Iowa Retailer Sees E-15 Fuel Demand Rise

Man pumping gas

Photo: Getty Images

(Ankeny, IA) -- Iowa-based Casey's Convenience Stores has seen some gas-buying behavior changes, which CEO Darren Rebelez attributes to historically high gas prices. Rebelez says they've seen rising demand for higher blends for ethanol, including E-15 fuel during this period of volatile fuel prices. He notes customers are also not filling up the tank entirely. He says that bodes well for stations because it likely means customers will return to the pump sooner, and could potentially make an additional purchase inside the store.

He made the comments during Casey's 4Q Earnings/FY Report this week.

“Casey's delivered another record fiscal year to its shareholders with inside sales up 6.6%," said Darren Rebelez, President and CEO. “Inside same-store sales were driven by strong prepared food and dispensed beverages, most notably pizza slices and our new breakfast offering. Private label's tremendous progress resulted in exiting the quarter at 5% sales penetration of the grocery and general merchandise category. Despite all-time high fuel costs and challenging macro-economic conditions, fuel volume and margins remained strong. We had the most acquisitive year in our Company's history, finishing the year with 2,452 stores. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of the Casey's team, we are well positioned to deliver on our long-term strategic plan commitments in fiscal 2023.”

Rebelez is predicting fuel sales will be flat to 2% in 2023. He also notes the chain continues to see growth in it's private brand items, as consumers seek out less expensive snack items, in these inflationary times.

Casey's is one of the largest convenience store chains in the U-S. The chain has more than 22-hudred stores in 16-states. Rebelez said this week the company has plans to acquire 80-stores in FY 2023.

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