The September Skuup - Gas Prices: It's Not Goodbye, It's See You Later
We sat down with our data analyst, Sid Toriggino, to cover some of the independent market's most influential trends. Here is what we saw:
1. Market Metrics
Data From Skupos: A Network of 15,000 Independent Retailers
*YA - Year Ago
Market: Trips and unit sales are down across the board for August.
Category: Wine and Liquor sales fell 3% in August. Consumer demand for take home alcoholic beverages has fallen substantially now that on-site consumption at places like restaurants and sporting events have resumed full capacity post-pandemic.
2. Over the Hump
Consumers are experiencing some long-awaited relief as the surge in gas prices has been on a steady decline. Regular prices are down 25% from their June peak, with prices beginning to flatten out in recent weeks. On the other hand, Diesel is following a different trend compared to other fuel types. Diesel prices are up 2% over the last few weeks, while other fuel types are down around 3.5%. For more info on why Diesel prices might be going up, checkout this article from FreightWays.
While fuel prices followed a bell-like curve, fuel gallon sales appear more volatile. Gallon sales swung 10% between early May and early July. Back in May, fuel prices were well on the rise by over 15% but still short of their peak. This early May peak was likely a result of consumers purchasing relatively cheap gas before reducing their demand. The July trough occurred the week after 4th of July weekend, which is often a quieter week as Americans begin to settle from their 4th of July festivities.
3. Bon Appétit from the Gas Station
The return to in-person work has benefited some categories more than others. Snacking is making a comeback in the post-pandemic season as Americans are adjusting back to a life of commuting to the office. Often used as a quick and cheap breakfast alternative, consumers are reaching for items in the Sweet Snacks category which have pushed per store unit sales up 10% year-over-year. As consumers peruse the snack aisle, they are spending less time in front of the Cold Vault, resulting in 1% less unit sales year-over-year for the Packaged Beverages category.
3. The End of an Era: The Choco Taco
A sad day for most, we say with regret that Choco Tacos' final days have arrived. While these delicacies were once loved, they will never be forgotten. We love you Choco Taco!
The week of July 26th, Klondike announced they were discontinuing the Choco Taco… but what happened next was extraordinary. Americans raced to their neighborhood convenience stores, buying out as many Choco Tacos as they could, inducing a massive 125% jump in weekly sales.
Not only were weekly sales increasing, but so were overall average market basket sizes. The average market basket size briefly spiked 2.5% the week Klondike announced they were discontinuing Choco Taco. That week, 13% more stores sold Choco Tacos than the previous week. Basket sizes in the stores selling Choco Tacos jumped 65%, while stores not selling them only increased 1%. After the discontinuation hype died down, market baskets quickly returned to normal.
Although Klondike no longer makes the Choco Taco and sales are quickly tapering off, we can rest easy knowing that they went out in style.