7eleven coffee gets defensive

New Fusion line extension offers health benefits to drinkers.

7-Eleven believes that the best defense is a good offense, which has led to the launch of its new Fusion Defense coffee, a brew with herbal extracts, in anticipation of this year’s cold and flu season.

Available this fall, Fusion Defense is infused with echinacea, ginseng and astragalus, three herbs thought to help boost the body’s immune system. The introduction by the world’s largest convenience retailer, which sells 1 million-plus cups of coffee every day, comes just months after the company introduced its Fusion Energy, believed to be the first herb-enhanced coffee-to-go in the U.S.

“Fusion coffees taste as great as other 7-Eleven coffees, but provide customers with an entirely new coffee alternative,” said Donald Driver, 7-Eleven category manager for hot beverages. “Our Fusion line offers us so many new beverage opportunities. We’re looking at other herbal blends to offer consumers in response to their desires for a variety of health-related attributes.”

Fusion Energy is infused with guarana, ginseng and yerba mat, all herbs thought to boost energy and sharpen mental alertness. Driver said it will remain in the coffee line-up while other Fusion coffees are rotated in and out of the stores and for as long as customers want the product.

“When we launched Fusion Energy earlier this year, it really captured the attention of 7-Eleven coffee drinkers,” Driver said. “Introducing Fusion Defense is a logical choice for us to offer now because coffee sales perk up in the fall when temperatures drop, and the cold and flu season begins.”

The product is available at participating stores except in Texas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and southern Nevada.7-Eleven stores in these areas will introduce instead Exclusive Bold coffee, a rich, full-bodied blend, similar to the coffee sold at 7-Eleven stores in the Northeast.

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