DALLAS - April 2, 2015 // PRNewswire // - Making a sandwich is easy, right? Two slices of bread, meat, cheese and sauce … done. Creating the two new 7-Eleven® Melt artisan sandwiches was a little more involved. Like evaluating 20 different bread options … measuring 1,000 different buns … creating 75 prospective sauces … testing multiple cheese varieties for "meltability" … and building 50 variations to find that perfect recipe. And taste tests … lots of taste tests.
The two winning recipes – Italian Melt and Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt – won by a "landslide" according to Kelly Buckley, 7-Eleven, Inc.'s vice president of fresh food innovation. Sold at participating 7-Eleven stores that carry hot foods, the Melt sandwiches' introductory retail price is $2.99.
Available in 7-Eleven stores' fresh-foods case, the new sandwiches are toasted to go in the stores for each purchaser. A Melt sandwich typically takes less than a minute to toast and is served warm.
With a name like Melt, cheese is an important element of these sandwiches The ingredients for each are:
"Hot foods are really hot at 7-Eleven, both figuratively and literally," said Buckley. "Hot pizza, chicken wings and tenders, and mini-tacos are all extremely popular with our customers. We wanted to round out our menu to offer a toasted-on-order alternative to our fresh-made cold sandwiches that customers can grab for lunch without taking too much time from their lunch hour. Our parameters were simple – toasted, fast and delicious."
Getting there was a little more involved. The Melt sandwiches were in development almost a year, during which every ingredient, each recipe, even the packaging was researched, sourced, tested and, if necessary, refined to improve taste and quality.
"At 7-Eleven, a customer looking for a quick lunch can easily build a fresh meal in just a few minutes that's more than a bag of chips and a soft drink … although we certainly can fill that need," Buckley said. "Our stores offer many more options for beverages and sides, like fresh-cut fruit, a salad, hummus and cut veggies, and a decadent brownie for dessert."
Americans do love their sandwiches. According to a study released last year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately half of all Americans over the age of 20 eat at least one sandwich each day. A December 2014 NPD/Crest study ranks sandwiches highest in menu importance for food-service providers.
Like its fresh bakery goods and cold sandwiches, the Melt sandwiches are made fresh daily in local kitchens and delivered daily to stores.
"People don't really have much of a lunch hour anymore," Buckley said. "It's more of a lunch half-hour. A hot lunch almost seems like a luxury, and we want to give customers craving a hot and hearty meal a quick and easy option."
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 nearly 10,500 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 55,100 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2013, 7-Eleven stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.5 billion. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #2 on Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies for 2013; #1 on Entrepreneur magazine's 2014 Top Global Franchise list; #10 spot on Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 list for 2015, and #3 in Forbes magazine's Top 20 Franchises to Start. 7-Eleven is No. 3 on Fast Company magazine's 2013 list of the "World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail." 7-Eleven places among Top Veteran-Friendly Companies for 2014 by U.S. Veterans Magazine and is among GI Jobs magazine's Top 100 Military Friendly Employers for 2014. Hispanic Magazine named 7-Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at www.7-Eleven.com.
SOURCE 7-Eleven, Inc.