IRVING, Texas: 7-Eleven, Inc. is launching a new wave of food and beverages in 125 Los Angeles-area stores from an exclusive list of breakout brands.
Almost 100 new better-for-you items were hand-selected by 7-Eleven from 31 up-and-coming companies for the test.
Keto, paleo, vegan, organic, high-protein, low-glycemic, gluten-free, nutrient-dense, plant-based, cold-pressed ... This special product assortment includes options for power-snackers, restricted diet-followers and anyone looking for ways to incorporate more functional, better-for-you sips and snacks to keep them fueled while on-the-go.
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.
The selection of prospective breakout brands was curated from hundreds hoping to get a foot in the door with the world's largest convenience retailer. 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.
Over 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.
These options can be found on an end-aisle display and inside the open-air cold case and include:
Brew Dr. Kombucha: 100% organic & raw kombucha crafted with loose-leaf teas, then blended with herbs, fruits or other botanicals - just the GOOD stuff from leaf to bottle!
Harmless Harvest Coconut Water: Remarkably delicious organic coconut-based beverages; striving to do less harm and more good from seed to shelf.
Kabaki Kenyan Purple Tea: A purple tea higher in antioxidants than other tea and grown in the high elevations of Mt. Kenya.
Koia: 100% plant-based, dairy free, soy free, non-GMO protein beverage. 18 g of complete protein. Only 4 g of sugar for the entire bottle.
ROAR Organic: A line of organic electrolyte infusions with antioxidants, B vitamins, unique flavor combinations and only 2g of sugar per serving!
Slingshot Rise Breakfast Drink: Complete, high-protein, probiotic drinkable yogurt with a crunchy shot of chia, almonds and oats.
Soylent: A convenient, grab-and-go meal with 20g of plant protein and 36 essential nutrients in a ready-to-drink beverage.
Spindrift Sparkling Water: America's first sparkling water made with real squeezed fruit; non-GMO, gluten-free, no calories or sweeteners.
Tio Gazpacho: A line of incredibly savory ready to drink veggie-based soups.
Bobo's Oat Bars: Fresh-baked meal replacement bars that are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, kosher and soy-free.
Fishpeople Jerky- Deliciously sustainable salmon jerky with the mind-body benefits of 24g wild protein + 900mg Omega-3s per bag.
Kalahari Biltong: Keto & Paleo friendly meat snack that is naturally air-dried, thinly sliced and made with only six simple ingredients.
Ka-Pop! Snacks: 100% Ancient Grain Popped Chip that is Vegan, Gluten Free, non-GMO, Top-12 Allergen Free, but not taste free!
KiZE Bars: Made with premium real-food ingredients and are gluten free, non-GMO, nut-butter based, high protein and 10% of each purchase helps feed those in need.
LOVE CORN: Premium Crunchy Corn a delicious, vegan, gluten free and non-GMO snack.
Nick's Sticks: 100% grass-fed beef and free-range turkey meat snacks; Paleo, Keto, and Whole30 approved.
Peatos: Revolutionary pea based crunchy snacks with junk food taste and plant-based nutrition.
Perfect Bar: The Original Refrigerated Protein Bar; a fresh nut butter bar with up to 17 grams of protein, 20+ super foods, gluten-free and non-GMO.
QUINN Snacks: Reimaging classic snacks by leading with Farm-to-Bag transparency and made with whole grain flours, naturally gluten-free, non-GMO, soy, dairy, and corn- free.
Shroom Crisps: Crispy, delicious snacks made from fresh, thick-cut mushrooms; available in five mind-blowing flavors like nothing you've ever crunched.
Siete Family Foods: Grain free, nutrient dense, better-for-you Mexican-American food; tortilla chips available in Nacho, Ranch & Fuego flavors; gluten and dairy free, paleo, vegan, non-GMO.
Snacklins: Delicious, crunch, airy chips made from mushroom, onion and yuca at only 80 calories for the whole bag!
The Toasted Oat: Soft-baked granola crafted from authentically good-for-you ingredients for a fresh cookie taste - it's pure nostalgia.
BrainJuice: Better-for-you brain supplement shot to beat brain fog and boost focus, memory & mood minus the jitters or crash of energy shots.*
KOR Shots: Refrigerated raw wellness shot, contains no water or sugar, 100 percent functional and USDA-certified organic.
Strike Force Energy: A clear liquid beverage enhancer that is sugar and calorie free with 160 mg of caffeine and 100% B vitamins, designed to be mixed with any 16 to 20-ounce beverage. Proudly veteran owned & American made.
Buff Bake - Protein packed crunch cookies with delicious nut butter filling sandwiched between them. 12g of Protein, Gluten Free, and non-GMO.
Clio Bars - Dark chocolate-wrapped Greek yogurt bar, 9 g protein, billions of probiotics and less than 150 calories.
Cocomels: Award-winning, artisan crafted coconut milk caramels; dairy-free, plant-based, non-GMO.
Dave's Sweet Tooth Toffee: Gourmet, handmade, small batch toffee that doesn't stick to your teeth - based on the recipe of a retired Detroit firefighter.
SMASHCRISPY: Marshmallow rice treats from snackable marshmallow brand SMASHMALLOW made with organic cane sugar and simple, natural ingredients for a sweet-tooth satisfying clean label indulgence
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.