No one can leverage a branded food item the way 7-Eleven does according to the team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. While one of the first trends identified, quantified, and qualified by Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson was the demised importance of the roller grill 7-Eleven has been able to maintain the roller grill in-large part because of branded Food i.e. Big Bite.
Fast, heated, and affordable the Big Bite is still a key driver for 7 Eleven. But will the Big Bite be the hook it once was as millennials migrate to fresh, fast, and flavorful food and Gen Z seeks fresh food faster? Consumers can have almost anything delivered from Amazon.com within an hour, get delivery from almost any restaurant, or catch an Uber to any location do legacy convenience store still cachet?
7-Elevens CEO Joe DePinto, CEO stated “The landscape is changing so fast. Yes, there’s Amazon and there’s GrubHub...It’s all about immediate consumption,” DePinto said. “We have to be prepared and ready in ways that our customers want. And the last four or five years, we’ve had our heads down, grinding it out. And we’re doing a lot of things right.” So does the ‘Big Bite’ a view of yesterday’s convenience store or tomorrows? With consumer focusing more and more around the halo of ‘better-for-you’ food we think 7-Eleven will rebrand the ‘Big Bite’ with a new line of ‘better-for-you’ soon.
Foodservice Solutions® team suggested digital menus boards and 7-Eleven has begun using digital menu sign at some locations and it’s an important step in 7-Eleven staying relevant for consumers. 7-Eleven “is still the face of the industry,” said Jeff Lenard, vice president at the National Association of Convenience Stores. The face of the industry will change if 7-Eleven foundation, focus, and food doe’s not evolve.
The mainstay of branded food for 7-Eleven the SlurpeeS has evolved and consumer can now get Slurpee that are ‘better-for-you’ aka low or now calorie. Yet the roller grill keeps turning Big Bite hot dogs and the symbolism of the roller grill instills more a reflection of yesterday than tomorrow.
Retailers the ilk of Sheetz, Rutter’s, Wawa, and Safeway have no roller grill and consumers can customize a fresh breakfast, lunch, or dinner handheld meal that is personalized just for them an prepared fresh. Today Gen Z, Millennials think that convenience stores are a place where they can pick up a good sandwich. While Baby Boomers still think of food on that roller grill rolling for hours, service on a cold bun with mustard that is crusted over and onions that look a week old. Than was then.
7-Eleven sells prepared fresh fruit, salads, sandwiches and fresh food in a convenience store located at its new headquarters but has struggled convincing franchisees to leave the roller grill behind and evolve with consumers.
DePinto says that healthy and cheap are two words that aren’t often associated with convenience stores. But 7-Eleven says it’s doing its best to change that. Today worldwide over 50% of 7-Eleven locations do not serve gasoline. Fresh fast food that is ‘better for you’ and price right will become 7-Eleven’s differentiator.
Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information