7-Eleven Accepting Submissions for Its 2022 'Brands With Heart' Program

For the fourth time, the c-store retailer is seeking innovative brands to appear on its shelves.
Logo for 7-Eleven

IRVING, Texas — 7-Eleven Inc. is bringing back its Brands with Heart event to connect with innovative brands seeking to get their product on the shelves of the convenience retailer's stores.

This program is designed to give brands the opportunity to enter a new retail channel and introduce their products to 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes customers across the United States. Applications will remain open through the end of May.

According to 7-Eleven, customers who purchase its food and beverages are also more likely to couple it with another packaged food item or bottled drink, which is why the company is always on the lookout for exciting new products to introduce to customers.

The company built a team to identify new food and beverage trends, find up-and-coming brands aligned with those trends, and, ultimately, support the development of those brands to be sold at 7-Eleven, Speedway, and Stripes convenience stores and beyond.

This is the fourth time 7-Eleven is offering the program. Whether a product is ready to go to market or is still up-and-coming, all brands are invited to apply. The convenience retailer is looking to diversify its product offerings beyond the traditional c-store assortment and put innovative products on the shelves that meet the needs of its on-the-go customers, the company stated. This includes a variety of snacks, beverages, confectionery, and "better-for-you" items.

"The Brands with Heart showcase attracts hundreds of applicants from up-and-coming brands each year and gives us the unique opportunity to scope out new products that might make the perfect addition to our stores' shelves, such as Lemon Perfect, which was discovered during our 2019 Brands with Heart event," said Jack Stout, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at 7-Eleven.

"It is our mission to help these rising brands grow, and we're excited to see — and taste — the many innovative products that participate. We're committed to elevating our product assortment for customers who are always seeking new and delicious items that fit into their busy lifestyles," Stout added.

Following the application process, standout brands will be invited to participate in an in-store test at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores located in their region. Fan-favorite brands from each market will move on to the Brands with Heart showcase where they will present their products to a panel of leaders from the company.

Selected brands from the showcase will be paired with 7-Eleven leaders for coaching, mentoring, and training to prepare them for the opportunity to secure a place on shelves at participating stores throughout the U.S.

Irving-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 13,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to 7-Eleven stores, it operates and franchises Speedway, Stripes, Laredo Taco Co., and Raise the Roof Chicken and Biscuits locations.

Known for its brands such as Slurpee, Big Bite and Big Gulp, 7-Eleven has expanded into sandwiches, salads, side dishes, cut fruit and protein boxes, as well as pizza, chicken wings and mini beef tacos. 7-Eleven also offers customers private brand products under the 7-Select brand including healthy options, treats and everyday favorites.