7-Eleven continues to reinvent the Slurpee, arguably one of the greatest private branded beverages ever created (more on that in a second).
The Irving, Texas-based convenience store chain has rolled out a limited-time Slurpee flavor for the holidays — Mountain Dew Merry Mash-Up, featuring the Mountain Dew cranberry pomegranate flavor that was first introduced last year as a soft drink. Now 7-Eleven has transformed it into a bright-red frozen Slurpee drink.
If that’s not enough to celebrate the holidays, 7-Eleven is also offering Slurpee lovers (and Big Gulp drinkers and 7-Eleven coffee lovers) the chance to drink the beverage from a LED light-up digital message cup. The interactive cup can display scrolling LED message banners with custom text created from users’ smart phones and sent through a Bluetooth connection. Messages are entered in the Hello Cup app and can be up to 250 characters in length. Available with either red or blue lights, the cup can hold 20 ounces of cold or hot beverages and sells for $24.99.
“7-Eleven is always looking for new and innovative ways to serve our customers, whether that’s fun flavors, cool cups, exclusive experiences in our app, first-to-market products and new store designs," said Jacob Barnes, product director for the chain.
Believe it or not, the Slurpee was created by accident in the late 1950s by Omar Knedlik in Kansas City. Knedlik owned a Dairy Queen, and when the store’s soda fountain went on the fritz, Knedlik put some bottles in the freezer to stay cool. When he went back later to check on the soda bottles, he discovered they were a little frozen and slushy. But the customers who tried them loved them and began asking for them.
Soon, Knedlik created a machine to make the “slushy” beverages and formed the ICEE Co. to sell the beverages. In 1965, the ICEE Co. made a licensing deal with 7-Eleven to sell the product. 7-Eleven soon coined the word “slurpee” — the sound made when drinking the slushee. The rest, as they say, is history, which includes the Slurpee taking on new flavors, such as the Mountain Dew Merry Mash-Up.
7‑Eleven operates more than 69,000 stores in 17 countries.