and more Americans will hit the road this summer.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 128.3 million Americans commute every day as of July 1, 2015. About 22% of those commuters travel between 12 and 20 miles a day, and 17% commute between 22 and 30 miles a day. The numbers drop off into the low single digits for commutes longer than that, but spikes again in the highest category. Nearly 8% of commuting Americans travel 75 miles or more a day.

All of those commuters need a place to fuel up, both for their vehicles and their bodies. Perhaps that is why the convenience store is becoming so prominent, especially stores attached to gas stations. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, foodservice at convenience stores has soared in the past decade. They note the change as such: “The result is that convenience stores have continued to evolve from gas stations that happen to sell food to food retailers that happen to sell gas.”

The evolving industry is certainly allowing national and regional brands to edge out mom and pop grocery stores and gas stations. The ability to grab breakfast and gas on the way to work or to buy a quick snack and drink while refueling on a trip fits with the evolving American mindset that values convenience over all else. But like most things American, we need to know who handles this evolving industry best.

Market Force Information ranked consumers’ favorite places to fuel up. While wholesale clubs and grocers continued to gain ground, most Americans prefer to get their gas and snacks at traditional gas stations and convenience stores. Which company was the most popular with consumers when ascertaining satisfaction? Wawa was ranked number 1 with 68% customer satisfaction, edging out QuikTrip at 62% which was the top company in 2014. Sheetz came in third place with 59% satisfaction.