Understanding Convenience Shopper Missions

Many convenience stores are at the heart of their community. But in a competitive market, it’s important to understand the most relevant shopper missions that drive consumers to your store, helping you to tailor your offerings to better meet consumer needs, improve the shopping experience and ultimately increase sales.

Reading time: 5 minutes


With more consumers returning to the office, food to go was on the rise in 2022[1]. Brand, price and quality are the top considerations for shoppers here, with many now expecting a higher standard of choice than in the past.

Meal deals are a great way to showcase value, with 36% of convenience deals bought as part of a food to go mission. Don’t forget to offer soft drinks to complement the offer. Cola and energy drinks are the priorities for shoppers, but fruit based soft drinks – such as Robinsons Ready to Drink – and fizzy and flavoured water can also help drive sales.

Meal for Tonight

With inflation and economic pressures impacting what people buy and how much they spend, more people are choosing to enjoy an indulgent dinner at home[2] instead of going out. This shopper is looking for quality and wants to bring the restaurant experience into their home, particularly couples and those over 45. Premium meal deals can help increase basket spend. When a main meal, dessert and drink are packaged up easily, there is room for growth, with 21% of shoppers buying soft drinks and 16% buying alcohol as part of their ‘meal for tonight’ [3]. It’s a good opportunity to upsell with premium soft drinks like J2O to bring the out-of-home dining experience into the living room. 

Top Up Shop

Top up shops fell in 2022[4], but are still the number one reason for footfall in the convenience market. To make the most of this, ensure you have a range of everyday essentials and fresh food, plus treats as this is a growing segment. Alongside staples such as bread and milk, meals are a growing part of planned and distressed top up missions, both in-store and for home delivery. While health is a consideration of 23% of planned top-up shops[5], there is a focus on finding quick and easy meal solutions that are both affordable and satisfying.





Treat missions are on the rise[6], with shoppers most likely to buy sweet and savoury snacks, chilled products and food-to-go from convenience stores[7]. Crisps and chocolate are the most popular treat items, alongside soft drinks[8], with single cans popular for those looking for a small pick-me-up. There is still a role for full sugar SKUs alongside lower sugar options, as health is less of a focus for this mission so make sure that you stock a range of options. Offering choice is key. Round pound promotions can also lead to more sales when it comes to treat missions, especially with soft drinks.


Daytime Meals

Daytime meals are the second most important quality-driven shopping mission[9] and shoppers are mostly looking for quality, brands and healthy choices when they enter a store. So make sure to offer opportunities to trade up when shoppers come in looking for lunch or a snack.

Pre-packaged sandwiches perform well, but freshly made sandwiches or even hot food can encourage shoppers to keep coming back on a regular basis. Health is more prominent for people during breakfast and snacking occasions, so choice is key here.

Entertaining & The Big Night In

Whether an impromptu barbeque or drinks and nibbles get-together, convenience stores can be a lifesaver for shoppers on entertainment missions. Alcohol, soft drinks and crisps are staples of this occasion, with larger soft drink bottles ideal for sharing.  When it comes to the Big Night In, chocolate, confectionery and ice cream all perform well, with people looking for indulgent treats to go alongside a movie or a catch-up with friends and family.


Gifting missions make up a small proportion of total convenience visits, but there are opportunities to tap into. Consider stocking gifting items, such as chocolate selection boxes or even wine/fizz gifting bags all year round. And there is scope to maximise sales around seasonal occasions such as Easter and Christmas, where people will make more last-minute trips to the convenience store to pick-up a present. Consider packaging up hampers for seasonal occasions too, putting complementary products together for an easy win.

[1] Lumina Intelligence Convenience Tracking Programme, 52WE 09/01/2022 and 52WE 08/01/2023

[2] Lumina Intelligence CTP – 52 w/e 08.01.23

[3] Mintel & Lumina Intelligence CTP 52w/e 08.01.23

[4] IGD, December 2022

[5] ina Intelligence Convenience Tracking Programme, 12 WE 08/01/2023

[6] Lumina Intelligence Convenience Tracking Programme, 52WE 09/01/2022 and 52WE 08/01/2023

[7] IGD, December 2022

[8] Lumina Intelligence Convenience Tracking Programme, 52WE 08/01/2023

[9] Lumina Intelligence Market Sizing Dec, 2022

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