Wake Up and Smell the Slurpee

In the mid 1960s, 7-Eleven Inc. introduced thirsty Americans to two new beverage concepts–hot coffee to go and Slurpee frozen carbonated beverages, two drinks that are now synonymous with the convenience giant. Combining these two top-selling ideas into one great-tasting new drink–the Slurpuccino, a coffee-flavored Slurpee -was an idea whose time has come.

The Cafe Latte-flavored Slurpuccino is not a milk-based product, but is caffeinated, fat-free and has only 61 calories per 8-ounce serving, unlike most frozen cappuccinos on the market. Prices are similar to any other Slurpee drink, which range from 99 cents for a 12-ounce cup to $1.69 for 40 ounces.

"Slurpee is a beverage for kids of all ages," said Jay Wilkins, category manager for Slurpee and Big Gulp fountain drinks. "Slurpuccino capitalizes on the consumer-driven trend of coffee-flavored products and, while it may be more of a grown-up Slurpee, we believe young adults and older teens will enjoy it as well."

Developed for 7-Eleven stores by The Coca-Cola Co., the Slurpuccino drink is a new beverage platform with Cafe Latte as the version offered. The coffee- and caramel-flavored frozen drink targets young adults ages 18-34, both male and female. More than 75 percent of Slurpee drinkers are under the age of 34.

"Coffee flavors are ‘hot’ right now, whether served hot, cold or frozen," Wilkins said. "We sell millions of Slurpee drinks each month, plus numerous chilled coffee-flavored drinks in the stores’ cold vault. This indicates we have a very receptive customer base for the Slurpuccino drink."

Slurpuccino also provides a "better-for-you" alternative for coffee-lovers who want to monitor calories, fat or caffeine in their diets. Compared to some other retailers’ frozen cappuccino drinks, 7-Eleven’s coffee-flavored Slurpee beverage has approximately one-third the calories, half the sugar and no fat grams. Adding a whipped topping can raise fat content by 20 grams. Compared to a cup of coffee, which contains between 100 and 175 milligrams of caffeine, an 8-ounce Slurpuccino has only five milligrams.

"Customers purchase a Slurpee drink as a treat," Wilkins said. "Adding Slurpuccino provides a more indulgent option to our frozen beverage line-up. Customers can now indulge in a rich, great-tasting frozen coffee drink without worrying about the impact of a lot of calories or fat content."

The new drink is expected to be offered in a hazelnut-cappuccino flavor this fall.

7-Eleven recently launched a marketing campaign to promote its fresh-brewed coffee. With taglines like "Our coffee’s fresher than your average Joe" and "Guaranteed fresh or we’ll brew it new." 7-Eleven’s goal is to educate coffee connoisseurs about the chain’s commitment to quality, including coffee beans ground fresh in the stores for both its top-selling Exclusive Blend and Dark Mountain Roast coffees (for 7-Eleven stores in the upper Midwest, it’s the Exclusive Blend and Columbian varieties). Coffee is the convenience retailer’s number-one selling proprietary beverage. With more than half of its customers purchasing a beverage, 7-Eleven carries about 350 different drink choices in its stores.

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