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7-Eleven announced yesterday that it is teaming with Seven-Eleven Japan to sell a new private brand wine called Yosemite Road, that will as a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon.

According to the announcement, “Available in the companies’ collective 15,000 convenience, department and grocery stores, the introduction of the two California wines is the culmination of a collaborative, global merchandising effort for the world’s largest convenience retailer. The same-day launch marks the first global product designed and developed exclusively for Seven & i stores. Taking their experience and knowledge of product development to a new level, the companies’ international plan reduces provides a very reasonable sales tag for the consumer. Suggested retail price for a standard 750 milliliter bottle is $3.99 in the U.S. ($4.99 in Florida because of state taxes) and 598 yen in Japan.”

“The development and production of Yosemite Road wines was a global team effort and is just the beginning,” said Kevin Elliott, 7-Eleven senior vice president of merchandising and logistics. “By using our collective purchasing power to negotiate product exclusivity and pricing, we can meet customer demand for quality and value, as well as differentiate our brand from the competition.”
KC's View:
The “big gulp” jokes are, of course, will be hard to resist. But there are two points here that should be taken seriously.

One is that this move to offer a private brand wine signals how serious 7-Eleven is about changing its traditional approach to convenience.

The other is the way in which the company clearly plans to learn as much as it can from its global brethren, which suggests that its approach to innovation is going to be very, very interesting.