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Gas Sales Are Down, But Minimart Snack Purchases Are Up

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Snacks like donuts are keeping minimarts in business. (Kobby Mendez/Unsplash)
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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.

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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.

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