7-Eleven launches fresh meals to compete with QSRs
7-Eleven is aiming squarely at the restaurant industry with a line of prepared foods to go in its sprawling network of northern Texas stores. Even the news release describing the 15 offerings made it clear that the group's focus is set directly on those increasingly home-bound millennial restaurant customers.
The meals, which range in price from $3.99 to $4.99, include Chicken Alfredo and tortellini, an Asian beef and broccoli bowl, and three Mexican specials, along with three breakfast entrees coming on Sept. 25. They are each prepared in local kitchens and delivered daily. Customers may heat them in store or prep them at home, according to the press release.
The meals are entering a highly competitive regional market with a full ad campaign, featuring in-store, life-sized cardboard cutouts of Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott, as well as a series of radio spots and social media ads that give coupons for free meals.
"You can add a salad, beverage and dessert," 7-Eleven Vice President of Fresh Food Innovation Kelly Buckley, said in the release. "The creamy mac and cheese is particularly kid-friendly and pairs well with chicken tenders and a cup of fresh-cut fruit. We want to take the hassle out of meal time with a variety of options and without giving up quality. There is something for everyone."
7-Eleven said it uses ingredients and flavor profiles that match or exceed those of restaurants in response to studies that indicated that almost two-thirds of consumers surveyed buy pre-made meals at least once a week, the same number 7-Eleven said as those who divulge that they actually plan dinner within an hour of eating.
"7-Eleven has always been a hot spot for snacks and drinks," Buckley said. "Now, whatever you're craving for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, 7-Eleven has it. If someone wants a breakfast bowl for dinner, we've got it. If you want pizza and fruit or a burger and a protein snack pack, you don't have to go to two places to get it. Hearty, healthy, heavy or light – our mission is to have a selection of delicious foods at all hours of the day."