Freshii brings health snacks to stores dominated by junk food

The QSR is looking to convenience stores, like 7-Eleven, to provide shelf space for its better-for-you products.

freshiiBy Will Novosedlik

Like many other QSR banners, Freshii got a big kick in the derrière when COVID came to town. But, unlike some others, it kicked right back. Seeing the pandemic as an opportunity for an accelerated transformation, the brand has been busy executing a multi-pronged recovery strategy.

“The pandemic has not slowed us down in realizing our vision to become an omnichannel health and wellness brand. In fact, it has propelled us forward, priming us for our next stage of growth,” Freshii’s VP marketing, Veronica Castillo tells strategy. “Throughout the early phases of the pandemic, we learned about the ever-changing wants and needs of our customers. These learnings informed strategic tweaks to both our digital and innovation strategies to ensure we were showing up for them.”

For instance, in the absence of lunch traffic as downtown customers worked from home, Freshii launched a dinner hour selection called Plates in July 2020. Then, in early 2021, it entered the vitamins and supplements space, launching Freshii Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies. The brand also created a mobile app with an in-app delivery option. It embarked on an omnichannel expansion with several retail partners.

And, now, its latest effort is a partnership with 7-Eleven, where its Energii Bites snacks will be available in roughly 600 locations across Canada. “As customers continue to look for healthier, better-for-you and immune boosting products, we hope to provide additional solutions at 7-Eleven and beyond,” adds Freshii COO Adam Corrin.

In this case, “beyond” means deals with a number of banners in the grocery and convenience channels, which are strategically supporting the health and wellness trend and working with Freshii as a leader in the space. Partnerships with the QSR currently include Shell, Parkland (On the Run), ONroute, Whole Foods Market and Healthy Planet.

On the face of it, while more Canadians are seeking healthier meals and snacks, a convenience store may not be the kind of place where you would expect to find them. Their shelves are generally dominated by salty and sugary snacks. But in these unprecedented times, it seems convenience and ubiquity may trump brand dissonance.

Freshii is promoting the 7-Eleven launch with a national multi-buy promotion where consumers across Canada can purchase two Energii Bites for $6. The promotion kicked off January 5 and will be running until March 1, and it applies to all three flavours of the bites: Peanut Butter, Cacao and Blueberry. The promotion will be featured in-store, on the 7NOW app, as well as Uber Eats, SkiptheDishes and DoorDash. 7-Eleven is also featuring the Energii Bites in its Healthy to Go campaign creative, which will be featured in-store, online and TV.