This week the American health craze reached new heights.
7-Eleven, which sells items such as the Big Gulp and hot dogs to traditionally intoxicated college students, announced that it will release a new line of “nutritionally balanced” food and drinks. They don’t just mean adding a few more sad fruit cups to their selection. We’re talking quinoa salads and cold pressed juices.
Teaming up with famed fitness expert and infomercial king Tony Horton, the company’s line of healthy food uses his namesake with Tony Horton Kitchen or THK. Horton has inspired a mainstream audience to adopt a more fit lifestyle, “his passion for reaching people and improving their quality of life inspired us at 7‑Eleven to offer our guests fresh, upscale selections,” said Raja Doddala, 7‑Eleven’s senior director of Innovation, in the chain’s news release.
“Upscale selections” and 7-Eleven may seem incongruous, but the menu doesn’t lie. With selections that include curried chicken salad with pomegranate raita dressing and juices with apple, celery, beet, ginger, parsley, spinach and lemon, the list of options sound more akin to that of a trendy juice bar than a convenience store. The options are set at an accessible price point too, ranging from $4.75-$6.50. Half the price of anything from Organic Avenue but steep compared to the store’s other selections. Let’s face it, six dollars for a small veggie wrap could buy you 12 pieces of Doritos Loaded.
Don’t fear, the
signature questionable “food” items are not going anywhere. 7-Eleven is not about to completely rebrand as a health food store. They are merely trying to expand their options to accommodate their changing demographic. For millennials, 7-Eleven is the last frontier, a place of solace from the knowledge and logic that traditionally dominates nutrition choices. Sure, get a giant slurpee, why not a bag of chips to balance out that meal? The freshman fifteen? Whats that? You’re in 7-Eleven so none of this matters!
7-Eleven embodies the gluttonous choices that seem so easy to make in college. Although these healthful options mark a hopeful shift for good food accessibility in America, college students and others alike probably won’t be losing their late night snack cravings (not usually of the cold pressed juice variety). There are tons of healthier and less processed snacks on the market today. If 7-Eleven really wants to make waves, cutting down products with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and even favoring smaller brands, may be their best bet.
Until then, enjoy a nice cold pressed juice with your Taquitos, that cancels it out right?