Hot, thirsty Brandonites were treated to free Slurpees yesterday, part of an annual promotion on July 11 — or 7/11.
The date also marks the unveiling of the Slurpee Capital of the World. That’s Winnipeg, if you’re in Winnipeg, or Manitoba if you’re outside of the city.
Once again, according to 7-Eleven, Manitobans slurped more of the frosty, sugary beverages than anywhere else in the world. It’s the 15th annual year that the province has hoisted the honour.
To mark the occasion, which coincides with the company’s 45th anniversary in Canada, 7-Elevens in Brandon handed out 4,500 free Slurpees — 1,500 at each store.
That many 355-ml Slurpees is the equivalent of nearly 1,600 litres of free Slurpee. That’s about 16 standard-sized bathtubs filled with Slurpee, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to how many Slurpees are sold worldwide every year. The company says it can fill a dozen Olympic-sized swimming pools with Slurpee in an average year.
Forty per cent of those are sold during the summer months of June through August, and half of all Slurpees are purchased between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.
That makes summer afternoons and hot summer evenings peak time for the affliction known as “Brain Freeze,” although 7-Eleven says it’s medically known as “sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia,” which translates as “nerve pain of the sphenopalatine ganglion,” i.e. the part where it hurts.
To celebrate the onset of the summer Slurpee selling season, 7-Eleven has also brought out a few seasonal flavours, including Mountain Dew’s Code Red, White Out and Super Nova.
But beware: the ingredient that makes a Slurpee stay slushy without getting frozen is sugar, and each of those free Slurpees contains about 40 grams of it. That’s like eating 10 sugar cubes —nearly double the World Health Organization’s recommendation for sugar in a day.
And that’s in a small size. The large, which is nearly 830 ml, contains closer to two dozen sugar cubes’ worth of glucose-fructose — the same ingredient known as high fructose corn syrup in the United States.
If you didn’t get your free Slurpee yesterday, there’s still a chance. Take a picture of yourself with one of the sugary drinks and post it to the Canada 7-Eleven Facebook page by midnight Sunday. Three people will win a $250 Slurpee gift card.
» Brandon Sun