Industry News | July 2, 2008

7-Eleven to Give Out Free Slurpee Drinks

July 11, aka 7/11, is the day that 7-Eleven Inc. celebrates its birthday and says “thank you” to its customers with free Slurpee drinks at participating stores. This year’s 7-Eleven Day marks the company’s 81st birthday. Customers can pour their favorite Slurpee flavors in colorful, 7.11-ounce “Birthday” cups throughout the day, while cup supplies last.

7-Eleven is the home of the Big Bite Oscar-Mayer all-beef hot dog and the number-one retailer of grilled hot dogs. And to celebrate National Hot Dog Month in July, participating 7-Eleven stores are offering a quarter-pound Big Bite hot dog and Big Gulp drink for just $1.99 throughout the entire month.

New for July is the first ever Monster Energy Slurpee drink, called Black Ice. Black Ice is a black-colored energy Slurpee drink packed with a full-load of Monster’s potent energy blend. This is the first frozen Monster beverage and the first variety not sold in a can.

“In appreciation of our loyal customer base, we started giving away Slurpee drinks on our 75th birthday in 2002,” says Jay Wilkins, 7-Eleven brand manager for Slurpee and Big Gulp fountain drinks. “Customers thanked us, and we’ve been doing it ever since. Now July 11, or 7-Eleven Day, has become Customer Appreciation Day or try-your-favorite-Slurpee-on-us day.”

Viral marketing through the newly redesigned web site with its Slurpee Nation social network along with Slurpee street teams in select cities and store events across the U.S. play a big part in spreading the “7-Eleven Birthday/Customer Appreciation/Free Slurpee” message.

Every day is Slurpee Day in Kennewick, Washington, recently crowned the new Slurpee capital of the world, but on Free Slurpee Day, 7-Eleven Franchisee Don Marriotto expects his store to be swamped. “Even though we will be giving away free Slurpee drinks on 7-Eleven Day, July 11 also will be our biggest Slurpee sales day of the year,” he said. “We will have customers lined up outside waiting to get in the store and to the Slurpee machine to create their favorite frozen concoction.”

Marriotto’s number-one Slurpee-selling store offers 12 different flavors of the popular beverage, and he expects to have the local ABC-TV affiliate broadcasting from their store that birthday morning.

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