Health-conscious 7-Eleven pushes Diet Pepsi Slurpee

DALLAS: Convenience-store chain 7-Eleven has kicked off a major PR push across 36 markets to inform consumers about its new Diet Pepsi Slurpee.

DALLAS: Convenience-store chain 7-Eleven has kicked off a major PR push across 36 markets to inform consumers about its new Diet Pepsi Slurpee.

The new Slurpee is being positioned as a product for women, diabetics, and others who care about sugar and calorie content.

The offering marks the latest effort by the food business to respond to growing concerns about obesity and unhealthy American eating habits.

7-Eleven received numerous media inquiries about whether its new Slurpee was developed as a response to obesity concerns, but the company chose not emphasize that angle in its initial press release for the launch, said Dana Manley, director of marketing communications. But, she added, "I think a lot of companies have been focusing on the knowledge that there is a need for healthier products - good-for-you products."

The convenience-store chain earlier this year added organic snacks to its product offerings. It also introduced Slurpee varieties made with Crystal Light, which have one-third the calories of a normal Slurpee.

7-Eleven worked with its network of 17 PR people around the US - most of whom are independent practitioners - to spread the word about the Diet Slurpee. It also used Dallas firm The Powell Group to target national women's publications.

More than 200 broadcast stories ran the first weekend that the new Slurpee was introduced, Manley said. The exposure coincided with a spike in sales of the new Slurpee, according to the company.

"The flavor really has enabled us to branch out to appeal to a wider audience than this category has appealed to in the past," Manley said.

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