‘Brands with Heart’: 7-Eleven is Looking for Food and Bev Companies to Stock its Shelves

For the third annual 7-Eleven Brands with Heart event (this year held virtually), emerging brands will pitch to 7-Eleven leaders, attend workshops, and network. The application to participate is due Oct. 1.

7-Eleven is putting out a call-to-action for all rising, innovative brands with differentiated products: Now’s the chance to get on the shelves of the “world’s largest convenience retailer.”

Irving-headquartered 7–Eleven, Inc, which calls itself the premier name and largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry, is looking for brands that have what’s described as the “best, the first, the coolest, one-of-a-kind product.” For its third annual 7-Eleven Brands with Heart event, emerging companies will have the chance to showcase products while engaging with 7-Eleven leaders.

The application is live now and is due Oct. 1.

“As a franchise business, we embody the spirit of entrepreneurship,” 7-Eleven Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Demand Chain Jack Stout said in a statement. “At a time where many retailers are pausing new product launches, 7-Eleven is excited to give small business owners this unique opportunity.”

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brands with Heart event’s product expo will this year be virtual. But, much of the format is the same. Over the course of the two-day experience, participants will attend workshops and panels with 7-Eleven merchandising and operations leadership, network with the 7-Eleven merchandising team, and pitch their products.

The agenda brings two-fold benefits for both 7-Eleven and food and beverage brands.

According to 7-Eleven, chosen participants will make a case for why they deserve to be on 7-Eleven store shelves, which are browsed by 8 million U.S. customers daily.

7-Eleven is then able to diversify its product offering “beyond the traditional c-store assortment” while at the same time serving new sips and snacks to on-the-go customers. For brands, it’s an opportunity to enter and grow within a new retail channel.

Products can really stand out in 7-Eleven’s small-store format, VP of Merchandising Chris Harkness said. Convenience store customers are more likely to try a new item that is single serve.

According to Harkness, this gets a new product into even more potential consumers’ hands.

“Ultimately, it’s our customers who will decide which products become success stories,” he said. “The Brands with Heart expo is a terrific opportunity all the way around—for customers, for companies just starting out, and for 7-Eleven to deliver more of the great products our customers want.”

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