The fuel and food-to-go shopper missions are continuing to lose relevance in forecourt stores as shoppers shift towards top-up and treat shops, according to new research from HIM. 

The insight, from HIM’s Winning In Forecourts 2018 report, highlights a consistent decline in the relevance of fuel and food to go within the forecourt sector over the last five years. The research was carried out using 2,000 forecourt shopper interviews across 10 different fascias. 

Since 2013, the volume of shoppers highlighting fuel as their main reason for visiting a forecourt has declined from 33% to 15%. This drop has seen it fall from the largest forecourt mission to third. Over the same period, the FTG mission has fallen from 22% to 19%.

In contrast, the top up mission is now the largest shopper mission in the forecourt channel, growing from 12% to 21% in the last five years. The treat missions has also seen significant growth among shoppers, doubling in size since 2013 from 7% to 14%.

Commenting on the findings, Val Kirillovs, research & insights director at HIM, said: “Forecourts haven’t been able to rely on purely fuel to drive footfall for some time, however FTG has long been considered as key to forecourt retailers and a huge area of focus. While both missions still remain important, the main reason that shoppers are visiting is changing.

“It is vital that forecourt retailers understand their individual shoppers and adapt to their needs. Retailers need to place greater focus on range and merchandising in order to inspire shoppers. Stocking core top up lines and using in store theatre to drive the treat mission are key to success.”