Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Gas Sales Are Down, But Minimart Snack Purchases Are Up

Snacks like donuts are keeping minimarts in business. (Kobby Mendez/Unsplash)
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

While the pandemic keeps us home, our gas consumption has plummeted.

For gas stations, that's very bad news, especially since they operate on fairly narrow margins. But for gas stations that have convenience stores, one thing could be in their favor: our desire for snacks.

The local 7-Eleven or ampm minimart is a great place for a quick takeout hot dog, Slurpee, or donut -- basic comfort food in a time of stress. All that's translated into an increase in sales, according to James Allison of the California Fuels and Convenience Alliance.

Those items also have a pretty hefty profit margin. So if gas prices continue to slump, your snacking could help keep gas stations in business.

Support for LAist comes from

Meanwhile, local oil producers and gas refineries are also feeling the pinch of historically low oil prices, caused by the pandemic — and a worldwide oil surplus.


Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.