OPINION: Gain pricing flexibility with E15

By Mike Lorenz, senior vice president of market development at Growth Energy | December 01, 2021

Over the last year, drivers across America have seen a rise in fuel prices – nearly up $1 since January – due to a supply-demand imbalance. During the COVID-19 pandemic last year, gasoline demand plummeted, causing a supply gut. This year, the speedy recovery coming out of COVID-19 is leading to higher demand and rising prices. Those rapid changes in demand vs supply are causing volatility, and both customers and retailers are looking for every opportunity to save at the pump.

Fortunately, amid fluctuations in demand levels, product costs, and availability, one thing still stands true: adding E15 to your lineup can help stabilize and provide flexibility in the most volatile fuel markets.

The lower cost of E15 provides flexibility and optionality for retailers. They gain the ability to either improve their margins or drive more traffic to their store and sell more gallons of fuel, and in some cases, they can actually achieve both. Regardless, all roads lead to higher profitability for the retailer. Another benefit is that E15 can help retailers meet their environmental and social commitments by offering this environmentally friendly product. This is becoming increasingly more important as companies realize it has a positive impact for their brand image.

Thankfully, adding E15 to your fuel offering is easy. Most retailers have compatible equipment and could be selling E15 today, and 96% of vehicles on the road today can use E15, so it can be mass marketed. That’s important for retailers, because gasoline tends to be a high volume, low margin business—and virtually everyone can use E15 in their current vehicle.

And importantly for customers, E15’s lower price can translate to lower prices at the pump. Consumers are highly price sensitive – research shows it’s the No. 1 reason behind where they decide to buy fuel. Also, as people are becoming more eco-conscious, they prefer E15 because it’s better for the environment, as well as higher octane, which is better for your vehicle.

Growth Energy’s  market development team stands ready to assist any interested retailers - large or small - with marketing, regulatory, and equipment compatibility questions before adding E15 to their fuel line-up. To learn more about how E15 can help retailers win amid a fluctuating market, visit growthenergy.org/retailer.