Next week 7-Eleven unveils a new version of its popular Slurpee drink. As an alternative to the sweet, colorful, sugary drink, customers can opt for a lower calorie, sugar-free Slurpee.
According to a press release dated May 14, 7-Eleven plans to launch its "Flavors of Summer" campaign which will showcase several new Slurpee flavors with 50 percent less calories, and formulated by Fanta.
The new line of drinks, referred to as "Slurpee Lite", will be sweetened with Splenda and contain 20 calories per 8-fluid ounce serving.
“We are launching ‘Flavors of Summer’ with our first Slurpee Lite sugar-free flavor, and it tastes just as great as the other flavors we have planned for the Slurpee season,” said Laura Gordon, 7-Eleven vice president for brand innovation. “We tested several of our new sugar-free flavors earlier this year, and they all got rave reviews. Now, everyone in the family can enjoy a summer Slurpee drink including those looking for a sugar-free, reduced-calorie option.”
Each month will feature a new lite flavor, and May introduces Fanta Sugar-Free Mango, and this promotion will be sold through June. As summer goes into full swing, the new lite flavor will be strawberry banana come July, and Aug. debuts cherry limeade.
Patsy Ross, the company's registered dietician, said, "Slurpee Lite offers a beverage alternative to consumers concerned about sugar intake and calorie consumption, whether for dieting reasons or a medical necessity, such as diabetes."
Not everyone is impressed by the new "lite" fare 7-Eleven is selling.
USA Today reported Neal Barnard, adjunct associate professor of medicine at George Washington University, said, "Now it's just a different kind of junk food. This should not be mistaken as any kind of corporate responsibility. They're just trying to sell you the same stuff in a different package."
"Slurpee had zero nutritional value then, and it has zero nutritional value now," Barnard said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, free samples of the Slurpee lite will be given out on May 23, the day the new product is unveiled. The samples will come in a 7.11 ounce serving and offered between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
For fans of regular Slurpees, the brand also plans to release some other new flavors later this summer, including watermelon lime, lemon crème and orange.