7-Eleven’s Slurpee is about to look a lot different
Jun 12, 2023, 3:07 PM
(CNN) — The Slurpee, an iconic 7-Eleven frozen drink, is getting a makeover.
Don’t worry, the recipe isn’t changing. But the cups are. Beginning Monday, the new look will include “eccentric colors and eclectic vibes” and feature a new Slurpee logo and a large “S” that resembles the swirly top of the drinks.
It’s the first redesign in four years, when the Slurpee ditched its recognizable psychedelic pinwheel look. A new advertising campaign for the frozen beverage is also rolling out, marking the first time the same marketing is being used for the drink at both 7-Eleven and Speedway, the gas station chain it bought for $20 billion in 2020.
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Currently, stores sell at least three flavors (Coca-Cola, cherry and blue raspberry) and 7-Eleven often changes up its limited-time offerings. A 7-Eleven spokesperson didn’t reveal how much Slurpees contribute to the convenience chain’s bottom line but said it has sold more than 70 million drinks in “recent years.”
There are more than 153,000 convenience stores in the highly fragmented US market, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores. 7-Eleven is the largest US convenience store chain, with more than 9,000 locations.
Fuel sales made up the majority of the $654 billion that Americans spent last year at convenience stores, according to the trade group, but the businesses want to draw customers inside their stores when they fill up at the pump to get them to buy higher-margin foods and drinks.
The drink traces its history back to the late 1950s as a happy accident.
According to a previous Mental Floss story, Dairy Queen owner Omar Knedlik “discovered” the drink after he put soda bottles in the freezer when his soda fountain broke, resulting in a slushy drink. The drink was such a hit that he built a custom machine using his car’s air conditioning unit and created a drink that mixed soda, water and carbon dioxide to make it fizz.
He asked customers to name the drink, and ICEE won. So, he created the ICEE-making machine. In 1965, 7-Eleven licensed the machine and changed its name from ICEE to Slurpee, because it described the sound drinkers made while sipping it through the straw.
Since then, the cup has had seven redesigns, including special editions. In the 1970s, 7-Eleven sold special cups with sports stars, video games and singers and some people even saved them to collect all of the designs.
Every year, 7-Eleven celebrates the frozen concoction on July 11 (you know, 7/11) and hands out free small Slurpees to customers.
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