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Foodservice

7-Eleven Debuts Cold-Brew Iced Coffee

New dispensed beverage launches with limited-time 99-cent price point

IRVING, Texas -- 7-Eleven Inc. is ready to help consumers deal with the summer heat with the rollout of its first dispensed cold-brew coffee offering. The company’s slow-steeped, 16-ounce Cold Brew Iced Coffee retails for $1.69, but it will be available for 99 cents for a limited time.

Brewed with cold or room-temperature water for up to 24 hours, cold brew often has a less acidic flavor profile than other coffee drinks.

“Because of the long steeping process and different grind size of the coffee beans, cold brew almost has a craft appeal with a smoother, richer flavor,” said Jacob Barnes, senior category manager of cold beverages for 7-Eleven. “For millennials and Gen Zers, it’s a modern-day soda or milkshake.”

7-Eleven is not the first convenience-store chain to dip its toes into cold brew. Similar beverage launches have made the rounds at Wawa Inc., Wawa, Pa.; Rutter’s Farm Stores, York, Pa.; Kwik Trip Inc., La Crosse, Wis.; Family Express Corp., Valparaiso, Ind.; and Sheetz Inc., Altoona, Pa. A growing number of consumers are curious about cold brew, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor. Cold coffee beverages have been heating up in c-stores, with a 57% year-over-year increase in the number of iced-coffee items on c-store menus, according to Technomic data.

As consumer awareness for cold brew grows, sophisticated suppliers are developing more complex cold-brew flavors. Starbucks, which added cold brew in 2015, debuted a Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sulawesi cold-brew limited-time offer at its Reserve Roastery in Seattle.

“Hot coffee is primarily a morning, on-your-way-to-work drink,” Barnes said. “Some people do choose cold over hot in the mornings, but many enjoy drinking iced coffee much more casually and leisurely than they do hot coffee, later in the day and on weekends. 7-Eleven stores are a beverage destination for millions, and we do that by watching trends and offering the drinks customers want, whenever they want.”

7-Eleven Inc. is based in Irving, Texas, and operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 66,000 stores in 17 countries.

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