NACS Releases New Retail Fuels Report

The annual NACS Retail Fuels Report helps address a variety of fuels issues before the switchover to summer-blend fuel.

February 03, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Right now, gas prices aren’t in the news. But that’s precisely why NACS has published the latest NACS Retail Fuels Report — to share resources and analysis of the fuels marketplace before gas prices are in the news.

This year’s Retail Fuels Report is the largest and most comprehensive ever developed by NACS, with more than two-dozen backgrounders examining every element of the retail fuels industry. Here are some highlights:

  • Two-thirds of consumers say that price is why they buy gas at a specific location. What’s more interesting is how they shop for price, and what they would do to save a few cents per gallon. There are new consumer insights about gas prices, including how consumers shop for fuel, what drives these decisions and what it means for retailers.
  • What alternative fuels do consumers want, and how will diesel fuel and other alternative fuels reshape the fuels market? There are several backgrounders that examine the future of fuels.
  • Premium gasoline sales are undergoing a massive shift. A backgrounder explains how changes in the marketplace have eroded premium gasoline’s sales, and what it means for consumers and retailers alike.
  • Fifty years ago an innovation forever changed fueling — and even retail as a whole — when a convenience store operator flipped the switch to activate the first U.S. remote access self-service gasoline pumps. There is an in-depth look on what drove this innovation and what it means today.
  • And, of course, NACS provides a detailed examination fueling industry — providing context for how gas is sold and how the market operates, in addition to the latest statistics and analysis of the industry.

The first week of February traditionally marks the beginning of the spring transition to summer-blend fuels for the fuels industry. Since 2000, gasoline prices have increased, on average, more than 50 cents between the first week in February and the time of the seasonal high price, typically late May. The annual NACS Retail Fuels Report is published in early February to help address a variety of fuels issues before the switchover to summer-blend fuel.

The Retail Fuels Report also shares consumer survey data that examines price sensitivity. Gas prices affect consumer sentiment because filling up is such an important part of daily life. While the Super Bowl attracted a huge audience of more than 110 million viewers, an even greater number — 160 million customers — shop at convenience stores every day. And on any given day, 40 million customers are fueling up. 

“Most consumers don’t think much about their fueling experience — it’s convenient and they are on their way,” said John Eichberger, NACS vice president of government relations. “But consumers are always thinking about gas prices. The NACS Retail Fuels Report is designed to simply explain complex conditions so that we can help demystify the fueling experience.”

“We encourage retailers to review the information and share it with their customers by linking to the NACS website or sharing particularly relevant backgrounders. The site will be updated monthly with new consumer data and other backgrounders,” said Eichberger.