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How bp is expanding its retail food offerings – and business

Release date:
11 April 2024
Two people purchase food at a Thorntons cash register

bp stores around the world are expanding the range of food and drinks available to customers, giving them the opportunity to pick up freshly prepared meals and nibbles – from customizable sandwiches to new, private-brand snacks.

 

“Customers tell us they want tasty and freshly prepared food options on the go,” says Tracey Clements, SVP of mobility & convenience, Europe. “We are constantly listening to give them what they want, when and where they want it, as we develop exciting, new menu options at our stores. The new dishes I’ve tasted have had me coming back for more.”

 

Menus at bp stores are developed with local tastes in mind. In the UK, that means made-to-order hot sandwiches and toasties, like the big breakfast bap with sausage, bacon, egg and Gouda cheese, and the avocado, halloumi and egg bap with gochujang-style ketchup. Both are on a new menu launching at 10 wildbean cafes in the UK this spring.

 

Meanwhile, at bp stores in the US – which include ampm, Thorntons and TravelCenters of America – customers have been able to pick up drinks like the Dirty Horchata – a mix of horchata and coffee in a frozen slush with a light cinnamon flavor. That launched at ampm stores for the summer season last year and ended up selling five times the anticipated volume. Smash Burgers have been gobbled up by customers as well, driving an increase in sales of burgers after they replaced the burger selection on the menu at TravelCenters of America in 2023.

A headshot of Greg Franks, bp SVP of mobility & convenience, Americas
“The US is such a big market, with big differences in how people shop based on their location. Our aim is to give them the food they love and take advantage of our scale and worldwide expertise to expand our food offer even further.” Greg Franks, SVP of mobility & convenience, Americas

The recipe for growing value

Nearly 20 years ago, bp teamed up with Marks & Spencer to introduce high-quality groceries at company-owned retail stores in the UK. That partnership was followed by other successful collaborations in Europe, including REWE To Go stores on bp forecourts in Germany and EasyAuchan stores in Poland.

 

bp’s evolution of its fresh food and private-label offers is a great complement to these ‘food for later’ partnerships and the next logical step for bp’s convenience business.

 

“We expect drivers to spend more time at our sites as the need for EV charging becomes more widespread. Our convenience retail offer enhances our fuel and EV charging offers and it is also, for many people, the only reason they visit a bp store,” says Tracey. “In the UK, more than 50% of our transactions are now shop only, while in Germany, that figure is approximately 25%.”

 

Two stores testing the new freshly made menu in the UK saw double-digit growth in cafe food sales. And in Poland, an expanded burger selection drove an increase in sales of 17% above plan in the first 10 weeks alone.

 

In the coming years, bp aims to continue developing exclusive food and drink offers. Convenience is one of bp’s five transition growth engines (along with bioenergy, EV charging, renewables & power, and hydrogen), which bp expects to achieve levels of returns that compete well with the rest of bp’s business.

 

“Our stores are the part of bp that people come into contact with the most,” says Tracey. “We currently process more than 12 million transactions a day and we want to make each experience as high quality as possible, so our customers keep coming back for more.”

The science behind the sandwich

Over the past two years, food service specialist Jessica Gellett has tested dozens of types of bread, bacon, lettuce, cheese and more. It’s part of her job helping bp teams around the UK and Europe to deliver freshly prepared food and barista coffee.

 

Take the new crispy herby chicken burger. It starts with five swipes of butter on the bun, a quick toast on the grill, and then a zig zag of herby ranch dressing. Lettuce and red onion are layered under a crispy chicken fillet. Then shavings of Grana Padano cheese – placed on the sauce to prevent them slipping – finish off the sandwich.

 

“Delicious food that customers can customize to their own tastes helps to create an emotional connection with our brand,” says Jess. “It’s that offer, as much as the clean, well-lit and safe forecourts that, we believe, will have people returning to bp again and again.”

A collage of images explaining bp's gas station food offerings in the United States

New and delicious

Seasonal offers provide bp customers with something new on a regular basis. Here are a few foods to look out for at bp stores:
 

  • ampm and Thorntons: A new range of private-brand snacks, featuring nibbles, such as milk chocolate peanut butter peanuts and sour worms. These products will also be featured in TravelCenters of America stores.
  • Thorntons: Fresh pizza made onsite with hand-stretched dough set to roll out this spring. 
  • TravelCenters of America: A limited-time offer Tex-Mex menu, including tacos, burritos, rice bowls and nachos. Plus, another limited-time offer international menu coming this summer, which includes chicken tikka masala and Cuban sandwiches. Keep an eye out for the Cleveland Clinic logo on menus showing that the dish is a healthy option.
  • wildbean cafe in India: In addition to our best-selling samosas, keep an eye out for new private-brand snacks and our recently launched Watermelon Cooler.
  • wildbean cafe in Poland: A range of filled Italian focaccia and burgers developed with a celebrity food critic and TV personality.
  • wildbean cafe in Spain: Barista-made coffees with a choice of milk, fresh bread, and bakery goods, including a ricotta and spinach pastry.
  • wildbean cafe in the UK: The big breakfast bap, crispy herby chicken burger and fish finger sandwich, alongside existing favourites like the sausage roll and bacon & cheese turnover.

 

Why it matters

We know that customers have a choice, and we want them to choose bp. Food is an important part of everyone’s journey, and we aim to offer great choices, along with great services and amenities and a friendly experience – supported by seamless digital tools that make shopping with bp easier and engaging loyaty programmes that make it even better value.

 

According to Euromonitor, the convenience market globally is expected to grow around 4% per annum out to 2030, with food service growing at double that rate, around 8% per year.

 

Convenience is a core part of bp’s wider strategy and, in addition to expanding in the US and Europe, we’re also growing in markets, including India, Indonesia and China, to reach even more customers.

 

We’re aiming to double our convenience gross margin by 2030, invest around $15 billion in convenience and EV charging globally between 2023 and 2030, and grow customer touchpoints at our sites globally from 12 million a day in 2023 to more than 15 million a day by 2025.

A shopping basket filled with a variety of food

Adding value through convenience

  • bp aims to double our convenience gross margin by 2030 from a 2022 base of $1.5 billion.
  • bp aims to double the number of strategic convenience sites globally by 2030 from 1,600 in 2022 to around 3,500.
  • bp aims to invest around $15 billion in convenience and EV charging globally from 2023 to 2030.