CHICAGO-- 7-Eleven’s Japan-based parent company, Seven & i, is expected to reveal its much-anticipated turnaround plan when it releases its second-quarter earnings on Oct. 6.
Robust unit expansion in the United States will likely be the centerpiece of the company’s strategic plan, but the chain has also indicated that it might launch some interesting new food products, including pasta and burritos.
While a new burrito product seems like a logical fit for the chain, adding pasta would be a bolder move but with some clear upside: Pasta would further solidify the chain’s fresh-food platform, build out fresh options for the lunch and dinner dayparts and potentially put the chain in a better position to compete with fast-casual restaurants.
With that in mind let’s take a look at some recent pasta dishes that 7-Eleven has rolled out in other global markets for some insight into what could end up in the United States ...
New for this summer was a range of chilled Asian noodle dishes that included takes on Japanese, Korean and Thai specialties. Also introduced as part of the lineup was a newly developed premium noodle touted for its enhanced flavor and chew.
The range includes:
- Japanese Vinegar Noodles—with authentic vinegar sauce
- Korean Kimchi Noodles—with imported kimchi, cucumber, bean sprouts and seaweed
- Thai-Style Spicy Noodles—with cucumber, green papaya, radish, red onion, fish sauce, spices and lemon and kumquat juices
- Japanese Buckwheat Noodles—with soy sauce and green onion
Prices range from about $6.75 to $9.
The summertime offerings are an addition to the chain’s existing collection of packaged noodle dishes in Taiwan.
A trio of Premium Japanese Pastas are now available at select locations across the country. The chain is touting the new lineup as authentically Japanese—created by a Japanese chef using traditional Japanese pasta recipes.
- Spaghetti Al Funghi with Mentaiko—a Tokyo-style pasta with mushrooms and fish roe
- Spaghetti Neapolitan with Vienna Sausage—a Japanese specialty traditionally consisting of pan-fried spaghetti with onion and bell peppers, topped with wiener sausages and sauced with ketchup
- Vegetarian Pasta—spaghetti served with various cut veggies
They sell for about $4.25 each.
Premium Japanese Pastas are part of the chain’s 7-Select line of ready-to-eat packaged meals, which also includes dishes such as Beef Rendang with Fragrant Rice and Kimchi Fried Rice.
7-Eleven Hong Kong
Build-your-own noodle bowls are part of the cafe menu at 7-Eleven Hong Kong’s new concept store at Lippo Centre, which debuted in early 2016. Guests visiting the store’s noodle bar can select their choice of soup base and noodle, as well as some 20 optional toppings.
The menu includes:
- Bases—chicken, tomato and laksa (a spicy Malaysian curry)
- Noodles—udon, ramen, rice noodles and Korean glass noodles
- Toppings—meat, veggie and condiment choices such as smoked duck breast, chicken yakitori, kimchi, corn and mushrooms
Prices start at about $3.60 for the noodles and base, with toppings priced in tiers of about $1.30, $1 and 65 cents apiece.
The fast-casual noodle format fits in with the concept’s upscale positioning. Other features and amenities include outdoor seating, wood-paneled walls, barista service and free Wi-Fi.
The chain rolled out a revamped line of pastas under the 7-Fresh Pasta banner in the Philippines earlier this year. The value-priced range of pastas, available at most locations, is an update on the chain’s previous Pastarrific platform.
New choices are:
- Spaghetti with Chicken Strips
- Baked Macaroni
- Tuna Casserole
Each is priced at about $1.20.
Two wraps—Chicken Caesar and Improved Hawaiian—were also part of the 7-Fresh menu revamp.