Convenience chain 7-Eleven has developed an organic better-for-you snack range to retail alongside premium brands – an interesting move but one that needs to be executed cleverly, warns an analyst.
The mega chain has developed 7-Select snacks – an organic range that includes trail mixes, dried fruits and veggie chips – and rolled them out nationally across the US. The products will be predominantly sold in 7-ounce clear containers and sit alongside premium brands like Stacy’s, Skinny Pop and Seapoint Farms.
“People are snacking throughout the day, and they’re looking for ways to improve what they eat without sacrificing taste...Better-for-you is one of the fastest-growing segments of the snacking category,” said Rebecca Frechette, a 7-Eleven vice president of merchandising.
Lamine Lahouasnia, head of packaged food research at Euromonitor International, said the retailer was likely hoping to associate its own-label products with these premium snack brands.
“We thought they would go for low, economy own-label ranges, so it’s interesting they’re selecting some premium brands. They want to play off that association,” Lahouasnia told BakeryandSnacks.com.
Imitations and quick wins
The convenience store said it had carefully designed its packs to reflect a premium product – with a clear, plastic container and minimal labeling.
Lahouasnia said this was just an example of 7-Eleven putting “a little more thought” into its product design and imitating successful brands. “Natural and organic snacks are all doing clear packaging – we’ve seen that in branded snacks for years,” he said.
He said it would be interesting to see where they decide to position the own-label snacks in relation to these premium brands.
“Organizing a shelf is complex – a lot of thought goes into what brand sits next to another. With private label, especially the cheaper products, they tend to get sat at the bottom of the shelf rather than next to the brands. My guess is that 7-Eleven’s snacks will go side by side with the brands, suggesting to consumers a sense of equivalence,” he said.
Warning: Hard to lure the punters with healthy snacks
However, Lahouasnia warned that when it came to convenience stores, nuts and healthy snacks are not necessarily what spring to mind.
“You’re not going to be able to lure people off the streets with healthy snacks. My fear is that, if not done correctly, it won’t work,” he said.
The analyst said 7-Eleven should consider positioning its own-label organic snacks near the counter, to spur impulse purchases.
“The question on how they prioritize this category will be important. But if they plan to roll out nationwide, it should work for them.”