CVS Health survey: majority of Americans agree that the health care system is in need of reform

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2017-Dec-01 — /EPR Retail News/ — Results of a new national survey from CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) released today (November 30, 2017) found that over half (56 percent) of Americans say the U.S. health care system does not work well for them, while overwhelming majorities agree the system is in need of reform (73 percent) and is currently too politicized (69 percent).

The State of Health Care in the United States.
Of those Americans frustrated by the current state of U.S. health care, 65 percent say it is too expensive, and the affordability of health care, health insurance and prescription drugs top the list of Americans’ most urgent concerns.

The results of the national survey of 2,201 adults, conducted online by Morning Consult on behalf of CVS Health in October 2017 and released at the Forbes Health Care Summit, also found that more Americans (41 percent) believe health care in the U.S. has generally gotten worse rather than improved over the past five years. However, when it comes to their personal experience, a plurality say their own health care has largely not changed, and a larger share of Americans say it has gotten better (28 percent) than who say it has gotten worse (23 percent).

Despite generally negative views of health care in the United States, a vast majority of insured respondents (83 percent) say they are somewhat or very satisfied with their health plans. However, nearly a third report that they did not have a choice in the health plan that was offered to them.

At the same time, respondents of the survey are hopeful about the health care system’s future state, particularly for the next generation of Americans. This sentiment is particularly strong among American parents of whom 52 percent say they are optimistic their children will have better health care than they did at their age. They point to innovation as the reason, with 65 percent who say advances in health care will make lives safer and 66 percent who say advances will make lives longer.

However, the survey reveals limits to Americans’ optimism as a skeptical public questions whether effective health care reform will eliminate regulatory barriers to innovation and put patients first. According to the survey, a plurality of Americans (45 percent) feel there is too much regulation in the way of innovation in health care. Furthermore, three out of five Americans say decisions made in health care put the bottom line ahead of patients, whereas only one in five say that either decisions put patients first or they are at least considered equally with the bottom line.

“While we see significant frustration in this poll with the cost and quality of healthcare, there is a sense of hope among Americans about the future,” said CVS Health Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H. “These findings underscore a challenging set of pain points in the system which should serve as a catalyst for all players in health care patients, providers, payors and policymakers to work together to pursue the necessary reforms and innovations that improve quality and affordability and make a complex system easier to navigate for a more empowered health care consumer.”

The full set of survey results is available at www.cvshealth.com/stateofhealthcare.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States between October 19-23, 2017 among 2,201 adults aged 18+ by Morning Consult on behalf of CVS Health. Results from the survey have a margin of error of 2%.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 9,700 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:

Joe Goode
401-770-9820
Joseph.Goode@CVSHealth.com

SOURCE: CVS Health

NACS Consumer Fuels Survey: record number of Americans say they will be driving the same or more this month

​ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Nov-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, a record 93% of Americans say they will be driving the same or more this month, and they anticipate spending more over the same time period, according to the latest NACS Consumer Fuels Survey.

Thanksgiving traffic could be heavy, as a record 93% of American drivers say they will be driving the same or more over the next 30 days. And they also will be shopping this month. Nearly three in four consumers (72%) say they will spend the same or more this upcoming month in stores, led by 79% of Americans age 50+ as well as 77% of those in the Midwest.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells an estimated 80% of the fuel sold in the United States, has conducted monthly surveys related to economic issues since January 2013.

Consumer confidence regarding the economy is also very high; a record 61% of consumers say they are optimistic about the economy, the same percentage as the month prior and up 11 percentage points compared to November 2015. Consumer optimism is highest in the Northeast (65%) and South (62%), though a solid majority of consumers in the Midwest (59%) and West (57%) report feeling optimistic.

Prices at the pump continue to drive consumer optimism, with three in four (75%) saying that gas prices affect their views of the economy.

“Steady gas prices and high levels of economic optimism are great signs for convenience stores heading into the holidays. Convenience stores expect strong sales for fuel, food and drinks from now through the end of the year,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives.

The survey was conducted online by PSB (Penn Schoen Berland); 1,100 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed November 8-10, 2017. Summary results are available at convenience.org/fuelssurvey.

NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.

Source: NACS

Barnes & Noble survey: Americans turn to books on Thanksgiving Eve more than any other day of the year

National Poll Conducted by Barnes & Noble Finds Most Americans Turn to a Good Read to Get Through Stressful Holiday Travels

New York, 2017-Nov-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest retail bookseller, recently commissioned an independent survey to explore consumer reading habits around the holiday season, and the results revealed that Americans turn to books and periodicals on Thanksgiving Eve more than any other day of the year to help ease the stress of traveling. Historically, the Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest travel time of the year, notorious for transportation delays burdening travelers at every turn.

“The holiday season is an exciting, but hectic time for people all over the country. At Barnes & Noble, we know our customers want a stress-free holiday experience, whether shopping for gifts in-store or purchasing a good read to enjoy during their holiday commutes,” says Liz Harwell, Senior Director of Merchandising, Trade Books.  “Knowing that Thanksgiving Eve is the busiest reading day of the year, we’re excited to welcome customers into our stores to take advantage of one-of-a-kind bookseller recommendations and exclusives.”

It’s Official: Thanksgiving Eve Is the Busiest Reading Day of the Year
Holiday travel is often characterized by crowds, delays and traffic jams. However, when survey respondents take the time to read while traveling, 73 percent report that reading makes the trip more relaxing, while 72 percent say reading a book they enjoy makes their trip more enjoyable. Reading is indeed the antidote to holiday travel stress.

  • Over three-fourths of Americans (77 percent) read at least one book, newspaper or magazine during Thanksgiving travel or a typical holiday travel day.
  • Nearly three-fourths of respondents (73 percent) generally think that traveling on Thanksgiving Eve is a good time to bring a book they would enjoy and be able to read.
  • When thinking specifically about traveling on Thanksgiving Eve, 60 percent of travelers typically pack, purchase or borrow reading materials (books, newspaper, magazines, digital books) specifically for their planned travel.
  • Slightly more than one-in-four Americans (28 percent) think that bringing a great book along for Thanksgiving could give them a way to get out of an uncomfortable or awkward conversation with a relative or other guest.

Consumers Look Forward to Reading During Holiday Travel
Because of the hustle and bustle of daily life, particularly during holiday season, more than half of respondents reported that they don’t get to read or enjoy books as much as they would like. In fact, reading tops the list of what most consumers wish they had more time to do, followed by spending time with loved ones and exercise. Travel provides a respite of sorts; 71 percent of respondents think that travel time is a good opportunity to catch up on a good book or magazine they have been meaning to pick up.

Respondents also found that the top five benefits of reading a book while traveling, rated in order, are:

  • Reading is a good pastime if I get delayed while traveling. (56 percent)
  • Reading is relaxing and helps ease the stress of hectic traveling. (53 percent)
  • A good book “transports” me somewhere else. (47 percent)
  • I can catch up on books that I have wanted to read, but normally do not have the time to read. (47 percent)
  • Reading gives me a chance to learn something new. (46 percent)

In addition, when respondents find the time to read a book they enjoy while traveling, 73 percent say that reading makes their trip more relaxing, and 72 percent say reading a book they enjoy while traveling makes their trip more enjoyable. This is a particularly noteworthy finding in today’s travel environment, which is often characterized by stressful and unenjoyable moments.

Holiday Travel Recommendations from Barnes & Noble Booksellers to You

To help travelers make the most of their travel time – whether spending two hours on the road or 10 – Barnes & Noble booksellers can recommend the perfect read. Customers should visit their local Barnes & Noble store and speak with a knowledgeable bookseller or go online at BN.com to find the ideal book that will help them get through their holiday commute.

Methodology

Barnes & Noble commissioned the survey, conducted as an online poll among the U.S. General Population – 18+ years of age, nationwide representative sample (n=1,028). The online poll was conducted October 27-29, 2017, and the margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points ( Confidence Level).

About Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is the world’s largest retail bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products.  The Company operates 632 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com).  The Nook Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK® tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store features more than 4.5 million digital books in the US (www.nook.com), plus periodicals and comics, and offers the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps™ available for Android™, iOS® and Windows®.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained by visiting the Company’s corporate website at www.barnesandnobleinc.com.

Barnes & Noble®, Barnes & Noble Booksellers® and Barnes & Noble.com® are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. or its affiliates. NOOK®and the NOOK logos are trademarks of Nook Digital, LLC or its affiliates.

For more information on Barnes & Noble, follow us on TwitterInstagramPinterest and Snapchat (bnsnaps), and like us on Facebook. For more information on NOOK, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

All Contacts:

Mary Ellen Keating
Senior Vice President
Corporate Communications
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3323
mkeating@bn.com

Mei Sanchez
Manager
Corporate Communications
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3579
msanchez@bn.com

Source: Barnes & Noble, Inc.

SURVEY: Americans expected to spend $7.1 billion as they celebrate the Fourth of July this year

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans are expected to spend $7.1 billion on food for cookouts and picnics as they celebrate the Fourth of July this year, up from $6.8 billion in 2016, according to the annual survey released today (June 22, 2017) by the National Retail Federation and conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics.

According to the survey, 219 million Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, or 88 percent of those surveyed. A total of 162 million — 66 percent of those surveyed — plan to take part in a cookout or picnic, spending an average $73.42 per person, up from last year’s $71.34. The numbers cover only food items, not other holiday-related spending.

“With warmer than average weather so far this summer, Americans should be in the mood to head outside to celebrate, whether it’s watching fireworks or firing up the BBQ,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers will be well-stocked with everything from flags to burgers to help Americans prepare for their holiday activities.”

The survey found that 65 percent of consumers already own a U.S. flag, 53 percent patriotic-themed apparel such as T-shirts, bathing suits or shoes, and 40 percent own patriotic decorations. Nonetheless, 28 percent plan on purchasing more patriotic items.

Do you plan to purchase patriotic merchandise within the next 30 days?Yes: 27.6 %No: 38.5 %Unsure: 34.0 %

NRF Independence Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

When it comes to other activities to celebrate Independence Day, 44 percent of

Americans will attend a firework show or community celebration and 14 percent will watch a parade.

The holiday weekend is also a popular time for travel, with 32.9 million Americans saying they will head out of town (13 percent of those celebrating), up from 31.1 million from last year. Only 18 percent say the price of gasoline will affect their plans, down from 21 percent last year and a record low since the survey began in 2004. The number who said high gas prices would discourage them from spending for Independence Day peaked at 59 percent in 2008.

“With more Americans planning to travel this Independence Day, gas prices are far less of a factor than they were in previous years,” Prosper Insights Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow said. “Many consumers will take advantage of low gas prices by taking long road trips with their family or heading to the beach for a long weekend.”

The survey of 7,258 consumers was conducted June 5-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics is a global leader in consumer intent data serving the financial services, marketing technology, and retail industries. We provide global authoritative market information on US and China consumers via curated insights and analytics. By integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data, Prosper helps companies accurately predict consumers’ future behavior to help identify market behaviors, optimize marketing efforts, and improve the effectiveness of demand generation campaigns. www.ProsperInsights.com

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NACS Consumer Fuels survey: Americans much more likely than in past years to hit the roads this summer

ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — American drivers are much more likely than in years past to be hitting the roads as summer drive season begins, according to the latest NACS Consumer Fuels survey.

Nearly three in ten (29%) consumers say they will drive more in the coming month, an 11-point jump increase from a year ago (18% in June 2016), and a record high for the month of June. NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells an estimated 80% of the fuel sold in the country, has conducted monthly surveys related to economic issues since January 2013.

Nearly three in five (58%) of gasoline consumers report feeling optimistic about the U.S. economy this month, down 2 points from last month. Consumer optimism has tracked between 57% and 61% for the past seven months. Consumers in the South are most optimistic (62%), though optimism remains high across all regions.

Relatively low gas prices are fueling both consumer optimism and the anticipated increase in driving. Fully four in five (80%) Americans say that gas prices impact their feelings about the economy.

“Continued strong optimism over the economy and an expected increase in summer driving is great news for convenience stores and other retailers who cater to summer travelers,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives.

However, there are some looming concerns. While the median gas price reported by consumers remained $2.35 for the second month, nearly half of all consumers say that gas prices rose over the past month. Price increases were seen most in the West, where 53% say gas prices are higher than they were last month. By comparison, just 43% of gas consumers in the South report that higher gas prices are this month.

Given concerns over rising prices, consumers are slightly more open to considering behavior. Consumers say that if gas prices increased to $3.40 per gallon, they would try reduce the amount that they drive. This $1.05 difference between current prices and a price that would change behavior is the lowest recorded in more than a year.

The survey was conducted online by PSB (Penn Schoen Berland); 1,100 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed June 6-9, 2017. Summary results are available at nacsonline.com/fuelssurvey.

NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.

Source: NACS

NRF: Americans are expected to spend more than ever on gifts for Father’s Day this year

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans are expected to spend more than ever on gifts for Father’s Day this year with the biggest share going to special outings like a ballgame, concert or dinner, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics.

Father’s Day shoppers are expected to spend an average $134.75 for the holiday, up from last year’s $125.92. With 77 percent of consumers surveyed celebrating, total spending is expected to reach $15.5 billion. That’s the highest number in the survey’s 15-year history, topping last year’s previous record of $14.3 billion.

“It’s encouraging to see that consumers are spending on special occasions such as Father’s Day,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This is a positive sign of strong consumer confidence heading into the second half of the year, and a good deal for all the dads who will reap the benefits.”

The survey found 27 percent of dads would love to receive a “gift of experience” for Father’s Day — and 25 percent of shoppers plan to grant that wish with gifts like tickets to a concert or a sporting event. When dinners, brunches and other types of “fun activity/experience” are included, consumers plan to spend $3.3 billion on special outings, which will be given by 48 percent of those surveyed.

Next up on the spending list is $2.2 billion on gift cards (given by 43 percent), followed by $2.2 billion on clothing (46 percent) and $1.8 billion on consumer electronics (21 percent). Personal care products such as a bottle of cologne (21 percent) total $888 million, slightly edging out home improvement supplies (16 percent) at $885 million. Greeting cards are the most common gift, purchased by 64 percent of consumers, but only account for $861 million of projected spending.

“With shoppers planning to be more generous to dad this year, the personal care category will be one to watch,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “Planned spending on items like cologne, aftershave and razors rose nearly 20 percent year-over-year, outpacing growth in every other gift category for Father’s Day.”

When searching for the perfect gift, 40 percent of consumers will head to department stores, 34 percent will shop online, 26 percent will shop at a discount store, 24 percent at a specialty store and 19 percent at a local small business. Among smartphone owners, 33 percent will use them to research gift ideas but only 18 percent will use them to make a purchase. Tablets are used slightly less frequently to research (32 percent) but slightly more frequently to buy (19 percent).

More than half of those surveyed plan to buy for their fathers or stepfathers (54 percent) while others will shop for their husbands (29 percent) or sons (10 percent).

The survey of 7,335 consumers was conducted May 2-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.ProsperInsights.com

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NACS survey: Americans say that low gas prices are good for the economy

New National Survey Also Finds That Prices Would Have to Increase to $3.37 per Gallon Before Consumers Begin to Curtail Driving

ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans overwhelmingly say that low gas prices are good for the economy and that gas prices would have to increase by more than $1 per gallon before they cut back on driving, according to results of the NACS Consumer Fuels Survey released today (4/6/2017).

Overall, 84% of consumers say that low gas prices are good for the economy, a 1-point drop from 2016, according to survey results announced by NACS, the association that represents convenience stores. Convenience stores sell an estimated 80% of the fuel purchased in the United States.

Americans also say that gas prices would have to increase to $3.37 per gallon before they reduce the amount they drive and reach $4.43 per gallon before they seek out alternatives to driving or drive drastically less.

“These findings are in line with what we traditionally find in our monthly surveys: Consumers say that prices have to increase by about a dollar per gallon from its current price before they consider cutting back. Gradual price increases also gradually push up the price at which they would drive less and it would take a sudden, unexpected price increase before most drivers would consider driving less,” said NACs Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard.

Gas prices tend to increase during the first few months of the year as the petroleum industry undergoes the spring transition to summer-blend fuel. This transition requires the production of unique fuel blends across the United States at a time of increased demand. Since 2000, this transition has led to an average price increase of 53 cents between early February and the seasonal peak, which most often occurs in late May.

By a more than two-to-one margin drivers understand the dynamics of the spring transition: 48% say that they agree that prices increase over the spring months because different fuel blends must be made and distributed for summer months. Only 21% disagree with that statement.

Other findings from the NACS survey include:

  • Consumers say that prices are more likely to increase because of world events as opposed to a local store trying to increase profits: 29% say OPEC is to blame when oil prices increase, compared to only 4% who blame gas stations.
  • A majority of Americans (57%) agree that most gas stations are small businesses evedn if they sell the fuel from a national brand. One in four Americans (26%) disagree with that statement. Overall, 58% of gas station in the United States are one-store operations.
  • Consumers say that convenience stores share their values: 66% agree that convenience stores share their values and do business the right way compared to 34% who disagree with that statement.
  • Consumers say that gas station profits are slim: 43% agree that gas stations make about 5 cents per gallon in profit, compared to 21% who disagree. Gross margins on fuel average about 20 cents per gallon and after expenses most retailers average about 5 cents per gallon in profit.

The survey results were released today as part of the 2016 NACS Retail Fuels Report (www.nacsonline.com/gasprices), which examines conditions and trends that could impact gasoline prices. The online resource is annually published to help demystify the retail fueling industry by exploring, among other topics, how fuel is sold, how prices affect consumer sentiment, why prices historically increase in the spring and which new fuels are likely to gain traction in the marketplace.

The survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,114 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed January 4-6, 2017. NACS has surveyed consumers about their perceptions related to gas prices since 2007 and has conducted monthly consumer sentiment surveys since 2013.

NACS (nacsonline.com) advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily — half of the U.S. population — and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and food service sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.

Contact:

(703) 684-3600 (phone)
(703) 836-4564 (fax)

Source: NACS

NACS: Americans seeking out fueling locations based on quality of food and beverages

New National Survey Shows Growing Trend of Consumers Seeking Out High-Quality Food and Beverages as Part of Fueling Experience

ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Mar-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans are increasingly seeking out fueling locations based on the quality of the food associated with the gas station, according to new national survey results released today (3/29/2017) by NACS. The association represents the convenience store industry, which sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the United States.

While survey results show that gas price is still the primary determinant in selecting a station, an increasing percentage of consumers say that the quality of items inside the store dictates where they buy fuel.  In fact, one in seven drivers (16%) say that the in-store offer is driving their fueling decision, a 5-point increase since 2015.

A majority (51%) of American drivers still say that the gas price is the reason that they prefer a specific store or chain, but that is a 6-point drop over the past two years.

Because of the expanded food and beverage offers at stores, fueling customers also are going inside the store more: 42% of those fueling up also went inside the store, a 7-point jump from two years ago. For those going inside, the most popular reasons were to pay for gas at the register (50%), buy a beverage (45%) or buy a snack (36%). More than one in five (22%) say they used the rest room. Overall, 8% say they bought a sandwich or meal, and that percentage jumps to 13% for younger consumers ages 18 to 34.

“The numbers clearly show the growing trend of consumers seeking out food and beverages as part of their fueling experience. While retailers know they need to aggressively compete on gas prices — 67% of Americans say they will drive 5 minutes out of their way to save 5 cents per gallon — it also shows that there are other ways to compete for customers with a quality in-store offer,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard.

Gasoline demand in 2016 reached a record 9.32 million barrels per day in 2016 but only 33% of American drivers report that they drove more in 2016. For those who say they drove more, 41% cited their job as the main reason, as opposed to only 8% who cited gas prices.

Others findings from the survey results include:

  • 73% of fuel customers pay by debit (37%) or credit (36%) card. Debit cards are most popular with younger consumers ages 18-34 (45%).
  • Evening rush is the most popular time to purchase fuel (36%), significantly more than morning rush (22%).
  • Nearly half (46%) of consumers say they have gotten a discount for their fuel by using a loyalty card or app and 23% have gotten a discount for paying by cash.
  • For those purchasing a sandwich or meal, 56% say they eat in in their car, compared to 34% who eat it once they arrive at their destination and 10% who eat at tables in the store.
  • Drivers expect that gas prices will increase throughout 2017. They predict that prices will be $2.84 at year’s end, a 52-cent increase from prices on January 1.

The survey results were released today as part of the 2016 NACS Retail Fuels Report (www.nacsonline.com/gasprices), which examines conditions and trends that could impact gasoline prices. The online resource is annually published to help demystify the retail fueling industry by exploring, among other topics, how fuel is sold, how prices affect consumer sentiment, why prices historically increase in the spring and which new fuels are likely to gain traction in the marketplace.

The survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,114 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed January 4-6, 2017.

Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Contact:

(703) 684-3600 (phone)
(703) 836-4564 (fax)

Source: NACS

Americans Expected to Spend More On Late Easter Celebrations

WASHINGTON, 2017-Mar-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans will spend more than ever as they celebrate Easter nearly three weeks later this year than last, the National Retail Federation said today (March 23, 2017). According to NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, spending for Easter is expected to reach $18.4 billion, up 6 percent over last year’s record $17.3 billion and a new all-time high in the survey’s 14-year history. Those celebrating plan to spend an average of $152 per person, up 4 percent from last year’s previous record of $146.

“Most consumers have almost an entire extra month to shop for Easter this year, and by the time the holiday comes the weather should be significantly warmer than last Easter,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “That should put shoppers in the frame of mind to splurge on spring apparel along with Easter decorations. With the economy improving, consumers are ready to shop and retailers are ready to offer great deals whether they’re buying Easter baskets or garden tools.”

According to the survey, consumers will spend $5.8 billion on food (purchased by 87 percent of shoppers), $3.3 billion on clothing (50 percent), $2.9 billion on gifts (61 percent), $2.6 billion on candy (89 percent), $1.2 billion on flowers (39 percent), $1.1 billion on decorations (43 percent) and $788 million on greeting cards (48 percent).

The 50 percent of consumers planning to buy clothing is up from 45 percent last year and is the highest level in a decade while the $3.3 billion expected to be spent is up 9 percent from last year.

With shopping lists in hand, 58 percent of consumers will head to discount stores, 46 percent will go to department stores and 26 percent will shop at local small businesses. In addition, 27 percent will shop online, up from 21 percent last year. Among smartphone owners, 28 percent will research products on their devices while 18 percent will use their phones to make a purchase, while another 9 percent will use apps to do their research or purchase products.

“Easter continues to be a traditional holiday for consumers of all ages, especially young families who are planning to spend a bit more for this celebration,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “With the later timing of Easter, we will see more consumers shopping for special deals, especially on apparel and decorations.”

Consumers plan to celebrate Easter in several different ways: 61 percent will visit family and friends, 57 percent will cook a holiday meal, 52 percent will go to church and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. Children will have plenty to look forward to after the Easter Bunny arrives: 35 percent of consumers will have an Easter egg hunt and 16 percent will open gifts. In addition, some consumers will celebrate with more leisurely activities: 43 percent will watch TV, 10 percent will shop online and 9 percent will head to the movies or shop in a store.

The survey, which asked 7,411 consumers about their Easter Sunday plans, was conducted March 1-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. Full data results will not be published on NRF.com but news media and analysts who require additional information can contact press@nrf.com.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.ProsperDiscovery.com

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:

Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

Feed the Truth: A new independent organization to improve public health guidance and information offered to Americans

  • With a pledge of $25 million, Daniel Lubetzky seeks to offset self-serving industry agendas at the expense of public good
  • Lubetzky will remove himself and his company completely from its operation to ensure transparency and eliminate bias

NEW YORK, NY, 2017-Feb-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Daniel Lubetzky, the Founder and CEO of KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND), today (February 15, 2017) announced the launch of Feed the Truth. Established as an independent organization, Feed the Truth will seek to improve public health by making truth, transparency and integrity the foremost values in today’s food system.

To ensure Feed the Truth’s independence from KIND, Lubetzky will remove himself entirely from all activities and governance of the new organization. He has assembled three unaffiliated public health advocates whose sole role is to nominate Feed the Truth’s Board of Directors. The advisors, all of whom have offered their expertise voluntarily and are not being paid for their involvement, include:

  • Deb Eschmeyer, former Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy at The White House
  • Michael Jacobson, PhD, Co-Founder and President of the Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University

Feed the Truth will ensure science overrules special interests by revealing and counteracting the food industry’s undue influence in shaping nutrition policy and ability to disseminate biased science, among other activities that are detrimental to public health. While specific programming will be decided by an Executive Director that will be appointed by the Board of Directors, activities could potentially include grants to support investigative journalism, consumer education campaigns and educational briefings to policymakers and influencers.

“In establishing Feed the Truth, my intent is to elevate reputable science, bolster the voices of the nutrition community, and improve the guidance and information offered to Americans,” Lubetzky said. “As a business owner, I understand the importance of prioritizing your bottom line, but it’s equally as important to consider how you can succeed while also thinking about the long-term impact on the community.”

Lubetzky’s journey to create Feed the Truth began in 2004 when his frustration with a lack of wholesome, nutritious snacks in the marketplace led him to launch KIND. What began as a line of whole nut & fruit bars sparked the creation of an entirely new healthy snacking category and gave Lubetzky a window into long-held industry operating procedures that often benefited companies financially at the expense of public health.

In May 2015, KIND faced a public confrontation with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) over the company’s usage of the term “healthy” as a nutrient content claim on its packaging. The FDA’s guidance – which was established over 20 years ago – limited total fat intake, regardless of source or type, and prevented demonstrably nutritious foods like nuts, salmon and avocado from being labeled as “healthy.” After months of exploration and discovery, KIND filed a Citizen Petition, with the support of leading nutrition and public health experts, requesting the agency update the regulation to be consistent with modern nutrition science.

By September 2016, the FDA announced it would begin the process of revising this regulation and offered a sensible interim solution – both of which incorporated KIND’s recommendations. That same month, a JAMA Internal Medicine report found that in the 1960s the Sugar Association funded scientific studies to diminish findings that linked sugar consumption to poor heart health. Instead, the Association used industry-funded research to vilify fats – an act that would go on to directly inform the government’s dietary guidance, spur a surge of low-fat, high-sugar products, and ultimately, distort consumer perception of all dietary fat.

“We’re eager for Feed the Truth to step in and hold all of us in the food community accountable for what we say and claim,” said Lubetzky. “While this ‘Big Sugar’ revelation underscored the need to provide more tools to public advocates, it doesn’t mean that ‘fat’ or ‘protein’ should now be evangelized. Feed the Truth’s independent Board of Directors, once established, will seek to ensure consumers have access to unbiased nutrition information.”

“This commitment could have a salutary effect on educating the public about nutrition and cleaning up deceitful marketing practices,” said Michael Jacobson.

Lubetzky’s donor advised fund has made an initial contribution of $5 million to Feed the Truth. Lubetzky intends to fund an additional $20 million over the next ten years.

To learn more and get involved visit FeedtheTruth.org.

Contact:

Email – customerservice@kindsnacks.com
Phone – +1 855.884.KIND (5463)

Source: KIND

NACS survey: Only 44% of Americans are optimistic about the economy, down 3 points from last month

ALEXANDRIA, Va, 2016-Aug-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Despite declining prices at the pump and a prevailing expectation that lower prices will continue, a majority of U.S. fuel consumers remain pessimistic about the overall state of the American economy, according to the latest national consumer survey released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Only 44% of Americans say they are “very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” about the economy, down 3 points from last month. Economic optimism is also down compared to this time last year, when nearly half (49%) reported feeling optimistic about the state of the economy.
Consumers in the Northeast are least optimistic (37%) and consumers ages 18-34 are most optimistic (51%).

U.S. fuel consumers report a median gas price of $2.10 per gallon, a 16-cent drop from July, and a total decline of 28 cents since June 2016’s summer high of $2.38.

As gas prices continue to drop, more drivers are noticing the trend. Nearly two in five (42%) fuel consumers say gas prices have declined in their area over the past 30 days, compared to 31% who said so in July when gas prices began to fall nationally.

Americans have noticed this trend in declining prices, and a majority expect low prices to continue. When asked whether they think gas prices 30 days from now will be higher or lower, nearly three in five (59%) say they expect prices next month to be the same or lower.

As has been the case throughout 2016, gas prices remain significantly lower than they have been in recent years. This month’s median gas price of $2.10 is 54 cents lower than August 2015’s median gas price of $2.64 and $1.40 per gallon lower than August 2014’s median price of $3.50.

It may be that, as gas prices drop, economic optimism becomes less dependent on the price of gas. Just one in five (22%) of U.S fuel consumers say that gas prices have a “great impact” on their feelings on the economy. This ties last month (July 2016) for the lowest number since NACS began its monthly consumer surveys in January 2013.

Consumers say their vehicle’s average fuel efficiency is 24.5 miles per gallon and average miles per dollar—a calculation that examines gas prices related to vehicle fuel efficiency—rose to 11.7 miles per dollar, the highest level since April.

“Consumer optimism has decoupled from gas price changes for only the second time in three years—and in both cases the news was dominated by politics. It’s likely that the recent political conventions pushed down optimism and the rancor of the campaigns is taking its toll on consumer optimism,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas in the United States, conducts monthly consumer surveys to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,149 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed August 2-5, 2016. Summary results are available at nacsonline.com/fuelssurvey.

Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Contact:

(703) 684-3600 (phone)
(703) 836-4564 (fax)

Source: NACS

Majority of Americans are optimistic about the economy thanks to the continuing slide in gas prices, NACS survey

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-1-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the first time in two years, a majority of Americans are optimistic about the economy, thanks to the continuing slide in gas prices. A survey of gas consumers found that 57% of Americans are optimistic, including nearly two-thirds (65%) of those ages 18-34.

The levels of consumer optimism are the highest measured in the more than two years that consumer sentiment has been measured by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Consumers are obviously pleased with the continued falling price of gasoline. Almost nine in ten consumers (88%) say gas prices are lower today than they were last month, and they report that gas prices are 50 cents per gallon lower than they were 30 days ago.

Looking forward, consumers are evenly split about where gas prices will go from here. Nearly one in three (31%) say gas prices will be lower next month, which also is the largest percentage recorded. However, an equal number (31%) expect gas prices to go up over the next month. There is an interesting regional split when it comes to expectations of price: those in the Northeast are more likely to expect gas prices to fall (37% expect prices to go down vs. 21% who expect prices to go up), while those in the Midwest expect gas prices to go up (43% expect prices to go up versus 22% who expect prices to go down).

It remains to be seen if lower gas prices will result in more spending or driving. One in four consumers (24%) say that they will drive more this month, significantly higher than the 19% who said so each of the previous three months. However, only 16% of consumers say that they will spend more (excluding gas purchases) this month, while 25% say that they will spend less.

“Consumers generally pay down expenses in January after holiday spending so it’s not surprising that they may not shop more as gas prices fall. But if consumers do, in fact, travel more this month it would be a significant departure from previous years when January travel tended to fall off after the holidays and as winter weather keeps people indoors more,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS’ vice president of strategic initiatives.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,108 gas consumers were surveyed Jan. 6-8, 2015. Summary results are at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Evolution Fresh challenges Americans to get into the green routine by drinking one green juice a day for three days with the 3 Days to Green Movement

SEATTLE, 2015-1-6 — /EPR Retail News/ — With the start of 2015 and an increasing number of people looking for ways to get vegetables into their diet[1], Evolution Fresh is offering four varieties of cold-pressed, high pressure processed (HPP) green juice that are made from more than a pound of green vegetables, have 10 grams of naturally occurring sugar or less per eight fluid ounce serving, and have no added flavors or sweeteners: Sweet Greens and Lemon, Essential Greens with Lime, Organic Sweet Greens and Ginger and Smooth Greens[2].

The broad selection of green juices are available to meet the needs of a significant number of consumers trying green juice – a recent Evolution Fresh survey reveals that 43 percent of people in the U.S. have tried green juice[3].

“As the demand for green juice continues to grow, we are set apart by what we put into the bottle– juice made from the green vegetables customers want,” said Julie Key, brand marketing director, Evolution Fresh. “A product line-up of variety is essential and with the four cold-pressed green juices made from more than a pound of green vegetables, Evolution Fresh is giving people the goodness they expect from green juice.”

In fact, an Evolution Fresh study reveals that it’s what is inside the bottle that counts when it comes to green juice. Of those surveyed, 36 percent look for a vegetable as the first ingredient, 38 look for low sugar and 34 percent look for more vegetables than fruit.

3 Days to Green with Evolution Fresh

As the New Year begins, Evolution Fresh is challenging Americans to get into the green routine by drinking one green juice a day for three days with the 3 Days to Green Movement.

“This New Year we want to shift the focus from cutting back and restriction to adding something good to your life,” said Jimmy Rosenberg, founder of Evolution Fresh. “Decades of experience has shown me that by drinking one green juice a day for three days your routine begins to change, and it becomes easy to incorporate green juice into your daily diet. Drinking green juice daily has helped guide me to feeling great.”

Evolution Fresh is rewarding those who take #3DaystoGreen pledge at EvolutionFresh.com/3DaystoGreen and enter the 3 Days to Green sweepstakes with prizes that give a helping hand toward healthy habits. Prizes include one month of free Evolution Fresh cold-pressed juice, workout wear, fitness trackers and more[4].

Who’s Going Green

The “Evolution Fresh Green Juice Habits Study” reveals:

2 out of 5 people in the US have tried green juice. 43 percent of consumers from coast-to-coast have tried green juice

Spinach reigns as the new King of Green. 58 percent of consumers name spinach as the most important ingredient to have in a bottle of green juice

86 percent of those who drink green juice look at the ingredients to see what is in their bottle

Consumers are placing importance on low sugar content (38 percent), seeing a green vegetable listed as the first ingredient (36 percent) and that the bottle in-hand contains more vegetables than fruits (34 percent)

Evolution Fresh Green Juice Selection

Since the early days of Evolution Fresh, Jimmy Rosenberg has worked with a talented culinary team to creatively combine fruits and vegetables into unique juice blends that highlight the natural and nutritional qualities of the produce. Evolution Fresh has a wide assortment of green juice varieties that are cold pressed, HPP processed, and offer a spectrum of flavor options for those looking to make drinking green juice a daily habit. The greenest Evolution Fresh green juices have 10 grams of sugar or less per eight ounce serving, no added flavors or sweeteners and three of the first four ingredients are vegetable juices. These juices include:

Sweet Greens and Lemon: a refreshing green juice featuring a medley of green vegetables, a squeeze of lemon, and a touch of sweetness from apple – ideal as an everyday green juice, or for those early in their green juice journey

Essential Greens with Lime: a nutritious green juice with notes of spinach, romaine lettuce and kale, accented by cucumber, celery and a hint of lime for a refreshing finish – ideal for the green juice lover

Smooth Greens: a green vegetable and fruit juice blending cool cucumber and leafy greens with pineapple, apple, and mint for a soft and smooth finish – ideal as an everyday green juice and offers variety for green juice drinkers

Organic Sweet Greens and Ginger: a refreshing green juice blending a medley of green vegetables and crisp apple, finished with a squeeze of lemon and a spicy ginger kick – a 100 percent organic offering and a twist on a consumer favorite

Evolution Fresh also has choices for those new to green juice. Coconut Water and Greens is an approachable fruit and vegetable juice that can help introduce the cool flavors of cucumber and leafy greens with refreshing and hydrating coconut water and a splash of sweet pineapple.

3 Days to Green Evolution Fresh Tip Sheet

About Evolution Fresh, Inc.
Evolution Fresh offers cold-pressed juices and foods that provide high-quality, wholesome, and delicious nutrition to consumers. Acquired by Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) in 2011, Evolution Fresh takes a different approach to crafting its cold-pressed juice – it presses and squeezes vegetables and fruits, bottles the juice cold and uses high pressure processing (HPP) to help protect flavors and nutrients. Evolution Fresh offers an extensive portfolio of bottled juices, available in more than 6,000 grocery retailers, 7,200 Starbucks® stores, and in four company-operated Evolution Fresh retail locations. Together, Starbucks and Evolution Fresh seek to make incredible nutrition widely accessible. To learn more about Evolution Fresh and our cold-pressed difference please visit, evolutionfresh.com.

About the Survey
The Starbucks Evolution Fresh Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18+, between November 22 through December 2, 2014, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population ages 18+. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with a similar group.

[1] According to the 2014 Food & Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food Safety, Nutrition & Health, commissioned by the International Food Information Council. As in 2013, eating more fruits and vegetables is the most common effort Americans report taking to improve their diets. Nearly one out of three consumers have begun eating more fruits and vegetables within the past year, and just over half have been trying to do it more than a year

[2] One pound of green vegetables in Sweet Greens and Lemon, Essential Greens with Lime, Organic Sweet Greens and Ginger, and Smooth Greens.

[3] Evolution Fresh Green Juice Habits survey conducted by Wakefield Research among 1000 American adults age 18+ using email invitation and online survey.  December 2014

[4] NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. The Evolution Fresh 3 Days to Green Sweepstakes is open to legal eligible residents of 50 US/DC, 13 years or older. Sweepstakes starts 1/2/15 at 12:00 PM ET and ends 2/28/15 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Void in PR & where prohibited or restricted by law. Click here for Official Rules and details including how to enter, free method of entry, prizes, odds of winning, etc. Sponsor: Evolution Fresh, Inc., 2401 Utah Avenue South Seattle, WA 98134.© 2014 Evolution Fresh, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

For more information on this news release, contact us.

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Evolution Fresh challenges Americans to get into the green routine by drinking one green juice a day for three days with the 3 Days to Green Movement

Evolution Fresh challenges Americans to get into the green routine by drinking one green juice a day for three days with the 3 Days to Green Movement