7-Eleven(R) Enters Functional Food Arena With Formula 7(R)

DALLAS, Aug 24, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- With the diet pendulum swinging between low-carb/high-fat and low-fat/high-carb in the past few years, consumers are taking a more balanced approach to diet and nutrition. Add to that an aging population, rising healthcare costs, and an ever-growing number of studies linking the importance of diet to health and disease prevention, and the stage is set for 7-Eleven, Inc. (SE) to launch Formula 7(R), its own proprietary line of functional foods and beverages.

Functional foods are defined by the International Food Information Council as any food or food component that may have health benefits beyond basic nutrition. The initial 7-Eleven(R) product lineup includes bottled and canned beverages, as well as two nutritional bars, each designed specifically to enhance energy, fitness or endurance.

Fortified with vitamins, minerals, herbs, antioxidants, amino acids and other natural ingredients, the first wave of Formula 7 products available exclusively at participating 7-Eleven stores nationwide includes:

* Formula 7 Energy Drink in 16-ounce can; available in two flavors --
Cherry Lime Lightning and Super Citrus Charge; functional ingredients
-- B vitamin complex, gingko biloba, inositol, taurine and caffeine
* Formula 7 Chocolate Crunch Energy Bar; functional ingredients -- B
vitamin complex, bee pollen, green tea polyphenols and kola nut

Energy/Mental Focus
* Formula 7 Energy Beverage in 20-ounce bottles; available in two
flavors -- Blood Orange and Raspberry Mint; functional ingredients --
Vitamins B and E complex, gingko biloba, green tea polyphenols,
Siberian ginseng

* Formula 7 Chocolate Mocha Caramel Endurance Bar; functional
ingredients -- essential B vitamins, whey and soy proteins, green tea

* Formula 7 Fitness Beverage in 20-ounce bottles; available in two
flavors -- Apple Rose and Natural Peach; functional ingredients -- B
vitamin complex, green tea polyphenols, HCA and chromium

The suggested retail price for both the bottled beverages and bars is $1.79, and $2.49 for the canned energy drinks. Graphic icons representing the nutritional benefit provided by the product appear on the package and on in- store signage.

"Consumers are looking for ways to improve their health whether it's changing their diet, lifestyle or looking to vitamin supplements," said Debbie Wildrick, product director for processed foods. "Formula 7 provides a great platform for us to develop additional items with specific attributes to enhance energy, endurance, wellness, strength and maybe more."

Functional and fortified foods and beverages are the top-selling category of packaged consumer health and wellness goods, with sales reaching $23.4 billion in 2004, according to the National Marketing Institute. In a poll of food industry executives by Reuters Business Insight, functional foods were predicted to be the most successful healthy food products through 2009, with America following the lead of Asian-Pacific countries which have the greatest consumer acceptance of the role of nutritional and functional foods and beverages. 7-Eleven sales typically reflect national trends, and the energy drink category has achieved double-digit sales growth for several years. In addition, nutritional bars continue to grow in popularity.

"Formula 7 further expands our assortment of better-for-you offerings," Wildrick said. "These new items deliver distinctive flavor profiles like our cherry lime-flavored energy drink, or the energy bar, which contains interesting ingredients and tastes great. Formula 7 provides performance products for mainstream consumers by offering value, taste and benefits."

About 7-Eleven, Inc.

7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven, Inc. operates or franchises approximately 5,800 7-Eleven(R) stores in the United States and Canada and licenses approximately 22,700 7-Eleven stores in 17 other countries and U.S. territories throughout the world. During 2004, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of approximately $41 billion. Find out more online at http://www.7-Eleven.com .

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