Slurpee Celebrates 40 years of ‘Brain Freeze’
Slurpee turns 40 today. 7-11 is giving away free samples to celebrate.
Slurpee celebrates 40 years of ‘brain freeze’ (USA Today)
Long before smoothies and Frappuccinos there was the Slurpee. The slushy, colorful 7-Eleven brand – and American icon – turns 40 today and is still popular for the same reasons it caught on back then: fun, variety, “brain freeze” and colored tongues. “We’ve kept it fun with the interesting flavors we’ve had over the years,” says Jim Keyes, 7-Eleven CEO. “At the heart of it, it’s just a fun product that people enjoy.”
Today, consumers can enjoy a free sample at 7-Eleven’s 5,800 stores in the USA and Canada. The samples kick off a month-long Slurpee promotion that includes radio play of original 1960s Slurpee ads, retro 1973 cups, Coca-Cola-developed flavors Blue Blunder Berry and Gully Washer, free music downloads and a giveaway of four Mini Coopers in a Slurpee color.
Slurpee was born in Kansas at a Dairy Queen where owner Omar Knedlik served semi-frozen bottled soft drinks. When they were a hit, he worked with a Dallas company to develop the “Icee” machine that replicated that consistency in slushy soft drinks served at 28 degrees. When a 7-Eleven manager happened upon an Icee machine in a rival’s store, he saw potential and got them into three 7-Eleven stores in 1965. Within two years, they were in almost every 7-Eleven – renamed Slurpees for the noise they make through a straw.
I actually grew up on the Icee brand rather than the more famous ripoff brand. Both are quite tasty, however.