The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) has awarded 7-Eleven, Inc. a 2018 “Salute to Excellence” award for its 7-Select GO!Smart™ Clean & Green Organic Cold-Pressed Juice. The organic cold-pressed juice blend was recognized in the organic foods category. Only 53 new private brand items (38 food and 15 non-food) were chosen for PLMA’s top awards out of the more than 500 submitted to the annual competition.
7-Eleven launched the line of USDA-certified organic cold-pressed juice blends made from whole fruits and vegetables approximately a year ago to rival those prepared in high-end juice bars. Sales of the better-for-you beverages at 7-Eleven® stores have been strong, with Clean & Green taking the No. 1 spot in the entire juice category.
This award comes as 7-Eleven continues to grow its selection of better-for-you food and drink options, both in packaged private brand and fresh foods including items such as 7-Select GO!Smart® fruit and nut blends and sprouted chips, 7-Select® frozen Greek yogurt bars and string cheese, as well as fresh-cut fruit and salads.
Each bottle of 7-Select Go!Smart organic cold-pressed juice includes a fruit-to-vegetable taste meter and the amount of each ingredient in a 14-ounce bottle. One bottle of Clean & Green contains 25 kale leaves, one parsley bunch, 12 celery stalks, three cucumbers, two green apples, 13 mint leaves, 15 spinach leaves and one lime.
“It is always a tremendous honor to be recognized when going head-to-head with other top retailers and their private brands,” said Tim Cogil, 7-Eleven senior director of private brands. “Today, our goal at 7-Eleven is to create unique, high quality products at a great value that you can’t find anywhere else, and this award shows we are meeting that goal.”
This isn’t the first time 7-Eleven private brand products have been recognized. In the past four years, 7-Eleven private brand products have won more than 20 awards for product innovation, quality and package design, including nine PLMA Salute to Excellence awards. Award-winning items have ranged from sea-salt chocolate caramels and Yosemite Road Pink Moscato wine to frozen thin-crust pizza, yogurt-drizzled fruit and nut bars, and decadent dessert cookies.
Certified fair trade, the 7-Select Go!Smart organic, cold-pressed juices are not made from concentrate, and are non-GMO Project-verified, gluten-free, vegan and shelf-stable. They contain few calories, no added sugar or other additives.
In the annual PLMA competition for top private brand honors, food and beverage entries are reviewed for concept, packaging, taste and value for money. Non-food products are judged on concept, innovation, presentation and value for money.
Judges for the Food & Drink and the Home & Health Awards are selected based on past and current experience with product concepts, packaging, quality, product performance, supply chain management, and retail marketing and merchandising. Judges are divided into panels of six to eight members. Every panel also includes consumer representation.
Brand Image, 7-Eleven’s strategic packaging strategy and design partner, worked in tandem with the retailer’s internal private brands team create the award-winning package designs.
7-Select GO!Smart Clean & Green Organic Cold-Pressed Juice and other winning products will be featured on a special Salute to Excellence Awards and displayed at PLMA’s 2018 Private Label Trade Show to be held Nov. 11-13 in Chicago.
In addition to Clean & Green, other varieties of 7-Select GO!Smart organic cold-pressed juice blends are Tropical Glow®, Restoration Red® and Berry & Bright®. 7-Eleven also offers a line of 7-Select® organic juices (orange, apple, cranberry blend, lemonade and more) sold under the 7-Select brand. The organic orange juice won a PLMA Salute to Excellence award in 2017, along with three other 7-Select products.
“We want customers to love our 7-Select items so much that they come back to 7-Eleven because they can’t find anything like it anywhere else,” Cogil said. “In every category, our private brands really set us apart from the competition.”
The 7-Select private brand product lineup includes hundreds of items across all categories.