US convenience store chain 7-Eleven has announced the nationwide rollout of a new range of private label snacks under the 7-Select brand name.

"After successfully testing a selection of cookies, candy, nuts and other snacks earlier this year in Florida and Virginia, we decided to move quickly with a national launch," 7-Eleven president and CEO Joe DePinto told just-food.

DePinto said the launch of a private label alternative to branded snack products was timely, as the current economic climate is prompting consumers to look for ways to cut spending.

The 7-Select line consists of 32 products, including cookies, candy, nuts, potato chips, beef jerky, trail mix, chocolate-covered pretzels, coffee espresso beans, raisins and peanuts. It will be sold at a price 10-20% lower than the branded alternative, 7-Eleven claimed.

The company is targeting the lucrative impulse market with the launch, DePinto added.

"The 7-Select private-label line gives customers more reasons to grab a package of chips with their sandwich or cookies as a treat," he said.

DePinto also said that the launch would allow 7-Eleven - which operates, franchises or licenses approximately 7,600 stores in North America - to cut costs and increase profitability.

"7-Eleven is focused on providing value to its customers, which means offering high-quality items at competitive prices. When coupled with our goal of driving down costs and passing savings to customers and profits to our franchisees, the timing is ripe for our new line of 7-Select items," he commented.

"Our plans are to expand the product line-up under the 7-Select brand next March," DePinto added.

7-Eleven has a number of new products in the pipeline and expects to have more than 180 private-label items available by the end of the first quarter next year. The retailer also plans to expand 7-Select snacks to its Canadian stores in the first quarter of 2009.