by CARISSA CAVALLO Staff Writer
7-11 has invented a new product last month: a diet Slurpee. The new diet Slurpee is Fanta Sugar-Free Mango. This Slurpee is the first in a line of diet Slurpees that are coming to 7-11. The Fanta Sugar- Free Mango is the start to 7-11’s Slurpee Lite. Fanta Sugar-Free Mango is the first successful diet Slurpee. Previously, the company tried Diet Pepsi and a Crystal Light Slurpee, but those did not last long. Freshman Rachael Kayheart says, “I think it was a great idea to create a diet flavor, especially one that is such a big hit. 7-11 should definitely make more diet flavors.” The mango is a great flavor; custumers cannot even tell that it is a diet Slurpee. Currently, 7-11 is in the process of creating more diet Slurpee flavors that will be released this summer. These new flavors are called the “Flavors of Summer”. The flavors are Strawberry Banana, released around July, and Fanta Sugar-Free Cherry Limeade, which will be released around August. Other flavors include Fanta Watermelon Lime, Fanta Lemon Crème, and Fanta Orange Xplosion. The formulas for the diet Slurpee and the standard Slurpee differ. Diet Slurpee formula took about two years to create, but customers encouraged 7-11 to keep trying to figure out the right formula. “We worked at that formula for two years, trying to nail the right attributes of the Slurpee. Not just the taste. But you need to have Slurpee all the way to the bottom of the cup, not just water and ice,” said company spokeswoman Margaret Chabris. Compared to the standard Slurpee, the diet is a better choice. The average Slurpee has about 66 calories for eight ounces, while the diet Slurpee has about 20 calories for eight ounces. Plus, Diet Slurpees contain 12 milligrams of potassium, 35 milligrams of sucralose, six grams of carbohydrates, and zero grams of fat. Slurpee Lite is sweetened with Splenda, an artificial sweetener. Splenda does not make the diet Slurpee taste any different from a standard Slurpee. People with diabetes are able to enjoy the diet Slurpee and do not have to worry about the sugars. “Low-calorie, artificially sweetened drinks like the Slurpee are not necessarily bad for you, but consumers should mix it up,” said Elisa Zied, a registered dietitian. 7-11 will be making a new diet flavor every month, but the flavor will only be available for the month it came out. Chabris said, “We have committed to flavors through most of the year. We think it has big potential, as long as we make sure it has the same consistency.” To help promote the new line of sugar-free Slurpees, 7-11 had Free Slurpee Day on Wednesday, May 23. This allowed people to try the new Slurpee before people spent money on it. Cost for the diet Slurpee will be the same as a standard Slurpee. Plus, they will be available in the same size cups as the standard Slurpee. The diet Slurpee is a great way for 7-11 to gain more customers and keep the customers they currently have.