Quick: Name five food items you associate with 7-Eleven. Slurpees, chili dogs, nachos, Slim Jims and Pringles come to mind? You’re not alone. But over the past year the convenience store giant has been rolling out a full lineup of healthy, fresh food, and according to The New York Times, it’s part of a long term plan to change your entire mental image of 7-Eleven.
Dropping into a 7-Eleven nowadays is a totally different experience from what you might have encountered only a couple years ago. Fruit and yogurt parfaits, baby carrots with light dip, turkey sandwiches, and even hard boiled eggs are now on offer, alongside a full lineup of breakfast sandwiches, salads, and the expected assortment of burritos, hot dogs, taquitos, and donuts (which are now available in smaller sizes).
Thanks to dwindling cigarette sales and increased competition from stores like Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, 7-Eleven brass has had to up their game, and they’re now hoping that 20 percent of sales come from fresh foods by 2015, as opposed to the current 10 percent. They’ve even brought in a team of experts to develop ideal convenience store food, and keep track of every item sold to know what works and what doesn’t.
And while there’s still a slight stigma attached to buying lunch from the 7-Eleven prepared food aisle, they’re banking on that opinion changing soon. Nobody balks at getting a sandwich at Starbucks any more, right?