Friday, May 12, 2023

Branded Food Continues to Drive Success for 7-Eleven


Grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food and beverages are key to global success of 7-Eleven according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  The fact is there is no company in the world that holds a candle to branded food marketing powerhouse that 7-Eleven has become with over 83,175 stores worldwide.

Most of you know that Omar Knedlik invented machines to make frozen beverages in the late 1950s. The idea for a slushed ice drink came when Knedlik's soda fountain broke down, forcing him to put his sodas in a freezer to stay cool, which caused them to become slushy. The result was popular with customers, which gave him the idea to make a machine to help make a "slushy" from carbonated beverages. When it became popular, Knedlik hired an artist named Ruth E. Taylor to create a name and a logo for his invention. She created the Icee name and designed the original logo, which is still used today. Early prototypes for the machine made use of an automobile air conditioning unit.[1]

After a successful trial of Icee machines in 100 stores,[2] 7-Eleven made a licensing deal with The Icee Company to sell the product under certain conditions in 1965. Two of these were that 7-Eleven must use a different name for the product, and that the company was allowed to sell the product only in 7-Eleven locations in the US, a non-compete clause ensuring the two drinks never went head to head for distribution rights. 7-Eleven then sold the product that in 1966 became known as the "Slurpee" (for the sound made when drinking them). The term was coined by Bob Stanford, a 7-Eleven advertisement agency director and the rest is history.  Slurpee and 7-Eleven are in my minds-eye synonymous, just ask any kid under 85 in July!   

That said; with its annual general meeting two weeks away, Seven & i Holdings Inc. is outlining the company's food-focused strategy and investments in convenience as it continues to face shareholder unrest.

So, in a letter to shareholders, the parent company of Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. also asked shareholders to vote for the company's slate of board nominees at the May 25 meeting.

Now, according to Seven & i, the division of the company that includes Japan's Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd. (SEJ), North American 7-Eleven Inc. (SEI) and other overseas 7-Eleven International LLC (7IN) businesses "contributes over 80 percent of the company's revenue and profit."

This was achieved through strategic investments and divestitures of noncore assets, and leveraging the food expertise of SEJ, including its private brand, product development and procurement networks, and delivery model to expand private label food offerings throughout its global business, including SEI, to enhance sales and margin expansion, the company said.

"These initiatives are driving our strong performance, prompting us to raise our medium-term targets. It's important to understand that key to this successful strategy is a deep understanding of the role that our strength in 'food' plays as a growth and profitability driver as we expand our global CVS business," the letter said.

Seven & i pointed out that the organization's "food ecosystem" — whereby group companies collaborate at each stage of the product development and procurement process — is a competitive advantage.

"Given that there are 15,000 food-related items across the entire company, we have a significant opportunity to leverage this network to continue growing the 2,000 food-related items currently offered by CVS," Seven & i said.

The company also cited its food expertise and fresh food offerings as drivers for global growth, and its strength in food is currently being leveraged across the globe.

"We are installing SEJ's private brand product development and food production processes at SEI and the other countries we serve through valuable business partnerships," the company wrote. "For 7IN, further growth will also be pursued in East Asian countries achieving economic growth, with the benefit from our differentiated fresh food offerings."

While some investors may call for change, at 7-Eleven the brand messaging, brand value, and fresh food proposition continues to drive top-line sales and bottom-line profits and our won Grocerant Guru® believes that 7-Eleven’s branded food messaging is in fact more consumer focused and relevant today than any other companies food messaging.

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869

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