Food & Drink | KONBINI WATCH

Simplicity the key to chart-topping convenience store snacks

by Patrick St. Michel

Contributing Writer

Japanese netizens take convenience store snacks seriously, turning to sites such as Mognavi, where they rate their favorites, which get displayed as top-10 rankings.

No surprise, the rankings feature a lot of fried chicken. FamilyMart’s new line of Poke Chiki (Pocket Chicken) has performed well, with “plain” outpacing “cheese” and “hot.” Each pouch (¥200 after tax) delivers a flavor reminiscent of the chain’s flagship Famichiki offering, albeit not delivering quite the same juiciness. Seven-Eleven’s recent chicken nuggets (¥200 after tax) also deserve praise, mostly for offering extra crispiness.

Lawson reigns supreme though, and the top spot at the moment belongs to a slight surprise; the store’s tappuri corn skewer has wowed the online masses. The snack (¥140 after tax) offers a bunch of kernels gelled together by a light frying that gives the snack a bit of crunch, but lets the corn’s natural texture and taste come through. Simple and delicious — maybe that’s the formula for winning over the masses.