Winning over Women in Convenience Stores

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Research Overview

As convenience stores look to meet the needs of women, General Mills Convenience & Foodservice recently conducted a research project to uncover the unique perceptions and desires of female convenience store shoppers.

Sample/Research Method

  • General Mills Proprietary Study of 474 convenience store food and beverage shoppers who visited once a month or more, ages 18-64, participated in a nationwide online survey in January 2014
  • NPD Group

Key Findings

  • Men are often viewed as the core convenience store shoppers, but women should not be overlooked.
    • C-Store food and beverage traffic is made up of 47 percent women and 53 percent men (NPD Group)
    • Women are more likely to make a gas-only trip to c-stores, (23 percent of women compared to 19 percent of men) meaning there is opportunity to entice them to come inside
  • Women tend to have higher expectations for food in c-stores than men. For example:
    • 76 percent of women would visit more frequently if fresh, made-to-order food was offered in store (compared to 68 percent of men)
    • 71 percent of women would visit more if better-for-you food and beverage choices were available (compared to 62 percent of men)
    • 29 percent of women wish food was fresher at c-stores (compared to 18 percent of men)
  • The #1 reason for visiting c-stores is convenience, regardless of gender; however, certain aspects of the experience are more important to women:
    • Store cleanliness: 63 percent (versus 45 percent of men)
    • Feeling of safety: 62 percent (versus 44 percent of men)
    • Prepackaged foods are not out-of date: 62 percent (versus 50 percent of men)
    • Low gas prices: 59 percent (versus 38 percent of men)
    • Prepared or hot foods are not stale or soggy: 53 percent (versus 44 percent of men)
    • Clean restrooms: 51 percent (versus 38 percent of men)
    • Uncluttered aisles: 45 percent (versus 29 percent of men)


    1. Pump signage and merchandising must be particularly strong to entice women to come inside.
    2. Over-communicate the freshness and quality of offerings to overcome negative preconceptions.
    3. Clean and uncluttered floors, counters, and restrooms will increase appeal to women.