This week, convenience-store chain 7-Eleven announced it would begin carrying its own budget brand of beers, dubbed Game Day. They’ve gotten into the wine business before, but this is new. Is 7-Eleven angling to be your low-cost craft-beer salvation?
Nooooooot exactly. As expected, the decision was driven less by a desire to sell great brews than the bottom line. Beer purchases in convenience stores dipped 4 percent last year, according to research group SymphonyIRI — nearly double domestic beer sales’ 2.2 percent decline.
But the silver lining is that purchases of horrid disgusting loser “sub-premium” beers (Keystone Light, Natural Light) actually ticked up. Customers haven’t stopped drinking. They just want to pay less for a buzz.
Sometimes this gambit pays off, such as the medal-winning Mission Street pale ales and IPAs that California’s Firestone Walker brews for Trader Joe’s. But brand-wise, Trader Joe’s sits on a slightly more elevated plane than a convenience store selling unnaturally glistening, endlessly rotating hot dogs.
The home of the Slurpee and the Big Gulp is launching a line of value-priced wines targeting consumers looking for a boozy bargain during these tough economic times. 7-Eleven plans to sell a $3.99 Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay under the proprietary “Yosemite Road” label at its stores in the United States and Japan.
The world’s third-largest winemaker (the Wine Group in California, which also makes Corbett Canyon and Glen Ellen wines) will produce the two wines for the convenience store chain.Wine for not so connoisseur nose is all fine and good, but the question that’s really on everyone’s mind is when are they going to make a 7-Eleven label MD 20/20?
There are some days when you can make up plenty of stuff. The entire Bush administration. The last three years or so of when Enron still existed. The McCarthy Hearings. The O.J. Simpson murder trial.
And then there are some days when you can’t make something up, but it still makes you think that it’s made up. Like, when you see a headline that states “7-11s were robbed by a man holding a Star Trek sword”, you know that’ll be your headline of the day, no question.