Winnipeg is the Slurpee Capital of the World?

A couple of Winnipegers are visiting us this weekend. We discussed going for Slurpees, and they unveiled their vast knowledge base of all things Slurpable. Apparently Slurpees are very popular, because it has been the Slurpee Capital of the World for nine years running:

“It’s nostalgic at this point,” said regional market manager of 7-Eleven Canada, Inc., Dale Shaw. “This is probably the only place in the world where it’s a four-season beverage.” Slurpees have been a Winnipeg staple for generations, he said.

Shaw said the best-performing store in the city is at Pembina Highway and Killarney Avenue. “For the province, it’s Steinbach,” he said. The best-selling Slurpee flavours are G-Shock Gatorade and Slurpaccino.

Really? Gatorade and Slurpaccino? That feels like new-flavour marketing to me–those are the flavours I avoid like a the semi-solid plague.

Apparently Alex Perez made a documentary about the phenomenon back in 2006. You can watch a couple of video clips on the film’s site.

11 comments

  1. My stepmom’s from Steinbach (and a Mennonite). Maybe the popularity of the slurpee is partially due to the fact that they were a dry town up until 5 or so years ago? I mean, if you can’t get hosed, you can try for a sugar high or brain freeze instead.

  2. I would be highly surprised is Gatorade and Slurpaccino are the true favs. It could be that’s the crap they’ve put in all the machines to boost the numbers.

    Small brown all the way! (That’s coke, dr pepper or root beer for those not in the know.)

  3. My wife grew up in Winnipeg. There was some sort of ‘Slurpee Day’ (anniversary of it’s invention perhaps??)shortly after we met, and she made a point of saying we should go to a 7/11 for it. I was only later that I realized that her greater than average interest was a result of her Manitoba upbringing.

  4. Decades ago, before 7-Eleven was common in Vancouver, the main place to get slush drinks was the Mac’s convenience store. At the time its mascot was a cat (now it’s an owl), so they called the drinks “slush cats.” I still think that was the best name, better even than Slurpee. I used to get a cream soda slush cat whenever I could. I think only kids would enjoy something that sugary.

    Incidentally, when Mac’s changed their mascot, they changed the name of their drinks to “froster,” which is extremely lame, and also too close to Wendy’s “frosty” — a malt ice cream dessert nothing like a slush drink.

  5. CBC had a discussion about this last week. They said that a Kennewick convenience store is contesting the slurpee capital qualifications. Kennewick claims to be the slurpee capital. You’d think they’d be happy with Kennewick Man, but no.

    I’ve heard before that Canadians drink more slurpees than anyone else. Maybe it’s Canadian freestate traffic.

  6. On my recent Slurpee adventure, they had G-force and Slurpaccino at every 7-11 I went to, but other, more standard flavours, like Coke/Pepsi/root beer/cream soda, were only available in some stores. If they sell more G-force and Slurpaccinos, I’d be willing to bet it’s due to availability and marketing, not that people really like them more.

  7. Give the choice it turns out Canadians in the coldest metropolis in the land delight in eating different colo(u)red snow of varying flavo(u)rs.

    ‘Nuff said.

  8. “Incidentally, when Mac’s changed their mascot, they changed the name of their drinks to “froster,” which is extremely lame”

    This was the downfall of Mac’s Milk.

    I used to rock the shit with the Quiet Riot – Metal Health record I won with my slush cat scratch and win. Men at Work was also up for grabs.

  9. I am from Winnipeg! Despite the cold here we love slurpies, I love slurpies. Haha I am drinking one right now. It is grapefruit, grape, and blue raspberry! Yummy

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