7-Eleven Rolls Out Vernors Ginger Ale Slurpee

Available exclusively in chain's Michigan locations

7-Eleven Vernors Slurpee (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores)

DETROIT -- 7-Eleven Inc. knows that Vernors Ginger Ale is popular in Michigan, so the convenience store retailer has introduced a Vernors Slurpee frozen carbonated drink that is now available in more than 200 Michigan 7-Eleven stores.

The company said that early sales indicate that it looks to be a hit with 7-Eleven customers there.

7-Eleven is advertising the new Slurpee flavor on local billboards with television spots planned for May, and fans have taken to social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram to spread the word that Michigan Vernors fans can now enjoy their favorite local soft drink as a Slurpee.

The oldest surviving ginger ale brand, Vernors was created in 1866 by James Vernor in a downtown Detroit pharmacy. Legend has it that Vernor was trying to replicate an Irish ginger-flavored ale when he was called away to serve in the Civil War. He left his creation behind in an oak barrel and, on his return, sampled the aged beverage. He pronounced its bold flavor "Deliciously Different."

Today, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group produces Vernors Ginger Ale.

7-Eleven senior vice president and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., native Nancy Smith is a lifelong Vernors fan.

"My aunt and uncle would send cases to me while I was away at college," she said. "I'm pretty sure the shipping costs were more than the Vernors. It will be a little harder to ship a Vernors Slurpee. I just need to get back home more often."

7-Eleven moved back into Detroit last month with the opening of its first store since the retailer last operated in the city in 2003.

7-Eleven, based in Dallas, operates, franchises or licenses more than 10,300 7-Eleven c-stores in North America. Globally, there are approximately 52,500 7-Eleven c-stores in 16 countries. During 2012, 7-Eleven c-stores generated total worldwide sales approximately $84.5 billion.

Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers