7-Eleven Becomes Latest Chain To Partner With Lightlife In Canada
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In a move that will significantly increase the availability of plant protein for mass consumers, 7-Eleven Canada has made Lightlife vegan chicken tenders available in more than 600 locations across the country. They will be served hot from the oven, 24-hours a day as part of 7-Eleven’s commitment to offering more healthy snack options, while upping plant-based choices.
Lightlife’s tenders are made from a combination of chickpea and pea protein. They debuted last year in Canadian Whole Foods. Demand for such items has been heralded as a sign of Canada’s changing palates.
Making vegan food convenient
“We wouldn’t have been able to introduce plant-based products without our partnership with Lightlife,” Norman Hower, vice president and general manager of 7-Eleven Canada, said in a press statement. “Canadians’ tastes are changing and we’re here in the neighbourhood to provide what they want. We’re proud to partner with the Lightlife team on this first-to-market product that tastes great and checks all the boxes of plant-based eating.”
7-Eleven is not stopping at hot vegan chicken tenders. In a bid to cater to a variety of tastes, take-and-bake pizzas are being introduced alongside. Topped with vegan pepperoni, made by Field Roast, the pies can be found in stores or ordered online. Both Field Roast and Lightlife are owned by U.S. parent company Greenleaf Foods. Each brand has developed a number of snack-suitable products, lending optimism that more 7-Eleven additions may follow.
Lightlife’s Canadian invasion
Currently, Lightlife is forging numerous partnerships with big foodservice brands. Last week it was announced that KFC Canada was joining forces with the plant-based chicken manufacturer. A meatless popcorn chicken alternative has been unveiled, with all locations stocking it. The dish will be available for a limited time. The launch comes after KFC and Lightlife’s first collaboration in 2020 which saw a plant-based chicken sandwich selling out in record time. It has since been rolled out to more than 600 locations.
Domestic favourite Mary Brown’s has also announced a key partnership with Lightlife. The fried chicken chain has around 200 locations in Canada, with each now stocking the same tenders as 7-Eleven, plus two Sidekick Sandwiches. The decision was taken after the company identified a demand for tasty chicken products, just without meat. “We’re listening to what Canadians are saying and how their food tastes are changing,” Hadi Chahin, president and Coo of Mary Brown’s said in a statement.
7-Eleven embracing plant-based options
As a global entity, 7-Eleven has demonstrated a willingness to cater to plant-based consumers. Last December, the chain revealed that it would be stocking vegan barbecue meat sandwiches in 800 locations throughout Hong Kong. Partnering with South Korean brand Unlimeat, it hoped to tap into the grab-and-go plant-based snack buyers in the region. This followed the launch of multiple vegan ready meals at the start of the year. Green Monday was added after a successful initial debut of the chain’s first-ever vegan options in 2020.
Last September, Impossible Foods and 7-Eleven Singapore came together to release plant-based ready meals. Six were developed using Impossible Beef. All were priced under US$5. The new meals joined existing Impossible Deluxe Burgers that were added to the product roster earlier in the year.
Lead image courtesy of Lightlife.