This past week Dallas based convenience retailer 7-Eleven officially announced the extension of its NBE 7-Select Private Brand, with two premium lines, 7-Select GO!Yum and 7-Select GO!Smart each of which were inspired by customer feedback. Readers may remember we have written about these brands several times over the last few months and the 7-Select Go!Yum chocolates won a Silver Vertex Award this year. 7-Select GO!Yum and 7-Select GO!Smart satisfy consumer requests for variety in both indulgent and better-for-you products. The variety in these two lines brings on-trend flavors and ingredients to a line-up of foods that create differentiation for 7-Eleven.
“We set out to surpass customer expectations with products exclusively available at 7-Eleven stores. We are confident that we are exceeding the quality standards of leading national brands with our 7-Select brand,” said Sean Thompson, 7-Eleven senior director of private brands. “7-Select GO!Yum introduces an indulgent assortment of savory and sweet snacks, with a level of quality more likely found at a specialty store than in a convenience store. Each product is made with premium ingredients curated for imaginative taste combinations and an out-of-the-ordinary sensory experience.”
Carefully selected ingredients are the key in both new lines, and the more decadent or exotic, the better. Consumers are looking for, and expecting, better quality food and new taste experiences. 7-Eleven aims to give them what they want. For example, the 7-Select GO!Yum premium ice cream line features seven rich flavors including Banana Cream Pie, Double Cookie Dough, Fudge Marshmallow, Oh Thank Heaven for Chocolate, Sea Salt Caramel Truffle, Toasted S’mores and Vanilla Bean.
Popcorn is one of the fastest-growing snack categories as consumers view it as a healthier way to snack. 7-Eleven has answered that trend with gourmet popcorn in both 7-Select GO!Yum and 7-Select GO!Smart varieties. Preservative-free 7-Select GO!Yum flavors include Sriracha, Jalapeno Cheddar, Bacon Ranch and Cinnamon Sugar. The particular type of popping corn used keeps the seasoning on the kernels and the glaze on the kettle corn to deliver a light texture in every bite. Unlike many national-brand popcorns, all 7-Select varieties are made with non-GMO corn and are air-popped in a nut-free facility.
7-Select GO!Smart was developed for those looking for better-for-you options while on the go and includes great-tasting snacks like gourmet light popcorn, sprouted tortilla chips in exotic flavors, and nutrient-dense yogurt bars.
7-Select GO!Smart products are designed with nutritional balance as a priority. Many are gluten-free, GMO-free and use organic sweeteners like agave and brown rice syrups, which have a lower glycemic index. All have prominent nutritional information to help consumers make the best choice for them.
Gourmet popcorn is now available in 7-Select GO!Smart All Natural, Light Popcorn made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Pink Himalayan Salt for just 37 calories a cup. For those looking for something a bit more adventurous, 7-Select just introduced GO!Smart sprouted tortilla chips in exotic flavors like Sweet Chili, Sriracha and Sweet Potato. Not only do they taste great, but some studies suggest that sprouted grains may improve absorption of nutrients and be more easily digested.
Other 7-Select GO!Smart choices include yogurt-drizzled fruit and nut bars, in Pistachio and Mixed Berries and Cranberry Cashew varieties. These products were launched last year and are now a favorite of customers, selling among the top-sellers within nutrition bars.
“Customers have told us that they find it difficult to find good food while on-the-go that can help them find the best nutritional balance,” said Laura Gordon, vice president brand innovation. “Their needs change by day, sometimes by hour, and we are committed to bringing them a range of great tasting options that will leave them fully satisfied while on the go. 7-Eleven continues to innovate in the better-for-you arena including snacking and meal options leveraging customer feedback.”
“When we develop an item we start with a clear benchmark – sometimes this is a top-selling national brand and sometimes it is a premium brand or restaurant brand standards. We don’t launch the item until we are confident we have exceeded the quality of our benchmark. This way we position our franchisees with products that will create loyalty with their customers and drive repeat visits,” says Thompson.
Today, the 7-Select private brand product lineup includes approximately 350 items cutting across all categories. Another 100 are expected to roll out before the end of the year.
“Our private brands set 7-Eleven apart from the competition,” Thompson said. “This may be the largest pipeline of innovation in 7-Eleven history. My goal is to build a best-in-class selection. Creating, and then meeting, quality expectations is what increases brand loyalty.”