Over half of those who regularly shop in convenience stores have said they regularly buy freshly baked goods, according to research analyst Mintel.

The research by Mintel found that 57% of convenience store customers regularly bought freshly baked goods – more than any other item. Forty-five per cent of Brits regularly visited convenience stores to do a top-up shop, whilst 7% visited the stores for their main weekly or monthly shop. Of those who visited convenience stores, 59% visited twice a week or more, with 12% shopping four to six times a week, and 5% saying they did so daily.

The growth has been driven by a shift in grocery habits from consumers who want to cut down on the time spent food shopping. The research indicated that it was the flexibility of convenience stores that was key for today’s time-pressed consumers, as three-quarters (75%) of Brits said the opening times of convenience stores made it easier to fit shopping into their daily schedule.

Nick Carroll, retail analyst at Mintel, said: “The increasingly busy nature of modern life means that, across categories, consumers are looking to cut back on the time that it takes to do certain activities. Grocery retailing is no different, and the convenience sector is perhaps the best-suited to take advantage of this. As a result, the market is flourishing.”

Convenience sector grew

The convenience sector grew by an estimated 1.8% in 2015 to reach £38.7bn. While this represents a slowdown on the 2.8% growth seen in 2014, it remains higher than the wider grocery sector, which is estimated to have seen a 0.2% fall in sales in 2015. The market is forecast to grow 13% over the next five years to reach £43.8bn in 2020.

Last month the grocery market continued to struggle, according to Kantar Worldpanel, with the big four supermarkets all suffering a drop in sales for the 12 weeks to 24 April, and Asda faring the worst.