the Slurpee brand
Using this information 7-Eleven Australia built a clear picture of current sales patterns and consumer behaviour. • Overall Slurpee sales were steady, they were not increasing • Each store sold an average of 60 units a day but with little annual growth • Sales of Slurpee grew from Wednesday, peaked on Friday and remained high into the weekend • The majority of Slurpee customers tended to arrive after school hours, with most sales occurring between 3 and 6pm • Consumers preferred to buy larger serves and these were more likely to be bought during the peak time of 4 and 6pm. Other quantitative research reinforced that Slurpee acted as a destination driver. Fifty percent of all 7-Eleven customers reported Slurpee as, “one of the main reasons why they visited 7-Eleven.” In particular 72 percent of those aged 15 to 24 years old reported that the Slurpee was the reason that they visited a 7-Eleven! Focus groups are an extremely important part of qualitative market research. 7-Eleven used extensive focus group sessions involving those key consumers who were in target segments that purchased the Slurpee. 7-Eleven classifies these segments as the ‘Junior Junk Junkies’, males and females aged between 16 - 21, and the ‘Fast Fixers’, males and females aged between 18 to 35. The participants were asked a series of questions about 7-Eleven’s Slurpee and other product ranges as well as more general lifestyle information, e.g. what they did in their spare time, their employment, the sorts of food they ate, the music they liked as well as other brands they would use. Focus group interviews help retailers construct a profile of their target demographic and also to gain direct feedback about their customers’ product and purchase experiences.
7-Eleven is the world’s largest operator of convenience stores with more than 35,000 franchised and licensed stores in 17 countries generating annual sales exceeding $36 billion. 7-Eleven Stores Australia Pty Ltd is a wholly Australian-owned family business operating as the independent licensee of 7-Eleven in Australia. The company has also recently entered into a binding agreement with Mobil Oil Australia Pty Ltd to acquire its retail fuels business. On completion of the acquisition in October 2010 7-Eleven will be the third largest private company operating in Australia, conducting more than 160 million customer transactions per year, with projected sales in excess of $2.84 billion. The acquisition comprises 295 company-owned or leased service stations, primarily located in the metropolitan areas of eastern Australia, taking the number of 7-Eleven stores from 400 to more than 650. The Slurpee is the world’s most popular frozen carbonated beverage and has become a 7-Eleven icon. Slurpee, first known as the ‘Icee’, was introduced in 7-Eleven stores in 1965 and was originally made using a converted automobile air-conditioner. In 1967 the name Slurpee was coined and it has grown to become one of the world’s most recognisable proprietary brands.
The Slurpee has been available in Australia since 1977, when 7-Eleven opened its first store in Oakleigh, Victoria. In Australia in 2009 more than 10 million cups of Slurpee were purchased, resulting in a lot of BrainFreeze! As a brand integral to 7-Eleven the Slurpee had enjoyed healthy but plateaued sales over the years. 7-Eleven Australia had conducted very little research, marketing or significant advertising on the product for some time, essentially, because Slurpee sold itself. However, in the mid 2000s, as part of its ‘Project Energise’ program, 7-Eleven Australia embarked upon a campaign to reinvigorate the Slurpee brand by capitalising on Slurpee’s inherent appeal to young people – the next generation of 7-Eleven customers.
7-Eleven has identified four major target segments in its customer profile. • Fast Fixers: Younger, 18 to 34, more likely to be males in blue-collar employment, SINKs (single...