Some 7-Eleven stores in Texas last week began offering a 15-item range of prepared food that can be heated in-store or taken home as-is. The chef-inspired items are fashioned on Italian, homestyle, Asian, and Mexican dishes. A company announcement describes the offering as being “restaurant quality.”
The heat-and-eat meals reflect 7-Eleven’s observation that, as evidenced by meal kits’ growing popularity and the growth in business at restaurants, it behooves this grab-and-go convenience store chain to broaden its range of offerings and catch some of the sales competitors are enjoying.
The meals are prepared daily and delivered to participating North Texas stores, which display them in freezer cases. The breakfast, lunch and dinner selections are being promoted on 7-Eleven’s web site and in ads on Facebook, YouTube, TubeMogul, Pandora and TuneIn.
According to an NPD Study, almost two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they buy pre-made meals at least once a week. That’s the same number of people who say they plan dinner within an hour of eating. 7-Eleven offers a convenient solution to that dilemma. The locally made meals add to 7-Eleven’s growing prepared-food offerings, which now stand at more than 300 items.
In addition to the locally made meals, 7-Eleven stores’ growing menu includes grab-and-go cheeseburgers and breaded-chicken sandwiches, pizza slices and whole pizzas, chicken tenders and wings. Hungry customers can create a high-quality, custom meal of their favorite foods by adding fresh-cut fruit, chip-and-dip combos, salads and hundreds of beverage choices rather than settling for the cookie-cutter fries-and-drink combo offered by most fast-food restaurants.
“Dining occasions are evolving from traditional meals and mealtimes,” said Kelly Buckley, 7-Eleven vice president of fresh food innovation. “Younger demographic groups, in particular, are constantly snacking throughout the day vs. eating three traditional meals. As a 24-hour operator, 7-Eleven has a wide variety of hot and fresh foods that can be purchased and eaten any time.”