7-Eleven Brings Back 'Sips & Snacks' Initiative for Small Businesses

7-Eleven's 'Sips & Snacks' assortment

IRVING, Texas — The summer sequel is here, and its first showing is in California.

7-Eleven Inc. launched Sips & Snacks 2.0, a follow-up its 2019 in-store test which includes a new wave of food and beverages. This year's Sips & Snacks program will stock 200 7-Eleven convenience stores in the Los Angeles and San Diego metro areas with 84 exclusive items from a list of 25 hand-picked brands.

The products will also be available on the 7NOW delivery app for customers located in those markets.

According to the c-store retailer, this special product assortment includes options for power-snackers, restricted diet-followers and anyone looking for ways to incorporate more functional, better-for-you sips and snacks to keep them fueled while on the go.

"This selection of sips and snacks are ones that a 7-Eleven customer might not expect to find at one of our stores," said 7-Eleven Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Demand Chain Jack Stout. "7-Eleven's Sips & Snacks initiative offers small businesses a rare opportunity to reach thousands — and potentially millions — of customers with their most innovative products. We are excited to help boost emerging brands' growth, development and success by giving them the chance to test their products in a real retail environment."

7-Eleven put together the product selection from hundreds of breakthrough brands hoping to get a foot in the door with the retail chain. More than 750 companies applied to be invited to present their brand at the company's second annual emerging brands showcase last fall, and only 65 were invited to participate in the two-day "show and taste" expo.

Held at company headquarters, approximately 1,000 7-Eleven employees and Dallas-area franchisees attended the sampling event, writing reviews and voting for their favorites.

According to the company, it took these notes and votes, along with customer trends and shopping habits, into consideration when choosing the assortment of products featured in the 200 California stores. For the 2020 Sips & Snacks lineup, click here.

Approximately one-third of the companies selected for this year's program are either owned by women, minorities or military veterans.

7-Eleven will hold its annual emerging brands event virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands interested in showcasing their most innovative products can apply for the 2020 Brands with Heart event. Applications close Oct. 1.

Based in Irving, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 71,100 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.