9 Popular Sweets & Snacks Available at Convenience Stores, Perfect for Souvenir
Convenience stores are everywhere in Japan and open 24 hours. When you’ve forgotten to buy sweets for souvenirs or when your sweet tooth badly needs indulgence in the middle of the night, they are your strong ally! This time we will introduce 9 popular sweets available at convenience stores, from sweets you can grab a few as small gifts, authentic café-style sweets, to those you can eat even when you are watching calories. Photo: flickr.com
3 Select Sweets for Small Gifts to Distribute to Multiple Recipients
These may be familiar sweets for you if you have already visited Japan several times or you have friends who love Japan and gave them to you as a souvenir. But let me introduce them as a quick review.
KitKat originated in England and spread all over the world. Each country has limited edition products for limited periods of time.
This time we found this mint flavored edition only for the summer. In Japan, green tea flavor is a classic as a souvenir, but we hear there are also regional flavors as well; for example there is the Tochiotome strawberry flavor in Tochigi Prefecture and wasabi flavor in Shizuoka Prefecture. How about looking for a unique flavor in Japan that you cannot find anywhere in the world?
Related: 15 + More, Wasabi Flavored Snacks from Japan
“Jagariko” is widely loved by the Japanese citizens, and it’s one of the regular top contestants on Amazon Japan’s “Best Sellers in Snacks & Sweets”. It’s small and price is affordable, perfect for souvenir. Popular flavors are reportedly in the order of salad flavor, cheese flavor, and butter flavor. This product also has limited editions available, depending on the locality and season, and if we include all the editions that are no longer available, the total variety is said to be as many as 71 kinds! If you are hooked on Jagariko, here is a challenge for you; please try collecting them!
Speaking of the leading chocolate candies in Japan, it must be Pocky. It seems they are also sold abroad, but in Japan there is ultra-thin type, thicker-and-shorter “Men’s Pocky”, and a wide variety is available both in flavor and shape. It sounds like fun to visit one convenience store to another, looking for different kinds of Pocky.
This time we found ultra-thin Pocky, which is supposed to “sound 50% better” when it is refrigerated. Allegedly you can play “Mary Had A Little Lamb” or Beethoven’s “Symphony No.9” by how you move your mouth while eating this Pocky! Please give it a try.
Related: Tips to Choosing the Perfect Souvenir Pocky: The Beloved Snack of 50 Years
3 Café-Style Sweets for Daily Rewards
As a reward on a day you’ve tried hard at school or work, or as a shot to calm yourself down when you are frustrated, how about having sweets from convenience stores as a small indulgence? It’s fun to read manufacturer’s product concepts, too.
4. Lawson’s “Premium Roll Cake”
This roll cake became the forerunner of the convenience store sweets with its innovative style of eating cream with a spoon. The smooth, light-tasting cream became a big hit in 2009, and it has kept its long seller status, though various popular sweets were introduced since then.
The brand name is Uchi Café SWEETS and the concept is “Turn your Home into Café Anytime” and the product was targeted at female customers in their 20’s and 30’s, but they are very popular, regardless of gender.
5. Family Mart’s “Mouth Melting Luxury Pudding”
Having won a highest gold medal in the Monde Selection, a leading international authority, this is really an extravagant pudding as its name suggests. Its presence is like a dessert in an upscale restaurant, but you can obtain it in a convenience store at 210 yen.
This product is one of “Famima Premium Series”. Their concept is to become the “Most Familiar Specialty Store” that offers authentic foods from specialty restaurants to be enjoyed at your nearby Family Mart or Famima.
6. Seven Eleven’s “Mouth Melting Rich Gateau Chocolat”
Please note that this product, unlike the above two, is located not in the refrigerated section but among baked sweets like cookies. The packaging is unassuming at a glance, but when you eat it, it’s a big surprise! It tastes like truffles rather than gateau chocolat, but it is light so you can eat one after another. There are two packages in one bag, and it even comes with a fork. You can share it with your friend, or you can leave a half for another day since it stores at room temperature.
This product is one of “Seven Premium”, a private brand of SEVEN & i Holdings. Its key concepts are reported as “Taste & Quality”, “Safety”, and “Affordable Price”.
3 Select Sweets When You Are on a Diet
Even when you are on a diet, you cannot help but crave for good food, can you? Abstention is not good for your health. How about these sweets you can eat guilt-free? But please be careful not to overeat.
SoyJoy is produced by a leading pharmaceutical company, Otsuka Pharmaceutical. SoyJoy is a nutritional food made with soy beans, which is high in protein, low in fat and calories. Soy beans contain protein, vitamin, mineral, dietary fiber and isoflavone, so it’s perfect for a diet. One bar is 120~145 kcal and there are 12 kinds to choose from, so you don’t get tired to eat them.
8. Konnyaku Chips in Seaweed Flavor
This snack is sold as one of Lawson’s private brands, “Natural Lawson”, and it is made of konnyaku potato. When you open a bag, a delicious scent of seaweed tickles your nose. There is also a robust salty taste, and it gives satisfaction to your stomach. But it’s only 61 kcal for a whole bag. Excellent! It contains zero trans fatty acids, so it is good for our bodies, too. When you cannot resist snacking, this one comes highly recommended.
9. “Pure Gummy”
Pure Gummy is said to be particularly popular among ladies who love gummy snacks. An exquisite balance of sour-sweet powder and juiciness of fruits, neither too sweet nor too sour, is rumored to be the secret of its popularity. The lineup is a more than amazing 50 kinds, including types fortified with vitamins or collagen. It makes gals happy to be able to choose to suit her mood, too. But it’s solid 13 kcal a piece and unexpectedly high at 160 kcal for a bag. So when you feel a bit hungry, you’d like to stop at eating only a few pieces to tide over.
There are many different products in convenience store sweets, depending on brands and region, and there are many seasonal products too, and you cannot take your eyes off them. How about adding a convenience store pilgrimage to your sightseeing route as well?