7-Eleven goes on a health kick

The convenience store chain revamps its snack section in response to growing consumer interest in the 'better-for-you' category.

By Jonathan Berr Sep 13, 2013 12:34PM
File photo of a 7-Eleven store sign (© Tim Boyle/Getty Images)The 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores probably isn't the first place you think of when craving a healthy snack -- or the second or third for that matter -- which is why the company is looking to change that perception.

According to USA Today, 7-Eleven's 8,000 U.S. stores are revamping their snack sections, adding everything from Skinny Pop All-Natural Popcorn to Harvest Snapea Crisps, to meet growing consumer demand for "better-for-you" treats.  

Research from Mintel cited by the newspaper shows that 38% of consumers ate healthier snacks last year compared with the year before.
 
Expanding its foothold in this market does present challenges for the home of the Slurpee and Big Gulp because, as Robert Passikoff, founder of Brand Keys, told USA Today, "I'd say 7-Eleven's trust in this area is much lower than, say, Whole Foods (WFM)." 

His skepticism is understandable. Indeed, earlier this month the chain rolled out a Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll, which it described as its first "warm bakery offering."

The chain, though, in undaunted by the haters, and has asked stores to place their healthy offerings in special displays at the end of the first aisle with prices ranging from $1.49 to $4.99. By the way, the suggested retail price for the Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll is $1.69.
 
--Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.


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Tags: FoodWFM
11Comments
Sep 13, 2013 2:29PM
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They call that a healthy for you snack?  try grabbing a piece of fruit, or something fresh, for a snack.  None of these processed foods, labeled healthy, sold in stores are good for you.  "Oh WOW, these are only 100 calories!!"  Yeah, they may only be 100 calories, but they're filled with processed garbage that make you feel like crap, and make you hungrier. 

If you want to lose weight, don't buy diet pills, don't buy "Light" foods, don't buy margarine or "I can't believe it's not butter", etc.  Buy "REAL" food, that isn't processed.  Cook with "Real" butter and olive oil.  You will see your weight drop just by eating real stuff and not processed crap.

Sep 13, 2013 3:04PM
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This is totally the wrong market and wrong customer for 7-Eleven.  Only markets I see this having any shot of success are major metropolitan areas like Boston or New York.  For this idea to work, you need a customer who lives, as well as works, in a major metropolitan area and does not drive a car to work; it's the captive audience principle.  If you own a car, you will be able to buy the very same healthy offerings, at retail, for less than what 7-Eleven stores pay for them at cost.

 

Did outside asset protection work for 7-Eleven for a number of years and have literally seen hundreds of thousands of customers pass through their doors.  The majority of them fall into two categories.  The first are people who sleep wherever they can take a crap.  These are people who have $50 or less, per day, to live on.  That $50 per day has to get them a place to live for the day, gas in the gas tank if they own a car, and maximum calories in their belly for minimum dollars.  The other is the grab-and-go breakfast or lunch customer.  The breakfast customer is looking for that fresh, hot cup of coffee and a fresh, good-tasting pastry.  The lunch customer is going there for the hot foods.  The hot dogs, chicken, potato wedges, and pizza are considerably better than what you would expect for the price.

 

7-Eleven's best bet would be to expand its hot foods program by adding something like macaroni and cheese to the menu.  As far as healthy offerings go, confine it to the fruit cups and salads; however, they do need to seriously upgrade the quality of these offerings (there are other convenience chains that offer better healthy selections for less money). Expanding the protein bars/shakes selection would also be a step in the right direction.

Sep 13, 2013 4:48PM
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Really? Here's what really works:

(1) don't smoke

(2) exercise daily for 30 minutes

(3) get 7-8 hrs. sleep everyday

(4) drink 4-6 glasses of water/daily, especially one before bed and one first in the morning

(5) concentrate of foods with least carbs and more protein

(6) diet should include recommended fruits and veggies (fresh)

(7) curve the alcohol

(8) 4-5 smaller meals/day are better than 3 full meals/day and breakfast is a must.

(9) I found the south beach diet ever so effective and successful.

(10) You have nothing to loose except unwanted body weight (fat).

 

Good luck!

Sep 13, 2013 2:48PM
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They will change back and this will be short lived since Americans do not care about "healthy" just as shown by schools dropping out of the Obama's healthy lunch programs. People will always eat unhealthy if it tastes good and is reasonably priced. Just more of the Liberal tripe to fall by the wayside soon enough. When sales fall, they will return QUIETLY to the way they have always done business.
Sep 14, 2013 12:02AM
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I stop at 7-11 for coffee and mine has had fresh fruit, apples, bananas, oranges for years.  They also have fresh veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, pepper, from the farmers market in the summer.   I also get hard boiled eggs, cheese, and snacks that are very healthy.   Have options for healthy choices is the best. 
Sep 13, 2013 3:58PM
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The small home based company behind the 7-11 health kick.  Dabs Garlic Nuts-San Jose,California.    www dabsnuts dot com      The small home based business carries Spicy and Garlic Roasted mixed nuts.  
Sep 13, 2013 3:56PM
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most 7-11's are owned by ****s so I don't shop there.Them goat smellin bastards send all their money back to the middle east so their relatives can kill americans.Plus don't them smelly bastards wipe their asss with their right bare hand? EWWWHHHH!!!!!!
Sep 13, 2013 3:08PM
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Don't shop there they hire illegals boycott any business in America that is giving our jobs away to illegals. BOYCOTT
Sep 13, 2013 2:17PM
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Going into a 7 - Eleven is very similar to calling a software help line if you know what I mean.
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