As the popularity of C-stores among consumers has boomed, top brands are reinventing the gas station experience at a rapid pace.
GasBuddy, a smartphone app that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop, issued its 2018 Top Gas Station Brands in the U.S. report, revealing which gas station convenience store brands had the best-of-the-best experience based on nearly 7 million reviews in the GasBuddy app.
“Gas may be the primary reason consumers stop at the gas station, but it’s everything else that keeps them coming back,” says Frank Beard, convenience store and retail trends analyst at GasBuddy. “GasBuddy ratings and reviews data show that customer service, food, and amenities are the top factors in generating positive reviews. All the brands that made our list this year demonstrate how the industry continues to move towards being a destination for fresh food, clean facilities, and excellent customer service.”
Top 10 Gas Station Brands in the U.S. in 2018:
1. Kwik Trip
Leading the pack is Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip. With more than 560 U.S. locations in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, Kwik Trip sweeps the rankings by capturing the highest ratings and reviews in four of the six GasBuddy categories: cleanliness, outdoor lighting, restrooms and overall experience.
With more than 1,700 locations across 19 states, Minnesota-based Cenex with also made a strong showing in 2018 by placing second in the overall category and in three individual categories including cleanliness, outdoor lighting and restrooms. Cenex received top marks in customer service.
3. Kum & Go
Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, Kum & Go placed in five of the six categories, including cleanliness (three), customer service (five), outdoor lighting (four), restrooms (four) and overall experience (three). Kum & Go has more than 430 locations in the U.S., with eight locations having opened in 2018 in Colorado and Montana.
4. Casey’s General Store
Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Store operates more than 2,000 locations in the Midwestern United States, with a super-fan following for their pizza offerings. The brand places in the following categories: overall (four), cleanliness (five), outdoor lighting (five) and restrooms (three).
5. Cumberland Farms
With more than 500 locations in New York, New England and Florida, this Massachusetts-based company places fifth overall and places in first for gas station coffee. In 2014, a blind taste-test revealed that Cumberland Farms coffee tasted just as good as Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend coffee.
With more than 325 locations in New England, Canadian-based Irving is thriving in the U.S. market placing sixth overall and ranking high in cleanliness (four), coffee (two) and outdoor lighting (three).
7. Kwik Fill
Headquartered in Warren, Pa., Kwik Fill has 278 locations throughout New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, ranking seventh overall and taking third place in customer service.
8. Holiday StationStores
Placing eighth overall is Holiday StationStores, a gas station convenience store chain based in West Bloomington, Minn. Holiday has more than 500 locations throughout Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The brand also places fifth in the gas station coffee category.
A long-time fixture on American roads with its green brontosaurus mascot, Sinclair has more than 1,500 locations across the United States. Sinclair places ninth overall and fourth in customer service.
Rounding out the top ten is Maverik. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Maverik has more than 330 gas stations and convenience stores in 11 western states. The brand also placed fifth for top-rated restrooms.