Organic Consumers Association

7-Eleven Convenience Stores Will Sell Organics Alongside JunkFoods

From <> 7/3/03


June 27, 2003

Not everybody who shops at a 7-Eleven store runs in for pork rinds, jerky and beer.  In fact, not even most.  That's a misconception that 7-Eleven Snack Master Kennith Fries (yes, as in French fries) is hoping to erase with the addition of several varieties of natural, low-fat and organic chips from manufacturers likes The Hain Celestial Group, Snyders and Rexall/Sundown. 
Snacks and chips is an important business for 7-Eleven, and Fries believes that many customers are looking for a healthier alternative to the traditional offerings.

As a major snack and beverage destination for millions of Americans, 7-Eleven merchandising executives must stay one step ahead of the latest food trends, constantly monitoring new snack items and varieties without sacrificing the "old favorites" their customers expect.

Indeed, better-for-you snacks have become the fastest-growing new business segment within the snack industry.  One reason might be the media attention focused on the latest dieting and weight-loss trends or news stories about obesity and health issues.

"On any given day, 15 million Americans are on the Atkins diet," Fries said.. "One reason the Atkins approach may have proved so popular is that dieters didn't feel like they were doing without their favorite foods."

With more consumers concerned about obesity and lowering their cholesterol intake these days, better-for-you snacks have become the fastest growing new business segment within the snack industry.  To answer their customers' craving for snacks that taste great and are better-for-you, 7-Eleven has introduced several new healthier chips and crunchy snacks from these

* Terra Chips, from The Hain Celestial Group, contain up to 40 percent
less fat than other potato chip brands.  Three flavors are available: Original, a mixture of exotic vegetable chips; Red Bliss, potato chips flavored with olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar; and Blues, made with blue potatoes.  Individual packages retail for 99 cents, take-home sizes for $2.99.
* Carb Solutions high-protein, low-carbohydrate chips from
Rexall/Sundown, come in nacho and barbeque flavors.  The thin and crispy snacks contain less than four carbs per serving.  Suggested retail price is $2.49.
* Eatsmart All Natural Snacks, from Snyder's, introduces in two flavors:
Veggie Crisps, potato, spinach and tomato chips; and Cheddar Airs, aged white cheddar cheese.  These 100 percent, all-natural crunchy snacks retail for 99 cents.
* Wasabi Peas are green peas fried with a spicy wasabi, horseradish
flavoring.  A 6-ounce can retails for 99 cents.

Fries considers the new natural and organic as an entirely different category than the energy, protein, weight-loss bars, beverages and snacks that 7-Eleven already carries.  All told, Fries estimates that today's typical 7-Eleven store carries close to 100 different foods and beverages that appeal to a health-conscious consumer.

"The new natural, organic chips are for people who don't necessarily want to give up their favorite foods," he said, "but would like a healthier choice that doesn't taste bad."


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