How 7-Eleven is supporting Lightlife Chick’n Tenders

Convenience channels are evolving and upgrading food offerings to match the continued increase in grab-and-go needs.

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Convenience channels have evolved beyond questionable products slowly rotating under a heat lamp. And part of that evolution includes 7-Eleven Canada introducing Lightlife Plant-based Chick’n Tenders.

The offerings, part of the convenience channel’s “Healthy to Go,” platform, is aimed squarely at flexitarians and what it calls a first-to-market move and will be on offer at its 600 stores nationwide.

The products can be delivered through 7NOW or via marketplace apps such as SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats, and DoorDash.

According to a Greenleaf spokesperson, as the creator of the convenience store category, 7-Eleven has constantly evolved its product assortment to meet the ever-changing needs of Canadians, especially when it comes to matching the continued increase in grab-and-go needs.

The 7-Eleven team identified the newly-launched Lightlife Plant-Based Chicken Tender as the best suited to complement its current traditional chicken portfolio.

Laurie Smith, national marketing communications manager for 7-Eleven says that shopper marketing displays are in place to amplify this partnership with in-store and online POS. In-store POS includes large overhead banners outside of the store entrance (see, below), A-frame stand-ups outside on company property, window clings on entrance doors, and smaller clings on the Hot Case’s front. According to Smith, creative and POS materials developed by 7-Eleven Canada reinforce messaging focus areas of Hot and Fresh and “Healthy to Go.”

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Smith tells strategy it developed a 360 marketing campaign for this launch which included earned outreach to key consumer and trade media outlets leveraging the first-to-market news.

Efforts to tap the plant-curious consumer were complemented by an influencer marketing campaign and TV ads created by agency partner Oliver. It’s also embracing media trends, Smith says, through a partnership with TSN’s That’s Hockey for a top of funnel outreach.

Working with Greenleaf Foods’s agency of record 160over90, both Lightlife and Field Roast are amplifying the news of this partnership on owned social channels, across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Lightlife’s social content reinforces that consumers can now “get a quick and delicious chicken fix on their next run to 7-Eleven Canada,” while Field Roast’s main messaging is on “the spice, crisp and bold flavor” of their plant-based pepperoni.

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The convenience brand’s PR agency, front + centre developed a 1-Week at 7-Eleven influencer campaign designed to show how easy and convenient it was to eat healthier at 7-Eleven locations.

“We challenged Canadian plant-based food creators in key markets to create video and photo content that showcased daily stops to 7-Eleven either in-store or through the 7Now delivery app,” Smith says. The main messaging points were around the product launch and why 7-Eleven was introducing the Lightlife products now, and details about how the product can be found.  This content was also extended on 7-Eleven’s owned channels.

Smith cites a 2020 Technomic C-Store Foodservice report, stating that 41% more consumers are likely to purchase an item involving plant-based protein in a c-store.

Additionally, 7-Eleven Canada’s customer research found that busy Canadians were wanting more healthy on-the-go options that didn’t sacrificing on taste.

According to recent numbers from the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, in partnership with Angus Reid, 7% of Canadians identify as flexitarian.

As reported in strategy, QSR brand Freshii recently announced it is bringing health snacks to convenience channels.