Manitoba Is The Slurpee Capital Of The World

By Ben Hamill - July 03 2019
Manitoba Is The Slurpee Capital Of The World

Any day is a good day for enjoying a Slurpee when you’re from Manitoba. In fact, even a freezing winter’s night is a good time, according to 7-11 Canada. The convenience grocery chain group recently confirmed that Manitoba is officially the Slurpee capital of the world, and that this has been true for 20 years in a row.

According to sales statistics released by the 7-11 group, Manitobans consume more Slurpees per capita than any other region in the world. The sugary drink comes in many flavours and to each their own when it comes to mixing and matching it up. It can be as simple as plain Cola-flavoured slush, or a more creative mix up of flavours. Whatever the preference, most Manitobans have their own special favourite when it comes to sweet frozen slush.

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Winnipeg’s Slurpee Way

Slurpees are available all year round at 7-11 stores across the globe. According to Doug Rosencrans, VP of 7-11 Canada, Slurpees play a leading role in so many Canadian memories that it remains a service to the nation to ensure that a constant stream of Slurp is available.

When narrowing things down to city-level, its Winnipeg that wins the obsession-cup. So obsessed is Winnipeg with Slurpees that in 2018 it even went so far as to name a street in downtown Winnipeg “Slurpee Way”; a fact that has been acknowledged in concert by singer Shawn Mendes.

A Very Happy Accident

The world “Slurpee” is derived from the sound made by the beverages when people are drinking them. History has it that the name was first coined by Bob Stanford, who was a 7-11 advertisement agency director. Invented in the 1950’s by Omar Knedlik, a resident of Kansas, the drinks were soon adopted by the convenience store group and were available at 7-11’s ever since 1966.

Not unlike so many of history’s greatest inventions the Slurpee as we know it today was invented quite by accident. Knedlik had supposedly owned an old dairy queen machine that was constantly on the blink. When Knedlik’s soda fountain machine finally gave up the ghost, he ended up stashing his sodas in the freezer in order to keep them cold.

When the tops were popped it turned out that the soda had become somewhat frozen and slushy. But people so enjoyed the “frozen by accident” beverage that soon, they started to ask for the “pops that had been in a little too long”.

Knedlik, by this time wise to the fact that he had accidentally come up with quite a brilliant and popular idea, eventually decided to make his own ice-pop machine by making use of a car’s air conditioning unit and a construction that combined pop flavour and carbon dioxide.

And so came to be the humble beginnings of Manatoba’s national drink – the Slurpee.

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