As I mentioned, 7-Eleven got in really early with promoting their Halloween products. Despite the fact that I’m a “konbini [コンビニ] junkie,” it was, in fact, GetHiroshima’s Paul who alerted me to the 7-Eleven online Halloween page where the first products were advertised. I think he’s a “closet junkie.” If there are two of us, I’m sure there’s more out there…
From mid-September, 7-Eleven literally exploded with Halloween snacks and goodies. I know how excited I was to check out all the new things, so goodness only knows how the kids felt. I suspect parents hate this time of year because it really is just a sugar overload.
Konbini scatter their Halloween products throughout the store so you have to walk around to hunt them out, though they do also have large displays which bombard you with choices. Witch one will you choose? Why not get one of each?! Of course, the final attack comes at the counters when you’re waiting in line. You cannot help but be tempted by the small, last minute Halloween snack chocolates. Abunai yo! [危ないよ！] It’s dangerous I tell you!
Sure 7-Eleven has all the usual ghost and witch chocolates on sticks, but they also have a number of goodies in the bread (pan [パン] section). This little smiling obake-pan [おばけパン] ghost was just so damn cute I couldn’t help but buy him. I did feel kind of bad eating him though… How can you eat a smiling ghost?
They also have pumpkin waffles and, to me, that’s a match made in heaven! 7-Eleven does have many, many more things you can check out, but, this week, I’d like to focus on Family Mart.
Family Mart was a little slower off the bat, but I will say I’m more impressed with their range this year than 7-Eleven’s. They’re high quality, taste good and the packaging is cute, which really, is half the appeal for me.
My local Family Mart recommends this baked pumpkin cake and yes, I would agree with them. They also have a pumpkin and chestnut pudding and something called a pumpkin chiffon omelette.
I’m sorry, but I just could not bring myself to try this. I’m hoping it’s just something that’s lost in translation, but to me, chiffon cake and omelette do not go together. If anyone tries it, please let me know.
Best of all though… drumroll please…
A ‘pumpkin ‘drawing’ cake’ kabocha-no-e-kaki-keeki [かぼちゃのお絵かきケーキ]
That's right, you heard me! It comes with a tiny chocolate dropper that allows you to draw your own Halloween design on the top. Oh my God, kawaii! [かわいい！] Cute!
Family Mart is, also, the only chain to have themed cups for the event. That in itself says something. It says that Family Mart (as I predicted last week), is closing the gap on 7-Eleven’s monopoly of the konbini industry.
Sure, 7-Eleven does Christmas cups, but the fact that Family Mart chose to capitalise on a lesser-known holiday, but one that is definitely up-and-coming in Japan, impressed me a lot more. Family Mart too, is up-and-coming baby!
Well, that’s enough sugar for one week, so I’m off to eat an apple to try and balance out the unhealthy with the healthy. Make sure you do go down and have a squiz at what Halloween products konbini have to offer, but be careful how many you eat in one sitting. Overdose and you will end up in a sugar coma that lasts for at least half the next day… You have been warned.