The Speed of Culture Podcast: Transforming the Slurpee for a New Generation

Marissa Jarratt, evp and chief marketing and sustainability officer at 7-Eleven, on the importance of sustainability

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7-Eleven has been a part of American culture for almost a century, and its most famous proprietary product, the Slurpee, has been delighting customers for more than six decades.

For a peek into how the iconic 7-Eleven Slurpee came to be and where it’s headed, join us for an exciting conversation with Marissa Jarratt, evp and chief marketing and sustainability officer at 7-Eleven. Jarratt she shares her journey and growth in the marketing space, dives into the history of the Slurpee, and announces the exciting rebrand of this iconic frozen beverage.

On this special episode of The Speed of Culture podcast, Jarratt joins Suzy founder Matt Britton as they explore the history of the Slurpee, from Omar Knedlik stumbling upon the idea of a frozen beverage to 7-Eleven’s new “Anything Flows” campaign. Jarratt also discusses the importance of sustainability at 7-Eleven and the ambitious goals the convenience store chain has set for itself.

Jarratt has led the marketing strategies for some of America’s favorite brands, including Lay’s, Cheetos, TruMoo Chocolate Milk and Friendly’s Ice Cream, delivering business growth and building brand equity. Today, she leads the marketing strategy to “redefine convenience” at 7-Eleven for the modern digitally savvy customer.

She brings deep food and beverage knowledge and marketing expertise to 7-Eleven, having held multiple senior leadership positions: vp of global snacks marketing at PepsiCo; svp, head of marketing and general manager of frozen foods at Dean Foods Company; and chairwoman of the board for Good Karma Foods, a plant-based food and beverage company.

She was a finalist for the Path to Purchase Institute’s 2020 Women in Excellence Executive of the Year award and previously was recognized as a Top Woman in Grocery by Progressive Grocer and a Rising Star by the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame. Don’t miss this insightful conversation with one of the industry’s top marketing leaders!

Check out the key takeaways of this episode to learn how Jarratt drives growth and sustainability at 7-Eleven, one of America’s oldest and most iconic brands:

  • 03:02 – 04:35 — Early Career: Jarratt’s journey in marketing began with her desire to use both sides of her brain, balancing creative and analytical pursuits. Her time at PepsiCo taught her how to build a brand and drive business growth, which prepared her for her current role at 7-Eleven.
  • 06:10 – 09:14 — Navigating Consumer Trends: 7-Eleven focuses on three key trends—catering to Gen Z, addressing economic pressures faced by consumers, and innovation within the convenience store channel. By understanding the needs of Gen Z, offering value, and constantly introducing new products, 7-Eleven aims to stay ahead of the competition.
  • 14:33 – 15:34 — Slurpee’s New “Anything Flows” Campaign: The new campaign aims to resonate with Gen Z through video and digital channels and is based on four key principles: electric joy, amplified taste, youthful spirit and colossal presence, and features a new visual identity for the Slurpee and a capsule collection.
  • 18:56 – 20:04 — Leveraging First-Party Data for Marketing: 7-Eleven has a large loyalty program with over 90 million members, allowing the company to use valuable first-party data to better understand customer preferences and tailor marketing strategies, campaigns and product offerings to better serve their needs.
  • 21:48 – 23:35 — Sustainability at 7-Eleven: As chief sustainability officer at 7-Eleven, Jarratt is responsible for the company’s ambitious environmental goals. This includes measuring and improving sustainability across the company’s operations, from food and beverage to fuel and delivery services.
  • 24:16 – 26:00 — Career Advice: Jarratt offers career advice for younger listeners, emphasizing the importance of learning, taking risks, working hard, being kind and nurturing curiosity. By staying true to one’s values and pursuing personal growth, individuals can achieve success in their chosen fields.