Stephanie A. Clark; staff writer
Published: 07/10/10 9:21 am | Updated: 07/10/10 9:28 am
7-Eleven plans to celebrate its 83rd birthday Sunday by giving away free 7.11-ounce Slurpee drinks all day. It is estimated the convenience chain will serve five million of the frozen carbonated drinks in participating stores across the United States and Canada.
The company has been observing its founding this way since its 75th anniversary celebration in 2002.
"7-Eleven Day has become so popular that people mark it as a recurring event on their calendars," said Stefanie Olson, 7-Eleven category manager for Slurpee and Big Gulp beverages. "Some people forget that it’s July 11th or 7-Eleven Day. They just know it as free Slurpee day. It’s a great way to create a party atmosphere at our stores. Everyone wants to celebrate!"
SLURPEE FUN FACTS:
• The frozen, carbonated beverage was first invented in 1959 by a Kansas hamburger stand owner. Using an automobile air conditioner, he created a sophisticated piece of equipment that would freeze a carbonated soft drink and serve it in a sherbet-like form that could be sipped through a straw.
• 7-Eleven began selling Slurpee drinks, then called Icee, in its stores in 1965, and is the only place to buy a Slurpee drink.
• To get that uniquely Slurpee beverage consistency, each Slurpee machine has a compact refrigeration system that mixes syrup, carbon dioxide and water under pressure in a freezing chamber.
• Slurpee drinks are served fountain-style at a frosty 28 degrees.
• The Slurpee name was created in May 1967 during a brainstorming session of the Stanford Agency, 7-Eleven stores’ in-house agency. While drinking the product through a straw, agency director Bob Stanford commented that it made a “slurp” sound coming through the straw.
• To capitalize on the popularity of the Slurpee beverage, 7-Eleven began introducing Slurpee collectors’ cups in 1972. Through the years, special Slurpee cups have featured monsters, rock ‘n’ roll stars and endangered species. 7-Eleven also offered surprise Slurpee cups with false bottoms, free prizes and peel-off game pieces.
• Cola and Cherry continue to be Slurpee-lovers’ favorite flavors. Other top-selling Slurpee flavors are blue raspberry, Crystal Light Raspberry Ice and Mountain Dew.
• 7-Eleven coined the word BrainFreeze in 1994 to communicate the somewhat painful joy drinking a Slurpee drink brings."