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Writer’s Picks: Top 5 Original Snack Foods From Japanese Convenience Stores
This writer picked out five of the best original snack foods developed by Japanese convenience store chains. This is a lineup of cheap and incredibly delicious snack foods. You can use bargain points and save at some of the convenience stores, too, so be sure to check them out.
- Why Do Convenience Stores Have Their Own Original Snack Foods?
- 1. Cheese Corn Snacks (7-Eleven)
- 2. Seaweed & Salt Potato Chips (7-Eleven)
- 3. Intense Shrimp Flavor Rice Chips (FamilyMart)
- 4. Butter & Soy Sauce Tortilla Chips (Lawson Store 100)
Why Do Convenience Stores Have Their Own Original Snack Foods?
At convenience stores, you can find a lot of popular snack foods produced by leading snack makers. However, each convenience store always has a section dedicated to displaying their own unique original snack foods.
These original snacks can be special goods that you won't find anywhere else, or bargain goods that you can buy at a low price. Each convenience store chain has its own different lineup, so be sure to have a look.
1. Cheese Corn Snacks (7-Eleven)
One of Japan's major convenience store chains, 7-Eleven, has its own private brand called "7-Premium". This brand sells products in a variety of genres, but in the snack category, this writer’s attention is particularly captured by the light and airy, addictively cheesy Cheese Corn Snacks.
By overlapping four thin layers of dough, these chips have an enjoyably crispy texture the moment you crunch down on them. The dough uses a cheese powder made from three different cheeses: cheddar, Camembert, and cream cheese. The cheddar cheese in particular gives them a rich flavor and aroma. The corn chips themselves have a sweetness and moderate saltiness that make them addictively flavorsome. This is a snack food you should definitely try when you’re in Japan.
Price: 128 JPY (excl. tax)
2. Seaweed & Salt Potato Chips (7-Eleven)
Enjoy the fragrant flavor of dried seaweed with these Seaweed & Salt Potato Chips. The seaweed flavor comes from a blend of aonori (green dried seaweed) from Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, a famous production area for aonori, and beautifully aromatic yakinori (roasted seaweed). The potato chips themselves are substantially thick, as they are cut in large slices.
Seaweed & Salt (or "nori-shio") is a classic potato chip flavor in Japan, made by many snack manufacturers, but 7-Eleven’s are particularly popular, and many fanatics have given rave reviews! The "Atsugiri (Thick-Cut) Potato Chip" series also has flavors like consommé and lightly-salted. All of them are tasty, but since you're here, why not try a uniquely Japanese flavor using Japanese ingredients?
Price: 198 JPY (excl. tax)
3. Intense Shrimp Flavor Rice Chips (FamilyMart)
Next up is something from FamilyMart. FamilyMart has the most stores in Japan after 7-Eleven, so there’s a high chance you’ll encounter one during your trip in Japan. There are many snacks in the chain’s private “FamilyMart Collection” brand, but this writer especially recommends the Intense Shrimp Flavor Rice Chips made from rice. The intense shrimp flavor is an explosion in your mouth, and they taste just like you're eating actual shrimp! Their light and airy texture makes them so addictive that you can't stop eating them. The mild flavor is not too strong, and they're even more tasty with a cup of ryokucha (Japanese green tea) that you can also buy at convenience stores.
Price: 100 JPY (excl. tax)
4. Butter & Soy Sauce Tortilla Chips (Lawson Store 100)
Lawson Store 100 is a convenience store that combines elements of a convenience store, a supermarket, and a 100-yen shop. It has won popularity with its surprising cheapness, as the basic products cost about 100 yen.
Tortilla chips, which have been well loved since they were introduced to the Japanese snack market over 30 years ago, are another convenience store original brand item. Lawson Store 100's “Butter & Soy Sauce Tortilla Chips” is an outstandingly delicious snack that combines the flavors of butter and soy sauce. The umami flavor of the butter and soy sauce fill your mouth the moment you take a bite, until a different umami flavor takes over.
The secret to the chips' tastiness is the thick corn powder that coats them - outrageously thick, one might even say! Butter and soy sauce is a classic flavor combination in Japanese cuisine and snacks. If you happen to be in Japan, be sure to experience this deliciousness!
Price: 100 JPY (excl. tax)
5. Pizza Potato Chips (Lawson Store 100)
Everyone's favorite food - pizza - now comes in potato chip form, with Lawson Store 100’s “Pizza Potato Chips.” These crunchy potato chips are bursting with cheese and tomato flavor. You can particularly taste the sourness of the tomato, giving these chips a satisfying flavor. This chip series also comes in flavors such as sour cream and onion and plain salt. The mild saltiness of each flavor enhances the natural flavor of the potato, making them a perfect accompaniment for wine or beer. The tubular packaging prevents the potato chips inside from being crushed, so this is also a great snack to take home as a souvenir. If you visit a Lawson Store 100, be sure to check out the snack aisle. All 100 JPY!
Price: 100 JPY (excl. tax)
Get Great Value on Your Purchases in Japan with d POINT!
d POINT is a free point service operated by Japan’s largest telecommunications company, NTT DOCOMO, INC. This is a system in which you can earn points just by showing your d POINT CARD when making purchases at d POINT Member Stores, such as leading convenience store chains, McDonald's, cafes, and supermarkets.
FamilyMart and Lawson Store 100, both mentioned earlier in this article, are d POINT Member Stores. You can use 1 earned point as 1 yen, so if this sounds like an interesting offer to you, register membership at the link below.
Are you interested in any of these snacks? Be sure to try these original snack foods specially developed by Japan's convenience store chains!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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