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7-Eleven Focuses on Fresh Foods

DALLAS — 7-Eleven, with a new proprietary line, is set to make sales of fresh foods 20% of its total sales within the next few years, officials said.

The convenience store chain, which operates and franchises more than 7,400 stores in the United States, is getting on the good-for-you food bandwagon as a result of consumer demand for healthier fare.

“Fresh foods categories are a top focus for 7-Eleven Inc.,” spokesperson Margaret Chabris told SN.

“We have an internal team of experts from Ph.D.s to quick-service restaurant veterans working on our fresh food innovation plans,” Chabris said. “We plan to grow this category to 20% of our merchandise sales over the next several years by continuing to study and respond to what the customer wants and by creating proprietary food products that are fresh, high quality, a great value and have the variety, taste and textures our guests want.”

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Chabris also confirmed that, in addition to consumer demand, “diminished tobacco sales” played into the chain’s decision to bolster its fresh food lineup.

Cigarettes had been a major profit-driver for 7-Eleven, as they had been for other convenience stores, before a significant decline in smoking began.

7-Eleven actually started selling a limited selection — sandwiches and salads — of fresh food in the late 1990s, and then revved up its selection of fresh foods as it built a network of commissaries spread out across the United States. Over the intervening years, the chain has experimented with some prepared foods.

What will be on the new menu of fresh food? Chabris declined to say.

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