7-Eleven is launching almost 100 new, better-for-you (BFY) products for 125 of its Los Angeles-area stores.
Products from 31 up-and-coming companies include options for power-snackers, restricted diet-followers and anyone looking for ways to incorporate more functional, better-for-you drinks and snacks.
“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.”
Last fall, 7-Eleven invited companies to showcase their products at its first “Next Up” emerging brands showcase held at its Store Support Center in Irving, Texas.
More than 300 up-and-coming brands applied to participate in the retailer’s inaugural “Next Up” event last fall, with 70 companies invited to participate. Over half were owned by women (26), minorities (9) or veterans (2).
The “show-and-taste” event provided the selected businesses an opportunity to present products in an expo-like setting 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 based on the success of Next Up.
“We don’t want small and emerging vendors to be intimidated by 7-Eleven’s size,” said Harkness. “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.”
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 68,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.