Snacks & Candy

7-Eleven Names Mars as Retailer Initiative Award Winner

Recognized for "First, Best & Only" products, promotions

DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. has named Mars Snackfood US as the recipient of its Retailer Initiative Award for 2007. This annual honor recognizes a top supplier and partner who excels at supporting 7-Eleven stores in meeting their customers' changing needs through team merchandising, demand-chain solutions, cost of goods, category management and creativity in advertising and promotional programs, the company said.

"Mars was chosen for delivering exceptional value and satisfaction to 7-Eleven's customers through the introduction of 'First, Best & Only' products and promotions aligned with [image-nocss] our business strategy," said Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven president and CEO.

Examples of a First, Best & Only offering were the Cheeseburger and Bacon & Egg-flavored COMBOS snacks, introduced and tested exclusively at 7-Eleven stores to satisfy customers' breakfast, lunch and snacking needs. The test benefited both 7-Eleven and Mars and provided insights about the product, brand and category.

Mars Snackfood US further collaborated with 7-Eleven to develop co-marketing programs, including a Susan G. Komen program exclusive to 7-Eleven. Mars Snackfood US is a sponsor with Snickers on the 7-Eleven Indy Racing League car and developed beverage flavors, such as a 3 Musketeers Mint Hot Cocoa and a proprietary Starburst-flavored Slurpee drink, exclusively for 7-Eleven stores.

"Mars has been a strategic partner of 7-Eleven's and worked with us throughout the year to develop consumer events to build awareness of 7-Eleven and Mars products," said DePinto.

"We are honored that 7-Eleven selected Mars Snackfood US for this prestigious award," said Todd Lachman, president of Mars Snackfood US "Collaboration is the key to any partnership, and we are proud of the relationship we've formed with 7-Eleven. I'd like to recognize our associates Larry Lupo and Kelly Matthews, who led a cross-functional team that was very responsive to 7-Eleven's strategy."

Candidates were nominated by 7-Eleven's merchandising and operations personnel and judged on 2007 business activities. The award recipient was chosen by the 7-Eleven Awards Committee, composed of the company's senior executives. This is the seventh year 7-Eleven has presented its Retailer Initiative award. Last year's winner was the Miller Brewing Co. Past winners include UST Inc. and BakeFresh, Pinnacle Food Products Inc., The Hershey Co., Nestlé Waters North America and Anheuser-Busch.

Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars Snackfood US' brands include Dove, M&Ms, Milky Way, Skittles, Snickers, Starburst, 3 Musketeers, Twix and more.

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