7-Eleven Offers Healthier Fare

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7-Eleven Offers Healthier Fare

LOS ANGELES--7-Eleven, home of gargantuan sodas and hot dogs, can now count itself in the health food business, reported the Los Angeles Daily News .

Long known primarily as a vendor of Slurpees, nachos and cigarettes, the king of convenience stores has been gradually bringing in healthier fare. In addition to its fresh fruit, sandwiches and sushi, the chain is now offering its first proprietary line of fitness and nutrition products, sold under the Formula 7 brand name, according to the report.

"We still have doughnuts and Slim Jims, but today’s consumer wants a broader variety," Kevin Gardner, director of marketing and communications for the Dallas-based chain told the Los Angeles Daily News . "We see this as a platform across the store. We think there’s potential for this brand as we move to the next trend in diets."

So alongside the Snickers bars and pork rinds, 7-Eleven is slinging its own $2.49 energy drinks, similar to Red Bull, and fitness beverages similar to Gatorade for $1.79. It also sells a line of nutritional bars for $1.79 apiece, placed next to the Tiger’s Milk and PowerBars favored by bodybuilders and on-the-go eaters, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Made of exotic-sounding ingredients such as bee pollen, green tea polyphenols and gingko biloba, the lines mirror the sort of foods sold in health clubs. They also have sizable amounts of high-fructose corn syrup and other sugars, making them not strictly healthy fare.

"I was fairly surprised," Gardner said in the report. "A lot of energy bars aren’t a delightful treat, but these taste pretty good."

The chain hasn’t completely bought into the fitness craze, however. For its traditional patrons, it also recently quietly added a second proprietary brand: Big Gulp candy bars and bottled soda, according to the report.