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More signs of a gradual recovery

Impluse sales at convenience stores seem to be picking up--candy, snack and soda sales finally show improvement.

According to a report yesterday from impulse sales at convenice stores such as 7-Eleven and Quiktrip appear to be on the rebound. “We saw a pick-up in consumer discretionary spending (1.6 percent in March, according to the Commerce Department), which resulted in improved sales for impulse purchases in convenience stores,” said Bill Pecoriello, chief executive officer of Stamford, Connecticut-based Consumer Edge. The research firm analyzes store scanner data from Information Resources Inc. to determine sales.

“Snacks, too, showed signs of recovery in the first quarter," said John Compton, CEO of Americas Foods for Purchase, New York- based PepsiCo, the world’s biggest snack maker.

Analysts are optimistic, but are also quick to point out the progress seen is a step in the right direction, but still way off from before the recession hit. “I would characterize it as improving,” Compton told Bloomberg reporter Duane D. Stanford. “It has a ways to go as the unemployment numbers need to improve and the overall economy needs to improve.”

Half of all convenience store sales are impulse, according to the article, and account for 13% of Hershey candy sales (or about $590 million, of the company’s $4.5 billion in US sales last year). “We really saw volume in convenience return in a big way,” Hershey said

Could be a sign of good things to come for packaging machinery and material suppliers. Get your daily dose of global packaging trends Follow me on Twitter.

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