The company offers up-and-coming brands a chance to appear on its shelves.

7-Eleven is always on the lookout for new, innovative and exciting products to offer its customers, according to Adam Franks, director of beverage private brands and emerging brands at 7-Eleven, in an interview with Food Business News.

For the past four years, the convenience retailer has hosted its Brands with Heart showcase event, which gives up-and-coming brands the chance to have their products on a major c-store company shelf. Franks says 7-Eleven evaluates these brands on four key metrics:

  • Do we love it?
  • Will it stand out on the shelf?
  • Is it convenience store ready?
  • Is the product or brand story unique?

“By focusing on these four criteria, we’re able to develop a quantifiable ranking that helps us focus on the items we think will perform well with our customers,” Franks told Food Business News.

He used the example of sparkling water brand Aura Bora. The packaged beverage’s packaging and flavor stood out over other brands in the category.

If a brand makes it to a 7-Eleven shelf, the work isn’t over. Franks says there are three things brands need to do once they are sold at 7-Eleven.

“They need to ensure their products remain in stock and communicate with wholesalers regularly to stay up to date on how your products are resonating with customers,” he said. They also need to pay attention to the retail pricing curve, as well as be willing to partner with 7-Eleven on promotions and digital/display programs.

7-Eleven’s Brands with Heart also offers selected brand executives from the showcase the opportunity to be paired with 7-Eleven leaders for coaching, mentoring and training.

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