Just in time for consumers’ health-related New Year’s resolutions, 7-Eleven, Inc., Dallas, introduced two premium, better-for-you snack bars under a new private-label banner, 7-Select GO!Smart.
Smart Move: New bars are all natural, gluten free with reduced sodium.
Weighing in at less than 200 calories each, the yogurt-drizzled fruit and nut bars are available in two varieties: Cranberry Cashew and Pistachio and Mixed Berries. Officials say GO!Smart bars are available exclusively at participating 7-Eleven stores for a suggested retail price of $ 1.79.
GO!Smart is part of 7-Eleven’s growing 7-Select family of high-quality, private-brand offerings and the first designated specifically for the better-for-you category. The gluten-free, low-sodium snack bars carry a simpler, all-natural ingredient list with organic sweeteners like agave and brown rice syrups. These natural sweeteners have a lower glycemic index than sugar. New packaging features a transparent window so shoppers can see the natural ingredients.
“We started from scratch,” says Sean Thompson, 7-Eleven senior director for private brand, “and developed bars that offer health benefits and taste great, too.”
“In discussions and development for more than a year, the two varieties of GO!Smart bars are made in small batches from recipes created especially for 7-Eleven,” he adds. “Besides those listed in the bar’s name, ingredients include whole grain, crisp brown rice, flax seed, raisins, roasted peanuts, sunflower oil, sea salt, a yogurt-flavored coating and natural flavors.”
Besides its new GO!Smart yogurt-drizzled fruit and nut bars, participating 7-Eleven stores will offer many exclusive items to help customers stick with those “get-healthy” resolutions. Some stores are offering fresh fruit (4oz cup); Chicken Balsamic Salad; an Orange Crème Slurpee Lite Drink; 7-Select 2% Reduced-Fat, Single-Serve Chocolate Milk; and two varieties of reduced-calorie breakfast sandwiches (Sausage Biscuit, English Muffin, each with under 400 calories).
Study Eyes C-Store Growth, Challenges
Comprising approximately 28% of retail foodservice and generating $11.2 billion in sales, proprietary convenience-store foodservice has become a key area of opportunity across the country, according to Technomic’s Convenience Stores Market Intelligence Report.
As the segment continues to face stiff competition and works to overcome consumers’ negative quality and freshness perceptions, Technomic anticipates nominal growth of about 2% in both 2014 and 2015 (2.5% in 2014; 2.0% in 2015), and after adjusting for inflation, the overall segment will be flat. Yet convenience stores serve as a prime destination for younger generations and people seeking fast, on-the-go options, and there are plenty of winning chains and opportunities for growth.
“As more c-store brands increase focus on offering a wider variety of fresh, high-quality foods and competition heats up across the segment, understanding the convenience store foodservice landscape has never been more important,” says Technomic Senior Director Donna Hood Crecca.
Convenience Store Market Intelligence Report findings include:
• Breakfast sandwiches continue to thrive on c-store menus, and their numbers climbed 20% from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014.
• More than 9 out of 10 consumers say the most important elements are taste and flavor of the food and food quality.
• Energy drinks saw a significant surge in availability at c-stores, contributing to the category’s nearly 23% growth in menu items.
Crecca says Technomic’s Convenience Stores Market Intelligence Report showcases consumer insights, menu analysis and concept profile intelligence.