Slurpees turn 40

I can’t believe that Slurpees are 40 years old today. I always thought that they were a product of the late 70’s or 80’s. Crazy.

One of my much loved childhood memories came from drinking a slurpee, here is the article from

Slurpee celebrates 40 years of ‘brain freeze’

By Theresa Howard, USA TODAY
Mon Jul 11, 6:53 AM ET

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.

“It hasn’t changed a lot in 40 years,” says John Ryckevic, a member of 7-Eleven’s beverage team that helped promote Slurpee in its heyday. “You can’t say that about a lot of brands.”

Slurpee fun facts:

• Consumption. Since 1965, more than 6 billion Slurpees have been sold. They’re now sold in 17 countries. U.S. annual sales alone are $170 million.

• The magic of the machine. Syrup, carbon dioxide and water are mixed under pressure in a freezing chamber.

• Building the brand. In 1970, Slurpee marketing included Slurp magazine and a dance step and song called The Slurp.

Man, after reading this, I really want a slurpee. I also never realized that the Icee and Slurpee were competitors because I always thought that Slurpees were the top of the food chain. They also end in “ee”

I’m so thristy for one that I would like to leave work.

Everyone stay cool and drink a Slurpee today, its supposed to be scorching.


PS Hummerz pointed out that today is in fact July 11th, which is 7/11. They’re clever at 7-Eleven.

2 thoughts on “Slurpees turn 40

  1. flammable says:

    Wow, thanks for the info! I know what I’m doing tonight then…getting a Slurpee and hanging outside the 7-Eleven. I’ll be in brain freeze heaven. 😀

    I had no idea they’ve been around for that long, either…I assumed they were a product of the 80’s too. I mean, much of what Beavis and Butthead did in their free time was get a Slurpee.

  2. socramforever says:

    I just thought the concept of a Slurpee, much like Combos and Twix just seem like products of the 80’s. Even the name sounds very 80’s for some reason. Its cool though. Happy Birthday Slurpee! Whoo!

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