7-Eleven launches private label under 7-Select brand

by Eric Schroeder
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DALLAS — 7-Eleven, Inc., the largest convenience store chain, has launched a new line of private label products under the 7-Select brand. The move, which will include the rollout of 32 new items, is designed to strengthen the company’s presence in store-brand packaged foods through the launch of cookies, candy, nuts, potato chips, beef jerky, trail mix, chocolate-covered pretzels, coffee espresso beans, raisins and peanuts. The products will retail at a 10% to 20% discount to national brand equivalents, 7-Eleven said.

"When we began to develop products under the 7-Select name, our first and foremost requirement was to create high-quality products that were equal to or better than the national brands," said Kevin Elliott, senior vice-president for merchandising and logistics. "Focus groups verified that we exceeded that goal by scoring taste, texture and flavor profiles higher than the name brand equivalent in every case."

The national rollout comes six months after 7-Eleven initiated a pilot program to offer the new private label products in 1,500 stores in Florida and the Mid-Atlantic area. Of the original 31 items first tested, 26 were selected for the initial launch along with several new candy additions, the company said.

"We have selected only top suppliers to develop and produce 7-Select snacks, and many also manufacture similar products for the recognized national brands and other top private label retailers," Mr. Elliott said. "New 7-Select items are already in the pipeline, and we plan to widen our assortment in early 2009."

7-Eleven first offered private label paper goods, batteries and stationery supplies with the 7-Select brand in 2004. Its private label bottled water is sold under the name of Quality Classic Selection, which will soon convert to the 7-Select brand. By the end of the first quarter 2009, 7-Eleven expects to have more than 180 private label items available for its stores to offer their customers.

Mr. Elliot said 7-Eleven plans to expand its 7-Select-branded snacks to its Canadian stores in the first quarter of 2009.

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