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Florida Today reports that 7-Eleven is going the private label route, rolling out a line of snack products under the label “7-Eleven Select.”

This is in addition to other new products - new types of iced coffees, guava-based pastries, snacks and a variety of additional Slurpee flavors – that were introduced in Florida this week at an annual showcase for employees and suppliers called “University of 7-Eleven.” Similar events are planned for around the country.

According to the story, “The event showcased products and store configurations the convenience store giant plans to push in the upcoming year. With its private label brands and daily-made sandwich menus and fresh coffee -- a pot is never supposed to sit longer than 20 minutes at a 7-Eleven store before another is made -- the company is taking aim at a number of competitors.

“Think traditional grocery stores, fast-food stalwarts such as Subway and Quiznos, and specialty retailers like Starbucks.”

And, the paper writes, “On Wednesday, University of 7-Eleven attendees were able to sample new foods such as guava and cheese pastry, curry chicken Asian roll and several new flavors of Slurpees, including Twizzler, Bubble Yum and a purple-colored fruit concoction called Baja Yaha … Many new products are aimed at the company's key demographic of 18- to 34-year-olds, but 7-Eleven also is targeting younger consumers with the fruitier drinks and varying colors of some of the Slurpees flavors. That effort also includes partnering with video games and movies … “

KC's View:
Yet more evidence that tradition format borders are coming down.

7-Eleven is smart to move into proprietary product lines that nobody else can duplicate. That’s how you create a differential advantage. And the move into better and more varied foodservice offerings also reflects much of the conversation that I heard this week at the IRI Convenience Retailing Forum.

And, by the way, own-label is something that 7-Eleven has some experience with. After all, isn’t “Slurpee” a private label product?