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7-Eleven's Senior Director of Fresh Food Innovation, Anne Readhimer, Talks Expanding on Fresh

7-Eleven's Senior Director of Fresh Food Innovation, Anne Readhimer, Talks Expanding on Fresh

DALLAS, TX - When you think of 7-Eleven—be honest—you’re thinking hot dogs and Slurpees. And with our nation’s current food trends leaning towards freshness and high quality ingredients, it’s no wonder the company is trying to combat that image. One person at the head of that charge is the company’s Senior Director of Fresh Food Innovation, Anne Readhimer, who revealed in publication Convenience Store Decisions that fresh-focused remodels and a refocused strategy are in the works. 

Anne Readhimer, Senior Director of Fresh Food Innovation, 7-Eleven

“At 7-Eleven, we’re growing our fresh food department to meet the changing needs of our customers and as we are seeing that higher demand as customers continue to crave these offerings, we’re going to expand the space needed to support those products,” Readhimer told the source. “As we’re building and designing our new store layouts for the future, you’ll see the new builds will have more space and as we go back and retrofit other stores, you’ll also see that expansion in the fresh foods space allocated.” 

In addition to adapting its store layouts to highlight its fresh foods, the company has also been responding to customer demand for other better-for-you options. Readhimer said new snacking and meal options are key, with 7-Eleven launching two proprietary premium lines in 2015—7-Select GO!Yum and 7-Select GO!Smart. 

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

These programs are currently in the works and are making headway, but there are still challenges to come, Readhimer said. “Currently, I think one of the biggest challenges is just spreading the word to the consumer that 7-Eleven offers a wide variety of fresh food. There’s still the perception that 7-Eleven only has Slurpees, Big Bites and taquitos.”

All in all, the company is looking towards growth in all levels as we look towards the next few years. 7-Eleven’s Japanese-owned parent, Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd, projects that the convenience chain will increase its U.S. store count to 10,000 by fiscal year 2019. 

Will 7-Eleven become a major player in the fresh produce game? AndNowUKnow will fill you in with all the latest updates.