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The 2022 Subscription Economy: Create Happy Customers

Carolyn Schnare Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


The subscription economy is in 2022 on the march through each aspect of everyday life. For just under $25 a month, you could create your next crave-able meal with a few app subscriptions and a little bit of driving. 

A taco from Taco Bell

A sweet tea from McAlister’s Deli

Want Sheetz ‘fryz’ with that? 


The Subscription Economy is Trending

Subscription programs are the hottest customer loyalty trend in 2022 for food service operators and convenience retailers. While the concept of a monthly fee for goods isn’t new, it is a blazing hot concept for retail.

The concept of signing up for something and getting an item in return has been around since the printing press was invented. Netflix took the concept to a whole new level with their little red envelopes. Under their tiered rental memberships, you could order one or more DVDs at a time and the only limiting factor was the postal delivery speed or your ability to keep your queue up to date fast enough.

Red envelope of Netflix

I recall the Netflix website wasn’t very useful back then so I would go to the websites for Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video to see their list of new releases to add to my Netflix queue. Where are those companies now? I’m guessing their web developers found good jobs over at the entertainment juggernaut’s HQ.

I covered Amazon Prime’s subscription-based business model a few weeks ago and my endless bi-monthly supply of candy as my subscription economy membership must-have. Another revolutionary problem solver!

Almost-All-You-Can-Eat or Drink Offers in 2022

Convenience stores have gotten in on the subscription game with several leading U.S. retailers leading the pack. 

Pennsylvania-based Sheetz offers a $9.99 subscription for nearly unlimited bags of ‘fryz’ per month as well as unlimited self-serve fountain drinks through their My Sheetz Rewardz program. Each program has a limit of an item per every 2 hours. That’s 372 bags of ‘fryz’ and 372 drinks in January if you’re really a Sheetz Freak!  Sheetz App Images

Circle K has joined other QSRs and convenience retailers offering beverage subscription programs. The Sip & Save program for $5.99 a month for dispensed beverages to include any size of hot and iced coffee, PolarPop soda, Froster frozen drinks and hot and iced tea. While members are sipping away, they can further subscribe to enjoy 2 car washes daily for as low as $19 a month! Other U.S. retailers have joined the car wash subscription craze like Rocket Stores in California and Sunshine Gasoline in Florida, as well.

Circle K Car Wash Subscription App

And, 7-Eleven also announced in mid-January that 7Reward members can purchase unlimited delivery through the 7NOW app for just $5.95 a month.

Coffee retailers have been in this all-you-can-drink game for a while with Panera Bread and Pret a Manger offering unlimited coffee and tea for a nominal monthly price. Taco Bell recently joined the parade with the Taco Lover’s Pass available for $10 a month for a taco a day. (For those readers following along, you’ll be pleased to know that my family already realized our money’s worth of tacos from the Taco Bell Taco Lover’s pass in just the first 3 weeks.)

Increasing Customer Trips With App-Based Subscriptions

If you’re a convenience or food retailer, you’re not too late to the subscription economy game. Even if you don’t have a reward program yet, it’s never too late to get started. Ice cream, soda (or pop if you’re in the mid-west US), coffee, snacks, fries – you name it – you surely have a fan favorite out there that will change your “sometimes” customers into daily visitors.

Looking for a way to convert gas-only customers to in-store shoppers? Give them a reason to come in with a monthly subscription to a beverage or snack. Chances are, the member who comes to redeem their subscription will leave with something else to fill their other hand. Convert buyers into automatic customers.

Subscription Economy in 2022, Get Started

Subscriptions ensure recurring revenue by recruiting high-value customers making regular purchases as convenient as possible for your customer. When buying a monthly subscription in the app, customers can skip the line – quick and easy – the ultimate convenience.

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specializing in the convenience and foodservice industries. The proprietary cloud-based technology platform allows retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns, including subscriptions, with a proprietary process called the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers’ activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

Book a demo to learn more about the subscription economy in 2022 and its enormous potential as the future of business models. 

Learn more about the Liquid Barcodes Subscription Apps at

Subscription Playbook

About the Author

Carolyn Schnare, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes

Carolyn Schnare has been involved with the convenience retailing industry for nearly two decades with extensive knowledge of customer engagement and marketing, sustainability and community outreach. Prior to Liquid Barcodes, Schnare worked at NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) in a variety of roles from event production to membership and most recently as Director of Strategic Initiatives and host and producer of the popular industry podcast, Convenience Matters.

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Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes

Convenience retailers all over the world have engaged and rewarded consumers with our tailor-made loyalty programs.

To our case studies →

Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes
Liquid Barcodes