Snacks & Candy

More 'Sensible' Snacks at 7-Eleven

Weight Watchers, LÄRABAR, MEGA protein lines coming

DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. is adding three more "sensible" snacks for the on-the-go crowd, Weight Watchers snack cakes and muffins, LÄRABAR all-natural raw food bars and, in March, its own proprietary MEGA protein bars.

"We want to offer healthier choices that are appealing to both men and women," said Alan Beach, 7-Eleven vice president of merchandising. "A man might choose a protein bar, banana and G2, the new low-calorie Gatorade, while a woman might opt for a cup of cut up fruit, Kashi oatmeal and green tea. 7-Eleven stores even carry burritos made with all-organic ingredients."

Two flavors of the new Weight Watchers snack cakes, Lemon and Chocolate, will be available at participating 7-Eleven stores this month in individually wrapped twin packs of a single flavor. Blueberry and Double Chocolate Muffins are also available in single packages. These snacks have no trans-fat, fewer calories and less fat per serving than traditional products in the snack food category. And for those counting Weight Watchers Points, one snack cake has a Points value of one, and a muffin has value of three. The suggested retail price for each item is $1.29.

"We think the Weight Watchers cakes will be popular with our male and female customers," said Tony Sparks, 7-Eleven category manager for bakery and bread. "Even adding a sugar-free Crystal Light Slurpee drink will still allow you to stay on track."

LÄRABARS, also new to 7-Eleven, are raw food bars made with only unsweetened fruit, nuts and spices. Billed as "The Original Fruit & Nut Food Bar," each variety contains no more than six ingredients. Previously available at just natural food, specialty grocers and athletic stores, each unprocessed, uncooked bar has no added sugar, is gluten-, dairy- and soy-free, and certified kosher and vegan. Suggested retail price for the 1.8-oz. bar is $1.69.

The snack bars were developed by Lara Merriken, who created them in her own kitchen after searching the market for a healthy whole-food option. Armed with just a food processor, Merriken hand-rolled each bar and shared her all-natural creations with family and friends. As word spread, demand grew, and LÄRABAR was born. Merriken's company, Humm Foods, is based in Denver.

The majority of 7-Eleven stores carrying this product are located in the greater New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Norfolk, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver-Colorado Springs, Chicago, Philadelphia, Orlando Tampa-St. Petersburg, Miami, San Diego, Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Seattle-Tacoma, Detroit, San Francisco-San Jose, Las Vegas and Richmond, Va. areas.

The convenience retailer will introduce its own proprietary nutrition bar in March, the first all-natural, triple-layer protein bar. Protein bars are the No. 1-selling nutrition bars and especially popular with men. Sold under the "All Natural MEGA Protein Bar" brand name, the 7-Eleven bar contains 30-grams of protein, is 70% organic and will be available in two candy bar-like flavors: Caramel Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

7-Eleven stores stock better-for-you selections year-round in its fresh foods, packaged foods and beverages for health-conscious consumers who are counting calories, fat grams and carbohydrates. Fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, lower-calorie sandwiches, portion-control snacks, energy and protein bars, dark chocolate candy, sugar-free Slurpee drinks, vitamin-enhanced waters, yogurt, meal-replacement and shakes—all healthier food options that can be found throughout the store.

Other healthy items recommended by 7-Eleven:

Oh Boy! Turkey Jerky. A new teriyaki turkey jerky snack from Oh Boy! Oberto is made with 100% premium turkey breast and contains no preservatives and 25% less salt. Each serving contains 80 calories, 10 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat.

Tea. 7-Eleven now offers fresh-brewed black and green tea on its hot beverage bar. 7-Eleven also has introduced its first tea-based Slurpee beverage—Mango Bango Totally Wild Tea flavor. Bottled teas have enjoyed double-digit growth at 7-Eleven as consumers look for healthier ready-to-drink beverage choices.

Frozen. In the frozen food case, customers can choose from two new Healthy Choice items—Chicken Margherita Café Steamers or Chicken Basil Panini.

Oatmeal. 7-Eleven has added Kashi Heart to Heart Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, packaged in a ready-to-eat-from bowl. Just add water. Kashi products are all-natural, minimally-processed foods with no highly refined sugars, artificial additives or preservatives.

G2 Summit. Gatorade has introduced G2 for consumers looking for lower-calorie hydration. With only 25 calories, G2 offers the same rehydration and replenishment properties as traditional Gatorade. 7-Eleven offers three flavors of G2, range, grape and fruit punch.

Those looking for healthier fresh foods at mealtime will find a wide selection on 7-Eleven shelves—whole and cut-up fruits, vegetable snack trays with Ranch dressing, salads and fruit and cheese snacks. For those who want to drink their fruit, Naked 100% Juice fruit smoothies offer another source, equal to a pound of fruit in every bottle. V-8 vegetable and fruit juices offer other options to increase fruit and veggie intake.

In the vault, besides spring and sparkling varieties of water, 7-Eleven carries new Propel Invigorating Water, enhanced with B vitamins for a better-for-you energy drink. Low-fat milk, 100% juices, sports drink to replenish fluids after a strenuous workout, bottled teas. Hot tea and coffee are no-calorie beverages—choose decaf varieties if watching caffeine intake. Diet and low-calorie fountain beverages and Crystal Lite Slurpee drinks ensure that cold-drink fans won't go wanting.

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