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Suck It Up; 7-Eleven(R) Introduces Edible Slurpee(R) Candy Straw

DALLAS, July 21 -- The hottest new product at 7-Eleven(R) is a straw. It's a functional straw ... and the first-ever edible one. Similar in appearance to red licorice candy, but with a hollow center, the pliable Slurpee(R) Candy Straw hardens when used to drink a Slurpee and is available in two flavors -- Sour Strawberry and new Blue Raspberry.

Since its recent introduction, the new candy item already outsells all other non-chocolate candies at 7-Eleven. Priced at 49 cents, the straws can be found on a special display near the Slurpee machine or the candy aisle at participating 7-Eleven stores.

"We've had novelty straws for Slurpee before -- colored and curled and with mini-toys or characters attached, but never a candy straw," said Derek Schmitt, candy category manager for 7-Eleven, Inc. "It's a fun new item that we think adds an extra dimension to the whole frozen-beverage experience. We're actually looking at all kinds of variations -- just what can you make a straw out of and still slurp through it and, finally eat it."

Made by The Foreign Candy Company, the new Slurpee Candy Straw is part of the Mega-Warheads RIPS candy line. For almost two years, a team comprised of product development executives from 7-Eleven and The Foreign Candy Company worked to get the taste, texture and complex straw engineering just right.

Introduced in 1965, Slurpee is perhaps the convenience retailer's most well known product. "Slurpees always have been a big draw for kids -- even after they grow up," Schmitt said. "We think a Slurpee Candy Straw is a novelty that especially appeals to kids and other Slurpee fans."

Just like with Slurpee, 7-Eleven will continue to introduce new candy straw flavors, according to Schmitt. "Slurpee is sacred at 7-Eleven. It's in a class all its own. Any new product that is going to carry the Slurpee name has to meet some pretty high standards."

Other Slurpee branded products introduced at 7-Eleven have included Slurpee liquid-filled bubblegum, Slurpee lip balm and Slurpee Ice frozen pops.

About 7-Eleven, Inc.

7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven, Inc. operates or franchises approximately 5,800 7-Eleven(R) stores in the United States and Canada and licenses more than 19,200 7-Eleven stores in 17 other countries and territories throughout the world. During 2002, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $33 billion. Find out more online at .