7-Eleven Tests Up-And-Coming Brands In Los Angeles

Posted On: 5/21/2019

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IRVING, TX -- 7-Eleven Inc. is launching a new wave of food and beverages in 125 Los Angeles-area stores to keep pace with consumers’ better-for-you demands. The c-store giant hand-selected almost 100 new items from 31 up-and-coming companies for the test.

The new drinks and snacks include keto, paleo, vegan, organic, high-protein, low-glycemic, gluten-free, nutrient-dense, plant-based and cold-pressed options and can be found on end-aisle displays and inside the chain’s open-air cold cases.

"When our emerging brands team created this unique product assortment in collaboration with our category managers, the goal was to give customers drinks and snacks that they might not expect to find at a 7-Eleven store," said 7-Eleven vice-president of new business development Chris Harkness. "Customers are demanding healthier options, and we know LA customers are leading the country in health and wellness trends, always willing to try the newest and most innovative products and services. In the past, 7-Eleven's LA stores have shown great success with food and beverages on the leading edge of these trends."

7-Eleven curated the selection of prospective breakout brands from hundreds hoping to get a foot in the door with the world's largest convenience retailer. The retailer's inaugural "Next Up" event last fall invited 70 companies to present their products and participate in merchandising, logistics and operations workshops with 7-Eleven leaders.

More than 1,000 7-Eleven employees and Dallas-area franchisees sampled their way through the event and voted on their favorites. The merchandising and emerging brands teams then decided to launch the LA test in 2019.

The new drinks making their way onto 7-Eleven shelves include Brew Dr. Kombucha, 100% organic and raw kombucha; Harmless Harvest Coconut Water organic coconut-based beverages; Slingshot Rise Breakfast Drink probiotic drinkable yogurt with a crunchy shot of chia, almonds and oats; and Tio Gazpacho ready-to-drink veggie-based soups. On the snack side are innovations like Fishpeople salmon jerky, Peatos pea-based crunchy snacks, and Shroom Crisps snacks made from fresh mushrooms.

"We don't want small and emerging vendors to be intimidated by 7-Eleven's size," Harkness said. "7-Eleven is always on the lookout for innovative companies who have a fresh take on a product, a healthier alternative or a unique flavor that might become the next big food trend. We are eager to see how these brands perform on our shelves and look forward to hearing directly from customers about these new items in the assortment."