Company News

7-Eleven Launches Joseph Co.’s Self-Chilling Cans

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The world’s first beverage contained in a self-chilling can is now available for sale in select 7-Eleven stores in California, and the owner of this technology says this is just the start.

“They started distribution last Thursday,” said Mitchell Joseph, CEO of Joseph Company International, the company that has developed and owns the patent to the “chill-can” technology.

“We’re in our fifth day of the soft launch, and some of the stores are doing very well,” he said. “Others, we haven’t heard reports yet.”

7-Eleven Inc. announced Tuesday that it’s launched its Fizzics Sparkling Cold Brew Coffee in self-chilling cans manufactured by the Joseph Co.’s plant in Irvine, Calf.

Joseph said that as orders increase, mass production of the product would be reserved for his company’s $20 million manufacturing and research campus now under construction on the east side of Youngstown.

“All of it will be done in Youngstown,” Joseph said during a telephone interview Tuesday .

Joseph said his company has been working with 7-Eleven, based in Irving, Texas, for about eight months on the project. “They decided to pick L.A. for the soft launch,” he said, noting the warm temperatures this time of year and the West Coast’s trend toward buying for convenience.

“It’s warm out here right now,” Joseph said, speaking from his California office. “There are beaches, people on the go – they understand convenience.”

7-Eleven has selected 15 stores in the Los Angeles area to carry the new product and self-chill technology, Joseph said. The stores are in the Glendale, Beverly Hills, and Redondo Beach regions. The company operates 66,000 stores in 17 countries.

Fizzics Sparkling Cold Brew Coffee will be available in three flavors – Regular, French Vanilla, and Caramel. Each 8.4-ounce can carries less than 80 milligrams of caffeine.

“Because the self-chilling can technology is so groundbreaking, we wanted to introduce it with a super innovative beverage,” Tim Cogil, 7-Eleven’s director of private brands, said in a statement. “Sparkling coffee sodas met all of the criteria. Fizzics will be the first that can be chilled on demand, bringing a new level of convenience to customers who want to enjoy a chilled drink whenever and wherever they are.”

The Chill-Can containers are purchased at ambient temperature and chilled when ready to consume.  When activated, the patented technology uses reclaimed CO2 and the process automatically chills the can and the beverage inside.

Once the test launch is run, Joseph said the next step is to discuss with 7-Eleven on the next geographical market segments to introduce the product.

“There’s nobody in the world that can do what we’re doing,” Joseph said. “All of our focus has been on this launch. We’re very excited.”

The Fizzics cans were manufactured, designed and filled at the company’s plant in California, but the site is limited as to how many it can produce.

The Youngstown campus, he said, will have the capability of manufacturing a billion cans per year. “Production is going to be in Youngstown, Ohio.”

Joseph said a harsh winter prohibited work on the concrete floors of the two buildings now standing at the Youngstown site. Now that the weather is warmer, construction should resume on a third building within the next several weeks.

“They should start pouring the footer in the next two to three weeks, and the building should be up by the end of August,” he said.

By the end of the summer, Joseph said the complex should be producing a limited run of cans.

Nine buildings – including a research and development center – are planned for the east side site, he said. The company has already accepted resumes and should begin first hiring security and maintenance personnel in the next couple of months.

“We’re not bringing a bottling business to Youngstown,” Joseph emphasized. “We’re bringing the technology. We own all the intellectual property on it.”

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.