7-Eleven to debut healthy snack section
by Keith Nunes
DALLAS — Convenience retailer 7-Eleven, Inc. is rolling out a healthy snack section at participating stores nationwide that will be stocked with products featuring ingredients such as dry roasted edamame, organic trail mix, veggie chips and a variety of dried fruit and nut blends.
“Better-for-you is one of the fastest-growing segments of the snacking category,” said Rebecca Frechette, a vice-president of merchandising for 7-Eleven. “People are snacking throughout the day, and they’re looking for ways to improve what they eat without sacrificing taste. Our selection includes our own 7-Select line of trail mixes and snacks alongside top-shelf and gourmet brands that you might not expect to find in a convenience store.”
7-Select store brands that will be featured in the healthy snack section include a variety of trail mixes in flavors such as raisin and nut; Santa-Fe style, with peanuts, roasted corn, chili crackers and sesame sticks; organic with pepitas, soy nuts, sunflower seeds, cranberries, dates and raisins; tropical with dates, raisins, dried pineapple and banana chips; and berry, which will feature ingredients such as peanuts, dried cranberries, raisins, golden raisins, almonds and walnuts. Other products featured in the private label line will include veggie chips, a dried fruit blend, chocolate nut mix, almonds, banana chips, yogurt-covered pretzels and chocolate pretzels.
Accompanying the 7-Select line in the healthy snack section will be products from companies such as Stacy’ Pita Chips, a business of PepsiCo, Inc., The Hain Celestial Group, Popcorn Indiana, Seapoint Farms, and Skinny Pop.
“Our goal was to create a selection of great-tasting, upscale snacks while still providing our guests with value,” Ms. Frechette said. “Our prices are comparable to those found at other retail channels, like supermarkets and discount mass-merchandise stores. I think people will be pleasantly surprised not only by the selection and quality of the snacks we are adding, but also the value we offer.”
To support the rationale for its healthy snack section roll-out, 7-Eleven cited information from The Hartman Group’s Eating Occasions database, which shows that instead of eating three meals a day, eating occasions have morphed into all-day snacking for some consumers.
The convenience retailer added that while eating several smaller mini-meals may be perceived as healthier, and consumers express preferences for more nutritional snacks, the reality is they choose both better-for-you and indulgent snacks, and the challenge a company like 7-Eleven faces is finding snacks that fill both needs.