7-Eleven launched a new wave of food and beverages in 125 Los Angeles-area stores from an exclusive list of breakout brands, including The Toasted Oat.
7-Eleven says in a news release it hand-selected nearly 100 new “better-for-you” items from 31 up-and-coming companies to test.
“Keto, paleo, vegan, organic, high-protein, low-glycemic, gluten-free, nutrient-dense, plant-based, cold-pressed … This special product assortment includes options for power-snackers, restricted diet-followers and anyone looking for ways to incorporate more functional, better-for-you sips and snacks to keep them fueled while on-the-go.
“When our emerging brands team created this unique product assortment in collaboration with our category managers, the goal was to give customers drinks and snacks that they might not expect to find at a 7-Eleven store,” says 7-Eleven vice president of new business development, Chris Harkness. “Customers are demanding healthier options, and we know LA customers are leading the country in health and wellness trends, always willing to try the newest and most innovative products and services. In the past, 7-Eleven’s LA stores have shown great success with food and beverages on the leading edge of these trends.”
The selection of prospective breakout brands was curated from hundreds hoping to get a foot in the door with the world’s largest convenience retailer. Last fall, 7-Eleven invited companies to showcase their products at its first “Next Up” emerging brands showcase held at its Store Support Center in Irving, Texas.
More than 300 up-and-coming brands applied to participate in the retailer’s inaugural “Next Up” event last fall, and 70 companies were invited to participate. More than half are owned by women (26), minorities (9) or veterans (2). The “show-and-taste” event provided the selected businesses an opportunity to present products in an expo-like setting and participate in merchandising, logistics and operations workshops with 7-Eleven leaders.
The merchandising and emerging brands teams decided to launch the LA test in 2019 based on the success of “Next Up.”
“7-Eleven is always on the lookout for innovative companies who have a fresh take on a product, a healthier alternative or a unique flavor that might become the next big food trend. We are eager to see how these brands perform on our shelves and look forward to hearing directly from customers about these new items in the assortment.”