U.S. Hispanics are far more likely to do grocery shopping at the nearest convenience store (C-Store) than non-Hispanics, a new study by the NPD Group says. But is the food available at your corner gas station healthy?
The NPD’s report also examined more closely what Spanish-speakers, bilingual, and English-dominant shoppers buy and found that the more English you speak, the less groceries you buy at the c-store. Spanish-dominant Hispanics are more likely to make grocery item purchases at c-stores than other Hispanics, according to the NPD’s findings.
A report by the Mintel Group last year also found that the most black men are the most active c-store shopper, with black teens shopping frequenting convenience stores more than the average adult. According to both Mintel and NPD, this data means there is a great opportunity to advertise more heavily to specific ethnic groups, and to sell more fresh foods and groceries to Hispanic shoppers.
But what these reports fail to mention is that currently many of these shoppers do not have other choices. As I reported last week, grocery stores are few and far between in many neighborhoods, while fast food restaurants and corner c-stores proliferate.
These stores then often have a captive audience. They also have a real opportunity to provide far more nutritious food at the convenience store than was traditionally available before, and cities like Minneapolis have mandated a certain amount of fresh produce be available in corner stores.
Perhaps it is also time for c-stores to partner with groups to bring real “fresh food” to local communities by working with groups like The Healthy Corner Stores Network.