SAN FRANCISCO—Yesterday, 7-Eleven debuted its second set of products at select stores under its Sips & Snacks initiative, CNN Business reports. The program brings up-and-coming healthy snack brands to some 7-Eleven stores as potential launching pads for the smaller brands.
This year’s Sips & Snacks brands include 25 brands generally well-known in the natural foods channel, but they have not crossed over into the mainstream arena yet. The products, which include Pescavore ahi tuna jerky strips; Quinn gluten-free pretzels; Outstanding Foods PigOut pigless pork rinds; Koia plant-based, vegan protein shakes; and Pop Zero algae oil popcorn, will be tested at 200 Los Angeles and San Diego metro locations.
“We want brands to understand that launching their products in 7-Eleven stores can help them build their business effectively beyond the grocery and natural channels,” said Jack Stout, senior vice president of merchandising and demand chain. “They can compete in a narrower set in a small format retailer to intercept the on-the-go customer, scale quickly and drive profit.”
Sales performance coupled with customer feedback will decide whether the products will go regional or national at 7-Eleven stores. Last fall, more than 750 companies applied to pitch their products at the chain’s annual emerging brand showcase, with 65 companies selected for the “show and taste” expo. Women, military veterans or minorities own a third of the 25 companies that made the 2020 program.
The first Sips & Snacks program had 31 companies participate, with two—Perfect Bar protein bar and Roar organic electrolyte drink—making it to the chain’s national product list. 7-Eleven views its program as a way to respond to consumers’ evolving tastes and dietary needs.