General Merchandise/HBC

7-Eleven’s ‘Brands With Heart’ Program Returns

Retailer invites ‘up-and-coming and innovative’ companies to vie for chance to hit shelves
7-eleven evolution
Photograph courtesy of 7-Eleven

IRVING, Texas 7-Eleven Inc. is looking for brands seeking to get their product on the giant convenience-store chain’s shelves. The retailer’s Brands With Heart event has returned for the fourth time. This program is designed to give brands the opportunity to enter a new retail channel and introduce their products to 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes customers across the United States.

For the fourth year, 7-Eleven is inviting emerging brands to make their case for why they deserve a spot on the shelves of 7-Eleven, as well as Speedway and Stripes stores. Whether a product is ready to go to market or is still up-and-coming, all brands are invited to apply. 7-Eleven is looking to diversify its product offerings beyond the traditional c-store assortment and put innovative products on the shelves that meet the needs of its on-the-go customers. This includes a variety of snacks, beverages, confectionery and ‘better-for-you’ items.

The program is accepting applications through the end of May.

7-Eleven says customers who purchase its food and beverages—such as Slurpees and Big Bites and coffee—are more likely to couple it with another packaged food item or bottled drink, which is why the company is always on the lookout for exciting new products to introduce to customers. The brand has built a team to identify new food and beverage trends, find up-and-coming brands aligned with those trends, and ultimately support the development of those brands to be sold at 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores and beyond.

Following the application process, standout brands will be invited to participate in an in-store test at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores located in their region. Fan-favorite brands from each market will move on to the Brands With Heart showcase where they will present their products to a panel of leaders from the company. Selected brands from the showcase will be paired with 7-Eleven leaders for coaching, mentoring and training to prepare them for the opportunity to secure a place on shelves at participating stores.

“The Brands With Heart showcase attracts hundreds of applicants from up-and-coming brands each year and gives us the unique opportunity to scope out new products that might make the perfect addition to our stores’ shelves, such as Lemon Perfect, which was discovered during our 2019 Brands With Heart event,” said Jack Stout, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at 7-Eleven. “It is our mission to help these rising brands grow, and we’re excited to see … and taste … the many innovative products that participate. We’re committed to elevating our product assortment for customers who are always seeking new and delicious items that fit into their busy lifestyles.”

Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 77,700 stores in 19 countries and regions, including about 13,000 in the United States, including approximately 9,500 under the 7-Eleven banner, around 3,800 under the Speedway banner and about 500 under the Stripes flag, as well as the Laredo Taco Company and Raise the Roost Chicken and Biscuits brands.

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