Craveable Japanese C-Store Fare

Konbini offer unusual food options, such as green tea strawberry dessert sandwiches.

January 18, 2021

TOKYO—Japanese convenience stores, also called konbini, offer a wide range of unusual foods, JapanToday reports. Popular items include bento boxed lunches, pre-made pasta dishes and rice balls, along with chips and candy.

Konbini also frequently freshen their food menus by bringing in seasonal favorites and limited-edition items. For example, as Japanese love strawberries in the winter, Lawson recently added a  Strawberry Custard Sandwich to its grab-and-go section. Another fan favorite is the Matcha Green Tea Bread Strawberry Milk sandwich made with green tea powder.

“The green tea strawberry sandwich is a comprehensive culinary pleasure concept designed to stimulate an array of taste receptors. The rich flavor of the fluffy bread gets a boost of sophisticate gentle bitterness from the matcha, the sliced strawberries contribute a touch of tartness along with their fruity sweet notes, and the filling of cream and condensed provides their own straightforward decadent sweetness,” gushed writer Casey Baseel in SoraNews24.

This pattern of catering to the Japanese palate is similar to how many foodservice retailers in the United States provide seasonal specials including pumpkin spiced flavored lattes and mint hot chocolates to their customers. In Japan, the green-tea-flavored items are not particularly tied to one season and can pop up at any time as a limited-edition offer. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, which incentivizes fans to return more regularly so they won’t miss out.