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7-Eleven to Revisit Private Label Beer

DALLAS -- The cooler wars are about to heat up in 7-Eleven convenience stores, as the Dallas-based retailer is planning to launch a new private label beer brand, reportedly called "Game Day," reported.

City Brewing in LaCrosse, Wis., will brew the convenience store chain's new suds, according to the report. The product is reportedly a premium beer with a budget price, and 7-Eleven declined to provide more details.

Due to the economy, core convenience store shoppers have less cash, which is likely why 7-Eleven is entering the market at a low price point, the report stated. "They figure that since brands are weaker at that price segment they can capture the full margin rather than pay a premium to a supplier," Harry Schuhmacher with Beer Business Daily, said in the report. Schuhmacher, which first reported the beer news, claimed the private label beer is called Game Day, but 7-Eleven wouldn't confirm to

7-Eleven has visited private label brews more than once in its history. The chain launched Santiago beer in 2003 to catch the import beer wave, but struggled to get a foothold, according to the Web site.

"High-end no-name beer is a loser proposition," Schuhmacher told "Why pay more for a beer nobody's ever heard of?"

And in 1969 7-Eleven offered its own brand beer in 12-ounce pop-top cans, according to Convenience Store News reports at the time.

This time around, Schuhmacher isn't convinced the brand will be a success, even at a budget price, due to drinkers' fierce loyalty to a specific label, reported.

In January, amid beer price hikes, 7-Eleven spokesperson Margaret Chabris told the Wall Street Journal, "We need cost decreases or we think there will be declines in domestic purchases in total," and added the company is "exploring alternative strategies to better satisfy our customers."

A private label beer would allow 7-Eleven to control how it transports the product to stores, which will be handled through normal channels in all markets except southern and northern California, where they'll use combined distribution centers, the report stated.

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