September 05, 2008 // Franchising.com // Dallas, TX – 7-Eleven, Inc. has named Mars Snackfood US as the recipient of its Retailer Initiative Award for 2007. This annual honor recognizes a top supplier and partner who excels at supporting 7-Eleven® stores in meeting their customers' changing needs through team merchandising, demand-chain solutions, cost of goods, category management, and creativity in advertising and promotional programs.
"Mars was chosen for delivering exceptional value and satisfaction to 7-Eleven's customers through the introduction of First, Best and Only products and promotions aligned with our business strategy," said Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven president and CEO.
Examples of a First, Best and Only offering were the Cheeseburger and Bacon & Egg-flavored COMBOS® snacks, introduced and tested exclusively at 7-Eleven stores to satisfy customers' breakfast, lunch and snacking needs. The test benefited both 7-Eleven and Mars and provided insights about the product, brand and category.
Mars Snackfood US further collaborated with 7-Eleven to develop co-marketing programs, including a Susan G. Komen program exclusive to 7-Eleven. Mars Snackfood US is a sponsor with SNICKERS® on the 7-Eleven Indy Racing League car and developed beverage flavors, such as a 3 MUSKETEERS® Mint Hot Cocoa and a proprietary STARBURST®-flavored Slurpee drink, exclusively for 7-Eleven stores.
"Mars has been a strategic partner of 7-Eleven's and worked with us throughout the year to develop consumer events to build awareness of 7-Eleven and Mars products," said DePinto.
"We are honored that 7-Eleven selected Mars Snackfood US for this prestigious award," said Todd Lachman, president of Mars Snackfood US "Collaboration is the key to any partnership, and we are proud of the relationship we've formed with 7-Eleven. I'd like to recognize our associates Larry Lupo and Kelly Matthews, who led a cross-functional team that was very responsive to 7-Eleven's strategy."
Mars Snackfood US manufactures some of the nation's favorite confections. The company's M&M'S® Brand has held the title of "#1 chocolate brand" for the past three years, and SNICKERS® holds the title of "#1 chocolate single." Mars Snackfood US also leads the premium category with DOVE® Chocolate, which is the top-selling brand of premium chocolate in the country. In fact, DOVE® Chocolate nearly doubled its distribution in the convenience channel last year.
Candidates were nominated by 7-Eleven's merchandising and operations personnel and judged on 2007 business activities. The award recipient was chosen by the 7-Eleven Awards Committee, composed of the company's senior executives.
This is the seventh year 7-Eleven has presented its Retailer Initiative award. Last year's winner was the Miller Brewing Company. Past winners include UST, Inc. and BakeFresh, Pinnacle Food Products, Inc., The Hershey Company, Nestlé Waters North America and Anheuser-Busch.
7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses approximately 7,600 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 34,600 stores in 16 countries. During 2007, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $46.6 billion. Named the #1 Franchise Opportunity for 2008 by Entrepreneur magazine, 7-Eleven is franchising virtually all of its stores in the U.S. and is expanding through its Business Conversion Program, acquisitions, building new and leasing existing properties. Find out more online at www.7-Eleven.com.
Mars Snackfood US is the United States snack operations of Mars North America. With more than $7 billion in annual sales in the U.S., Mars North America includes food, snack and pet care segments, which are a symbol of excellence for quality brands. Headquartered in Hackettstown, New Jersey, Mars North America employs more than 12,000 associates in the United States, with 54 facilities nationwide. Mars Snackfood US includes some of the world's favorite brands such as DOVE® Chocolate Brand, M&M'S® Brand, MILKY WAY® Brand, SKITTLES® Brand, SNICKERS® Brand, STARBURST® Brand, 3 MUSKETEERS® Brand, TWIX® Brand and more. Additional popular brands in the petcare and food segments for Mars North America include UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, PEDIGREE® Brand Food for Dogs, and WHISKAS® Brand Food for Cats. Please visit mars.com.