7-Eleven Introduces New Chai Latte

Chai and products flavored with similar spice blends have seen almost 40% growth over the past four years.

7-Eleven Inc. is introducing a new tea-based Chai Tea Latte at a time when chai blends are seeing an uptick in popularity among consumers.

Subtly flavored with a sweet and spicy blend of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, the new hot beverage combines black tea, milk and sweetener to create the traditional warm beverage from India.

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Suggested retail prices for all hot beverages are determined by the size of the cup, regardless of what beverage customers choose. The new chai carries the same value price of all 7-Eleven hot beverages.

7-Eleven stores’ version of the creamy spiced tea was benchmarked against national brands and coffeehouses.

“We worked several months with flavor scientists to develop an exclusive chai recipe that offers the best balance of sweet and spice,” said Michelle Cram, 7-Eleven senior category manager of hot beverages. “In blind taste tests, 7-Eleven chai tea compared very favorably against well-known restaurants and national beverage brands. If our customers love it as much as we think they will, chai could become a popular year-round offering.”

Although it is known as a specific type of spiced tea in the Western world, the word “chai” is the translation of the English word “tea” and used in much of the world. The traditional Indian drink, masala chai, is the closest beverage to the chai latte that has become popular in the United States. “Masala” means a mixture of spices and, with “chai,” describes the beverage made with black tea, spices and milk.

Chai and products flavored with similar spice blends have been growing in popularity and have experienced a dramatic uptick recently—almost 40% growth over the past four years. It is particularly popular among women, Millennials, Gen Z and Hispanic consumers, and double-digit increases are expected to continue over the next few years.

As with all 7-Eleven proprietary beverages sold in a cup, the new chai tea latte counts toward the 7Rewards “Buy Six, Get the Seventh Free” drink offer and earns 7Rewards points.

The 7-Eleven hot beverage bars offer lots of choices—flavored and exotic coffees, hot tea, cappuccino and hot chocolate. For no extra charge, customers can conveniently create their perfect cup with sweeteners, plain and flavored creamers, flavored syrups and toppings to suit their tastes.