Competition Between Grocers Equals Savings at the Pumps

Competition Between Grocers Equals Savings at the Pumps

Competition between grocers is fierce; they look for any area of competitive edge to get more consumers into their stores. Have you ever notice those every day low prices for eggs or that unbelievable sales price for steaks over Memorial Day? They’re practically giving them away! But what about those bright illuminating signs over the gas pumps as you pull into the parking lot?

There’s no doubt that shoppers love shaving dollars off their grocery bills and after consistently seeing such low prices at grocers’ pumps, we started to wonder: is gas at grocers always cheaper than the Shells and Exons of the world? And if so, how much could a shopper save just by filling up during their weekly grocery trips? We started by looking at 4 major United States’ markets, all in different regions: Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, and Dallas. After that, we found major grocers in those areas that also had gas stations. We took the grocer’s gas price and compared it to the average of the 10 closet gas stations in the area.

Atlanta — Kroger:
Gas is significantly cheaper at Kroger than surround gas stations. If filling up at Kroger, you could save $0.20 per gallon which adds up to $85 a year for the average driver, driving a mid-size sedan. However, if the average driver has a large SUV or Truck their savings could be $150 a year.

Los Angeles — Ralphs:
L.A. is known for a steep cost of living, so every penny saved on gas is a positive. An average, mid-size sedan driver could also save upwards $85 a year by getting gas at only Ralphs. If you do choose to drive a large SUV or truck in L.A., with gas around $3.70/gallon, you could save almost $145 a year. The lines may be a little longer for these prices, but waiting is nothing new for Los Angeles’ drivers.

Boston — Shaws:
From our research, gas prices in Boston tend to remain consistent no matter the station. Yet, you could save a few bucks by getting your gas at Shaws versus surrounding gas stations. There’s only a $0.10 difference per gallon, but that still comes out to almost $45 a year in savings – that’s 45 bucks you didn’t have before! And if you drive a large SUV or truck, you could save almost $75 by simply filling up before/after grocery shopping.

Dallas — Kroger & Tom Thumb:
With Texas having some of the lowest gas prices, an average of $2.89, in the nation due to low state taxes and the proximity to oil production, it was interesting to see if Texas’ drivers could save even more at the pumps. If Dallas’ drivers purchased their gas at Tom Thumb or Kroger, which averaged out to be slightly lower at $2.85, they would save a whopping $15 in a sedan or $25 in an SUV or truck. Since it is Texas, we’ll assume most drivers would be saving the $25 a year.

Shop More and Save More
This is simply what customers would save on prices differences per gallon; yet, many grocery stores will have added perks for being a loyal shopper. Kroger, for example, has a gas savings program that gives customers an additional $0.10 off each gallon with every $100 spent on groceries and sometimes offers double fuel rewards on weekends. Also, Shaws has a similar deal but gives you double the savings on gift card purchases.

Grocers are trying everything to gain an edge over their competitors by enticing their consumers to remain loyal. With Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods, the grocery world has been shaken up; leaving every store looking for a new way to draw customers in. Consumers need to take full advantage of these opportunities because, in the long-run, it could be beneficial to both sides.

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Seth Nagle, Senior Marketing Manager at RW3 Technologies understands the power of innovation but also its limitations. Attending Salve Regina in New England, starting his career in Silicon Valley, and now living in Austin, Texas; Seth provides a unique tech perspective to a complex CPG and Retail Grocery Industry that is in constant disruption.

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