It's hot out there, people. Temperatures were dipping into the 40s here in Chicago a mere three weeks ago; today's high is set to be in the 80s. A quick look at USA Today's weather map shows that much of the eastern half of the country is in the same boat. Rising mercury can mean only one thing: increasing demand for frozen treats.
7-Eleven is now adding to its stable of frozen goodness with a new product, Stir Crazy, in some of its stores. The concept behind the dessert is pretty simple. 7-Eleven recognized the success that outfits such as Cold Stone Creamery were having with ice cream freshly mixed with bits of candy or cookies. So it approached a partner, Wells' Dairy, to create a similar product that could be stored in a freezer. The result was Stir Crazy, a vanilla soft-serve treat that offers buyers the option of stirring in chocolate cookie dough or pieces of Kraft's
Stir Crazy is just another example of 7-Eleven offering a convenient alternative to a popular product. Sure, making a cappuccino yourself at one of the company's stores might not be as nice as having a barista brew one up for you at Starbucks
At 26.5 times the high end of projected 2005 earnings, 7-Eleven's valuation is probably too rich to dive into now. But with the kind of innovation 7-Eleven continually shows, investors would be wise to watch for a buying opportunity.
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.