7-Eleven Foresees Slurpee Summit For Congress

During recent campaign speeches, President Obama said Republicans in Congress had been standing around sipping on Slurpees while Democrats did the hard work. Sales of 7-Eleven's 44-year-old frozen drink usually plummet when the weather gets cold. But the convenience store chain wants to use the new climate in Washington to stimulate sales.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

A company better known for one of its frozen drinks is also hoping for improved sales.

During the recent election campaign, President Obama's stump speech said Congressional Republicans had driven the economy into the ditch like a car and...

President BARACK OBAMA: These guys were standing, watching us and sipping on a Slurpee...

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of applause)

Pres. OBAMA: ...and they were pointing at us, saying, how come you're not pushing harder? How come you're not pushing faster?

INSKEEP: NPR's Sonari Glinton has more on how 7-Eleven wants to use the Washington politics to stimulate Slurpee sales.

(Soundbite of machinery)

SONARI GLINTON: I'm here in a 7-Eleven standing in front of one of the company's biggest moneymakers: the Slurpee machine. Now usually, at this time of year, Slurpee sales go down. But earlier this week, President Obama may have given the company an early Christmas present.

Pres. OBAMA: They're delicious drinks.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Man: Is...

Pres. OBAMA: The Slurpee Summit. That's good. I like that.

Ms. RITA BARGERHUFF (7-Eleven): Did the leader of the free world just say that Slurpee is a delicious drink? And you're like, wow, that really did just happen, and this is unbelievable for our brand.

GLINTON: 7-Eleven's Rita Bargerhuff says the company will launch a new national ad campaign and take the frozen drink on tour through state capitals. And, Bargerhuff predicts, a summit with red, blue and bipartisan purple Slurpees won't just help sales of 44-year-old brand, but the spirit in Washington.

Ms. BARGERHUFF: You never share a Slurpee with someone that you have ill feelings towards. It's not that kind of experience.

(Soundbite of machinery)

GLINTON: Representatives for 7-Eleven say even if the president and the new Congress can't unite over health care and taxes, maybe they can get together over a frozen soda.

Sonari Glinton...

(Soundbite of slurping sound)

GLINTON: ...NPR News.

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