It’s a Slurpee celebration for 7-Eleven

Convenience chain marks frozen treat’s 50th anniversary with giveaways

Customers at 7-Eleven from Ontario to B.C. received a chilly reception Monday, with the convenience store chain marking the 50th anniversary of the Slurpee in Canada by giving away 750,000 12oz cups of the iconic frozen drink.


The celebration was expected to be particularly frosty in Manitoba, which has been named “Slurpee Capital of the World” for 17 straight years, with the highest average number of Slurpees sold per store.

The Slurpee is part of the province’s cultural fabric, with 7-Eleven claiming that it is the leading beverage served to women in Winnipeg’s maternity wards during the summer, and residents greeting friends and family at the airport with the drink.

The chain’s Portage Avenue store in Winnipeg is the country’s leading Slurpee store, followed by the Devonshire Dr. North store in Regina and the 1200 Jefferson Avenue store in Winnipeg.

“There’s no specific reason why Manitobans enjoy Slurpees that much, but it’s amazing how they’ve embraced it,” said Mathew Javan-Sehati, national category manager for Slurpee at 7-Eleven Canada. “When you speak to people from Manitoba, it’s a part of their culture. It can be minus 40 degrees outside, and you’ll see people with Slurpees in their hands.”

Winnipeg was to be the epicentre of the one-day Slurpee celebration, with a party featuring the world’s largest Slurpee (711 litres) accompanied by brand mascot Mr. Slurpee.

Javan-Sehati said that Canada is “hands-down” the biggest Slurpee market in the world, with Canadians purchasing enough of the frozen drink each year to fill 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools. More than 40% of all Slurpee sales occur between June and August, with Thursday the most popular day for Slurpee purchases.

While the Slurpee’s syrupy sweetness and new summer flavours like Mountain Dew Kickstart Black Cherry and Dole Strawberry-Banana-Kiwi seem ideally suited to kids, 7-Eleven claims that more than 87 per cent of Slurpee drinkers are over the age of 18, with 30-year-old males the typical Slurpee drinker.

“It’s an iconic brand, especially in Canada,” says, Javan-Sehati. “Some people would think of us as a Slurpee destination rather than a 7-Eleven destination – that’s how important it is to us. It’s a cornerstone of our business.”

7-Eleven invited customers to share their Slurpee memories on social media using the hashtag #Slurpee50, and tag the company at @SlurpeeCanada for a chance to win a $500 Slurpee gift card.

The company claims that it coined the term “BrainFreeze” (scientific name: Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia) in 1994 to describe the feeling that accompanies drinking the -2.2c drink too quickly.

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