7-Eleven Adds More 'Mini-Meals'

Corn Dog Bites, Mozzarella Sticks, Chicken Chipotle Go-Go Taquitos join snack lineup

Published in CSP Daily News

DALLAS-- Corn Dog Bites, Mozzarella Sticks with a side of Marinara Sauce and Chicken Chipotle Go-Go Taquitos are the newest snacks to join the "mini-meal" scene at 7-Eleven stores.

Snacking isn't a "special dining occasion" anymore, it's the norm, the retailer said.

Americans typically eat more than 1,000 "snacks" each year, or between two and three each day, according to a study by The NPD Group. The reasons for choosing these mini-meals vary: lack of time, a small-meals diet regimen, sudden craving, afternoon pick-me-up or late-night treat among them. Afternoons, evenings and late nights remain the most frequent snack times, but mid-morning snack occasions are growing. And the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys show the number of eating occasions each day had jumped from 3.9 in the late 1970s to 5.6 meals in 2010.

"Millennials and the generation coming behind them are snackers, and I don't see them returning to the traditional three-meals-a-day standard," said Kelly Buckley, 7-Eleven vice president of fresh food innovation. "They were busy as youngsters, and life has gotten no less hectic for them as young adults. Kids, teens and 20-somethings are the biggest snackers. As even meals become more snack-like, 7-Eleven is adding smaller portions, mini-sizes and bites, and the public is eating them up, so to speak."

Wrapped in a cornmeal batter, Corn Dog Bites are cooked to a crisp and served warm. Suggested retail price is $1 for three. The crispy Mozzarella Sticks are made from 100% mozzarella cheese sticks, breaded with Italian-seasoned coating and baked until the cheese melts. Served with a side of marinara sauce, an order has a suggested retail price for four is $1.49. The Chicken Chipotle Taquito on the roller grill contains chipotle peppers, adding a kick to the chicken and cheesy Monterey Jack, asadero and mozzarella filling. This product is specially priced at two for $2.29.

Earlier this year, 7-Eleven added Breakfast Empanada Bites following the successful launch of its Mini Tacos last year. The chain also offers chicken wings and tenders.

For customers looking for a better-for-you snacking option, 7-Eleven sells fresh-cut and whole fruit and veggie trays with dip. NPD's SnackTrack, which regularly monitors snack food consumption, finds that fresh fruit remains near the top of favorite snack foods. This summer, 7-Eleven offers fresh-cut fruit at a special price of just $4 for any two fruit cups. 7-Eleven customers can find a wide selection of fresh, seasonal fruit like strawberries, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, mango and kiwi.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,200 7-Eleven stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven has some 51,000 stores in 16 countries. During 2012, 7-Eleven stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.8 billion.