Food has always been part of 7-Eleven’s DNA, with the founders, the Withers and Barlow families, coming from the grocery sector.
7-Eleven’s Area Lead Food, Emma Metcalf-King said, “Unlike many of our competitors in the petrol and convenience sector who are fuel retailers selling food, 7-Eleven is a food business that also sells fuel.”
“But that is not necessarily how our customers see us. We want our customers to see us as a convenient meal destination for food on the go, delivering consistent good quality food, at our convenient locations,” she said.
The food component within petrol and convenience sector is estimated to have an annual $5 billion turnover. However the larger segment of convenient food estimated to be worth $60 billion today and growing to $100 billion by 2030.
“To win in these segments we need to attract new customers and compete in the clear white spaces. QSR’s are where we see that opportunity with Johnny’s Deli and customers are already comparing our offer to that wider market.”
New food format for the future
“Johnny’s Deli is our new food format concept, of which we have currently launched 10 proof of concept stores across Melbourne. It’s all about creating a meal destination, converting our current customers from a beverage or snack mission to a food and beverage mission,” she said.
Ms Metcalf-King said, “Johnny’s Deli offers hot and toasty deli sandwiches that is served to the customer upon order in a couple of minutes. It is a service proposition, with staff heating the product on demand. A very different operating model for our stores to adopt and master, so we are supporting them with a dedicated squad to embed the changes in process and the service model.”
“There is also a different instore journey and experience for our customers. We have put fresh food at the front of the store, instantly giving those food cues and we are asking our customers to order their Johnny’s Deli sandwich at the counter or on their own device through Pay and Go.”
Johnny’s Deli is focused on breakfast and lunch and consists of nine core menu items priced at $9 or can be purchased as part of a meal deal for $12, consisting of a Deli sandwich, selected drink and a side.
“Perhaps our most important pillar for the future is becoming a destination for ‘Convenient Food’. 7‐Eleven has embedded itself as a destination for treats and snacking and is now well progressed to becoming a destination for convenient meals.”
Convenience and innovation driving food offers
7-Eleven showcased their food credentials at the recent Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.
“We launched The Convenient Store at the Melbourne Food and Wine festival where we featured a Johnny’s Deli pop up. We worked in collaboration with Shannon Martinez, owner and chef of Smith and Daughters and Victor Liong, owner and chef of Lee Ho Fook to create two exclusive Johnny’s deli sandwiches, a delicious Vegan Schnitzel and a Chinese style pulled lamb flat bread.”
“Partnering with some of Melbourne’s best chefs helps to build our food credibility and build brand prominence with the foodie customer.”
7-Eleven’s food strategy is also based on the growth of their brand, with the business last year launching over 250 7-Eleven branded lines.
“We are endeavouring to attract a much larger customer base so to do this we have introduced over 400 new food lines in the last 12 months specifically targeted at the convenient food segment on top of the Johnny’s Deli offer,” she said.