From the 7-Eleven FOAC Trade Show

New products, new promotions, new enthusiasm

VILLA PARK, Ill. -- With more vendors--129--attending the 2013 7-Eleven Franchisee Owners Association of Chicagoland Trade Show this past week, franchisees got a glimpse at several exclusive promotions and new products.

Emboldened with the mantra that the franchisees “make the final decision on what we stock in that store,” Ken Patel, vice president of the FOAC, opened the trade show with the message: “With the economy being pinched, [the trade-show committee] really worked hard to bring in new vendors to offer new deals.”

Here’s a glimpse at what they saw.

  • An exclusive flavor of Haagen Dazs ice cream: Vanilla Latte.
  • For the second year in a row, an exclusive flavor Gatorade, this year Strawberry Lemonade.
  • Beverages fortified with protein were high-profile, including Bolthouse Farms’ Blended Coffee Protein Plus, Gatorade’s repackaged recovery shakes in vanilla and chocolate, Naked Juice’s Protein Zone-Banana Chocolate, Muscle Milk Light Peach Mango and Muscle Monster with caffeine in chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavors.
  • Several new-to-the-FOA brands of iced tea, including Argo Teas and Nestle Waters North America’s Tradewinds Tea. Tradewinds also offered an exclusive promotion for customers to win tickets to see country singer Toby Keith in concert.
  • New brands and line extensions on energy drinks and shots, including Xyience’s new Energy + Lemonade series, the new Arma Energy drink from the creator to Monster Energy (The line also includes potato chicps and snack mixes.), the recently relaunched Bawls energy soda, an addition to 5 Hour Energy’s fundraising line of shots, which benefits the fight against breast cancer, and a new energy-shot entrant called Allday Energy.
  • In alcoholic beverages, retailers got a look at Heineken’s Strongbow cider and the new Heineken “star bottle,” the newest Smirnoff Ice flavor Peach Bellini, MillerCoors’ new 18 pack of 16-ounce cans for Miller Lite and its line of craft beers, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Shandy, and Anheuser-Busch’s Straw-ber-rita and 12 pack of 8-ounce cans od Budweiser and Bud Light. Boston Beer displayed it new can packaging for Sam Adams Boston Lager--coming soon in 24 oz!—as well as it new Angry Orchard Cider in 16-ounce cans.
  • The bottled-water presence was upscale with new premium waters from NY2O and Aqua Hydrate, an alkalized water backed by actor Mark Walberg and producer Diddy. Glaceau Fruitwater also displayed new packaging.
  • Coconut water was represented by Argo Labs, Zico, which highlighted its three original flavors--natural, chocolate and pineapple--and VitaCoco with its new caffeinated Coco Café products in original, vanilla and mocha.
  • In tobacco products, franchisees got a look at several new products, including several electronic cigarettes-- Kretek International’s EZ Cig, Logic’s Power Series and the Swisher E-Cigarette. Other featured tobacco products included John Middleton’s Black & Mild Jazz cigars, Swedish Match’s White Owl’s Pineapple cigarellos, Swisher Sweets’ Green Sweets cigarellos and Skoal Xtra’s new packaging.

Click here to see photos of beverages products featured at the 7-Eleven FOAC Trade Show.

In snacks and candy, new products included:

  • Wai Lana Cassava Chips, which put a Hawaiian twist on the classic potato chip.
  • Riffles Crispy Fries, Grandma’s Peach Cobbler Cookies and Ruffles Ultimate Tangy Honey Mustard from PepsiCo.
  • GoGoSqueeZ applesauce on the go.
  • Slim Jim Steakhouse Tender Steak Strips in Twisted Teriyaki and Crackin’ Pepper, and David Trail Mix Nuts & Fruit from ConAgra.
  • Starburst Minis and 5 Focus gum in spearmint and peppermint, both from Wrigley.
  • New packaging for Pure Protein bars from U.S. Nutrition.
  • Nature Valley Protein Bars from General Mills.
  • New Pemmican organic beef jerky in three flavors and new Pemmican “bold flavors” jerky in mango chili, beef & cheese enchilada, chipotle and taco flavors.

And in food, vendors had the franchisees covered from main course to dessert.

  • Materne displayed its GoGosqueeZ applesauce pouches available in six flavors.
  • PepsiCo unveiled a new addition to its Quaker Real Medley line of oatmeal, Blueberry Hazelnut, and a line of heat and serve Rice-a-Roni cups.
  • Insight Beverages sampled its dispensed line of Skinny Lemon Chai Tea Lattes in three flavors.
  • AdvancePierre Foods introduced the newest addition to its Big Az line of sandwiches, the BaconAddict Cheeseburger.
  • Joe & Ross Ice Cream offered up Blue Bunny’s Jolly Rancher ice pop and Cadbury’s Caramello Ice Cream Bar.