Gas station of the future? More convenience stores going upscale

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Convenience stores are stepping up their game. (KTRK)

You might call them mini marts or convenience stores, where you fill up your tank, run in, grab a snack or a slushy, and you're on your way.

But there's a new trend in some corner stores: upscale and healthy dining.

Stores are also going high tech with touch screen menus. Others are working on technology to order food at the pump. With 83 percent of items purchased for immediate consumption, experts predict convenience stores will continue to evolve.

"When you look at convenience stores in the next 10 years they'll be different, and they will focus on what customers want. Fast, fresh and get them on their way," said Jeff Lenard with the National Association of Convenience Stores.


Take Buc-ee's for example. You can find jerky, chopped brisket, turkey, sausage and pulled pork.

You can even munch on sweet treats like sugared nuts and freshly made fudge.

Healthier options are also available.

"Not only with the salty snacks you would traditionally find, we do take it seriously and make sure we have healthy options for people. Protein packs are a big thing we have now," said Brent Sall General Manager of Buc-ee's in Katy.

Another store offers a burger and beer joint, which features local craft beers. It's also a speakeasy.

The 154,000 corner stores in the country are where consumers buy much of their food.

"My husband and I come here for date night. We get food, shop some of the neat things they have for the household, wander around, just look at stuff," said one Buc-ee's shopper.

We know Texans love Buc-ee's. It was the nation's highest rated gas station in a recent Gas Buddy survey. It was also named the best gas station in the state.

SEE ALSO: 10 ways Buc-ee's is a Texas traveler's friend

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Learn why Buc-ee's is Texas traveler's best friend.

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