Food & Drink | KONBINI WATCH

The quest for cute convenience store character sweets

by Patrick St. Michel

Contributing Writer

Character-themed foods have long been a staple at Japanese convenience stores. Although these limited-time offerings are often adorable, they usually look much better than they taste.

Lawson and Seven-Eleven recently unveiled new character tie-ups that illustrate this problem. The former has started selling new nerikiri sweets in the shape of popular bear Rilakkuma and friends (¥285 after tax), while the latter is doing the same with characters from popular anime series “Detective Conan” (¥258 before tax). Both look fantastic, but lack much in terms of flavor besides being blandly sugary.

Far better is a new item at FamilyMart that sacrifices aesthetics in favor of flavor. Its new Sumikkogurashi-themed sweet (¥168 after tax) looks like a vaguely bear-shaped white blob, but it has a sweet milk taste worthy of the convenience store dessert section, though probably not on your #stayhome social media.

In line with the nationwide state of emergency declared on April 16, the government is strongly requesting that residents stay at home whenever possible and refrain from visiting bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.
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