Vegetarian activists are rejoicing over the debut of five new vegan items at 7-Eleven stores in Manhattan, but a spokesperson for the convenience store says the sale of artichoke spinach noodles on 42nd Street doesn't portend the national roll-out of a meatless menu.
"I'm not sure where they got it could expand nationally," Margaret Chabris says of a New York Daily News report that was enthusiastically picked up by advocacy groups including the Humane Society.
While Chabris didn't explicitly rule out the possibility of testing the vegan items in more markets, she said "it's way too soon" to predict if and when customers elsewhere would have the chance to sample the pad Thai noodles, vegetable lo mein, Hunan dumplings and Shanghai dumplings now available at eight Manhattan stores and 15 stores in Philadelphia.
"I don't want your readers to think we'll have this anytime soon," she says.
The project was spearheaded by Janice Tancredi, 7-Eleven's Philadelphia market manager.
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"She happens to be a vegetarian, and wanted to see if there was interest in vegetarian items," Chabris explains.
Tancredi started stocking Philly area stores with vegan sandwiches from Moshe's in 2008.
"It seemed like there was interest and acceptance, so now they've introduced it in Manhattan," Chabris says.
Chabris concedes 7-Eleven's current line-up of tuna fish sandwiches, hot dogs, pepperoni pizza, chicken wings and meaty taquitos probably isn't especially appealing to eaters on animal-free diets, although she adds "we do have fresh fruit, so there are some foods for those that want to stay vegetarian."