My local 7-Eleven is where I stock up on my essentials when I’m craving something sweet, salty, or just plain non-healthy. But lately, I’ve been faced with a decision I never had to make inside the convenience store: To choose a healthy snack or proceed with my intended junk food binge? Now, instead of chowing down on my favorite pack of doughnuts and red vines without shame, the Naked Green Machine drink and banana sitting on the cashier’s counter taunts me with guilt.
The store I once knew as junk-food heaven has now expanded its offerings to include fresh foods, fruits, vegetables and even eggs, cheese and milk. The times are a-changing, and oddly enough, so will the food options of our local convenience stores. As our country fights the obesity epidemic and focuses on access to healthy foods, looks like 7-Eleven is rolling right along with the evolution.
The New York Times reports that by 2015, the retailer aims to have 20 percent of sales come from fresh foods in its American and Canadian stores, up from about 10 percent currently.
Our quintessential Pop Tarts will now share space with healthy seven-grain sandwich wraps, yogurt cups and carrot sticks. Those sticky buns will be overshadowed by protein packs similar to the Starbucks-esque bowl of hummus, grapes, celery, pita rounds and cubed cheeses which weigh in under 400 calories.
“We’re aspiring to be more of a food and beverage company, and that aligns with what the consumer now wants, which is more tasty, healthy, fresh food choices,” said Joseph M. DePinto, the chief executive of 7-Eleven, a subsidiary of the Japanese company Seven & i Holdings.
What do you think about convenience stores like 7-Eleven offering healthier food options?