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Snacks & Candy

7-Eleven to Focus on Spicy Flavors in 2019

Hot chips will specifically be a priority, the chain’s snacks category manager says
Photograph courtesy of 7-Eleven

ORLANDO, Fla. – 7-Eleven’s snack aisles are heating up in 2019. The Irving, Texas-based convenience-store chain has its sights on spicy flavor innovation for snacks this year, said Emily Stegman, category manager for 7-Eleven.

“Bold and spicy flavors have been huge in successful products this year,” Stegman said during the Center Store Category Forum at this year’s Convenience Retailing University in Orlando, Fla. “Expect more innovation here in 2019.”

Stegman said spicy chips will especially remain a core focus for 7-Eleven. Chips have consistently been the top performer in the salty-snack sector, increasing 2.4% in the convenience channel from last year, according to Chicago-based IRI. Stegman said chips are her focus because when a category is doing as well as chips are, keeping it at that pace is crucial.

“Spicy is a huge flavor profile we’re monitoring,” she said. “We’re working in more spicy chips and new flavors to keep the category growing.”

Spicy flavor profiles continue to be one of the hottest flavor trends in snacks, showing up in everything from salty chips to meat snacks and even dried fruit. One of the most promising new spicy snacks was created from a partnership between 7-Eleven and Taco Bell: Taco Bell’s Tortilla Chips, which are offered only at 7-Eleven. The spicy chips mimic Taco Bell’s Diablo sauce, which contains hot peppers and lime. 7-Eleven debuted these chips in May 2018 and sold more than $2 million within seven months, Stegman told CSP Daily News.

7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses more than 66,000 stores in 17 countries, including approximately 9,100 in the United States. The chain rankedNo. 1 in the Top 40 update of CSP’s 2018 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of retail outlets.

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