The story of Slurpee drinks began in 1959 with a broken soda fountain machine in Kansas. When Omar Knedlik's soda machine broke at his drive-in hamburger restaurant, he began serving icy-cold bottled soft drinks from his freezer. Customers fell in love with the slushy drinks, sparking Knedlik to come up with the idea of creating soft-serve frozen drinks. After failed attempts to create a machine to make his icy beverages, Knedlik contacted the John E. Mitchell Company, a Dallas machinery manufacturer in 1959. Mitchell was attracted to the idea and began working with an automobile air conditioner to create a machine that would freeze carbonated soft drinks that could be served in a sherbet-like form and would be drunk through a straw. Mitchell's machine used a complex system to freeze the beverages so they could be served at an icy 28 degrees.
Although a revolution in the soft drink field, Mitchell's frozen drinks were not a huge success with retailers. He tried selling his machines to drugstores and restaurants between 1960 and 1965, but the product's novelty and stores' inexperience with refrigeration equipment kept it from making an impact. But a chance encounter with a 7-Eleven manager would forever change the success of the frozen beverage. While visiting a competitor's store in 1965, a 7-Eleven zone manager came across one of Mitchell's machines and thought that it had a huge potential for success. In the Fall of 1965, 7-Eleven purchased three machines to test the product in their stores. They were an immediate success, and by the Spring of 1967, the machines were in almost every 7-Eleven store.
The Slurpee mark was created in May 1967 during a brainstorming session at 7-Eleven's in-house ad agency. While drinking the product through a straw, agency director Bob Stanford commented that it made a slurping sound. The Slurpee drink phenomenon was born. For the past 32 years, Slurpee drink has evolved from Fulla-Bulla to Fire Water to Shrek-a-licious. But no matter the flavor, it will always be The Coolest Drink on Earth.