IRVING, Texas, March 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- 7-Eleven, Inc. headed straight to the continent of Africa for the first limited-time coffee available under the company's new Seven Reserve™ brand of fresh-brewed premium coffees. Africa is considered the birthplace of one of the world's most popular beverages.
The Seven Reserve Africa Blend is a 50-50 combination of 100 percent Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Arabica beans cultivated on small farms in the countries of Ethiopia and Rwanda.
Seven Reserve Africa Blend coffee is available at participating 7-Eleven® stores and is offered at the same low price as all other hot beverages.
"This isn't just a new coffee flavor for 7-Eleven, it's an entirely new segment of our business, in which we will be introducing coffees originating from exotic locales specifically known for producing the finest coffees," said Shawn Barnes, 7-Eleven senior category manager for hot beverages.
"Seven Reserve targets serious coffee-drinkers who are looking for a richer, more intense coffee flavor, but that's just part of the equation," he added. "We know our customers also care about coffee crops that are responsibly grown and sourced directly from small farms."
Africa Blend is 7-Eleven stores' first duo-Arabica coffee to carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Since 2016, 7-Eleven has introduced four Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees – Nicaragua, Mexico, Peruvian and Colombian, all responsibly grown. Single-origin 100 percent Colombian Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee is now a permanent offering and top-seller on the hot beverage bar.
The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that seeks to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. Carrying the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal with the little green frog means the 100 percent Arabica beans are sourced from coffee-growers whose farms are required to meet strict standards designed to protect the environment, conserve wildlife and promote the well-being of local communities.
"Industrywide, there is a strong push to make coffee the world's first sustainable agricultural commodity. 7-Eleven's commitment to responsible sourcing is helping to advance that goal," said Laura Donnelly, senior associate of Markets Transformation at Rainforest Alliance. "By working with smallholder farmers, 7-Eleven is also helping to transform farmer livelihoods, ensuring a quality coffee supply into the future."
Grown in the Yirgacheffe area of Ethiopia, these select, hand-picked coffee beans are considered by many to be among the world's finest, with a full-bodied, intense flavor highlighted by citrus tones. The East African country is the birthplace of coffee, and Yirgacheffe is one of its oldest cultivated areas.
The Rwandan coffee is cultivated in the Nyamagabe district and named for the Nyarusiza and Remera coffee-washing station. Its sweet, chocolatey undertones, finished by vanilla caramel notes, complement the Ethiopian beans' fruity acidity.
A medium roast was selected to develop the right balance of each coffee's best characteristics while not overwhelming or masking their inherent flavors with a dark roast.
According to the annual National Coffee Association coffee-drinking trends study, six in 10 of all cups of coffee consumed are classified as specialty coffee. Specialty, or gourmet, coffee consumption has shown dramatic growth every year since 2001 and is defined as coffee and coffee drinks made using premium whole beans or ground varieties.
7-Eleven is working with Conservation International (CI) to set measurable corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals to reduce its environmental footprint. 7-Eleven's CSR mission has three focus areas – planet, products and people. Using 2015 as a baseline, 7-Eleven set objectives to reduce its carbon footprint and increase community engagement in the U.S. and Canada.
The retailer is a member of CI's Business and Sustainability Council, a forum for corporate leaders taking positive environmental actions in their businesses, to explore mutually beneficial ways to further reduce its environmental impact.
As part of its CSR objectives, 7-Eleven will continue to seek out responsibly sourced coffees and other products and packaging with less environmental impact. Future Seven Reserve coffees will include both exotic blends and single-origin brews from top growing areas around the world.
"7-Eleven coffee-drinkers recognize great quality and taste, and the RFA-certified premium coffees have become some of our best-selling hot beverages," Barnes said. "We will continue to work with our importers to identify unique blends and the highest quality beans for the Seven Reserve brand."
7-Eleven is the No. 1 foodservice purveyor of total coffee servings in the U.S. convenience store channel. Source: The NPD Group/CREST®, year ending January 2018.
About 7‑Eleven, Inc.
7‑Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry. Based in Irving, Texas, 7‑Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 65,000 stores in 18 countries, including 11,600 in North America. Known for its iconic brands such as Slurpee®, Big Bite® and Big Gulp®, 7‑Eleven has expanded into high-quality salads, side dishes, cut fruit and protein boxes, as well as pizza, chicken wings, cheeseburgers and hot chicken sandwiches. 7‑Eleven offers customers industry-leading private-brand products under the 7-Select® brand including healthy options, decadent treats and everyday favorites at an outstanding value. Customers also count on 7‑Eleven for bill payments, self-service lockers and other convenient services. Find out more online at www.7-Eleven.com, via the 7Rewards® customer-loyalty platform on the 7‑Eleven mobile app, or on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About the Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization working to build a future in which nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes, where farmers, workers, and communities prosper, and where sustainable land use and responsible business practices are the norm. We envision a world where people and nature thrive in harmony. In January 2018, the Rainforest Alliance merged with UTZ, a global program and label for sustainable farming. Our head offices are in Amsterdam and New York, with regional offices around the world.
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SOURCE 7-Eleven, Inc.