Melissa E. Burton, Goody Good Stuff managing director/chairmanFat, meat, dairy, alcohol, gluten, egg, nut, soy, wheat and gelatin free, Goody Good Stuff's all-natural gummy candy would shine on the shelf of any natural products store. So imagine how much more they'll stand out at 7-Eleven—the company's recent and first foray into convenience brick and mortar, stateside.

The goods

According to its website, the Goody Good Stuff candy range is made with a plant derived bio-gum technology, which eliminates the need for animal-based gelatin. It's also done away with artificial colors and flavors, using only natural fruit and vegetable extracts, removing all of the other harmful food additives and possible allergens, such as gluten.

Previously only available in other countries and in the U.S. through e-tailers like Amazon, 7-Eleven marks a major convenience retailer move for Goody Good Stuff, which has also been working with traditional grocery from the likes of Dierbergs to Stop & Shop, among others.

While the candy brand is working to secure national roll outs with Whole Foods and already works with natural chains, such as The Fresh Market and Earth Fare, it went after 7-Eleven as its first "national and convenience-based partner down to their excellence in the market, their innovative new approach to product selections and their incredibly bewildering scope and access to the market," says Melissa E. Burton, managing director/chairman. Said innovation, she explains, lives in the fact that 7-Eleven has recognized that it has a very diverse customer base, currently placing products which suit vegetarian, kosher, halal, gluten free and other needs.

"Goody Good Stuff wanted to find a good route to the mainstream set, as we believe not only does our product suit the natural customer but delivers so well on taste and value for money that it would be a great fit for everyone," Burton goes on. "We also felt that being halal, kosher, vegetarian as well as free from gluten, soy and diary would make us a great solution for convenience retailers that have less space in the store but still have a baffling number of diverse customer requirements."

Natural candy finds national convenienceGet a crack at the convenience masses

But landing some retail real estate this prime wasn't all lollipops and rainbows. "7-Eleven is such a huge national player that it took time for us to get to a position where we could supply them efficiently," Burton says of partnership challenges. "We were extremely lucky to have an incredible buyer—Rebecca Thomas, who worked closely with us to prepare the launch and who still is incredibly helpful in our relationships with them."

For other natural product manufacturers looking to increase their chances at scoring a spot in national convenience retail, Burton has this advice: "Ensure that your products message is clear and that you are able to deliver on taste experience; everyone wants to make more natural choices in regards to the foods they eat, but overall, people want enjoyment from their eating experiences. If you can create a product that tastes great, delivers good value and offers the customer a more natural or specialty choice, you should do well!"

With some interesting new initiatives, stay tuned to more 7-Eleven progress on the naturals front. Your brand could be next.