Coming from South Africa meant that I grew up sorely lacking in the field of donuts and coffee. We’ve got very few coffee chain stores on the scale of Starbucks (heck, last I heard we only had a grand total of 3 Starbucks in all of South Africa). Donuts too, eluded me with Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts and countless other donuts stores opting to evade the South African market for greener pastures.
Luckily for me Japan’s convenience stores have decided to take on the battle of the donuts this year and have started offering donuts in almost all their stores throughout Japan. This comes after the last few years saw every chain of convenience stores in Japan offering freshly brewed and cheaply priced coffee to lure in the early morning rush of office workers who need a little pick me up before they head into the office for the rest of the day.
Convenience stores in Japan actually have a history of trying to one-up each other by consistently offering new products or services in the hopes of enticing more customers to choose them over their competitors. You can pay bills, reserve tickets for buses, concerts and sporting events, buy a new tie or even a fresh pair underwear if you find yourself caught short!
With the large popularity of freshly brewed coffee in conbinis it was sort of easy to guess that the next frontier would be that of the almighty donut. Japan already has several chains of donut stores with Mister Donut probably being the most well known of them.
It’s also interesting to note that only Seven Eleven and Lawson are actually going the route of making fresh donuts in their stores while FamilyMart is baking them offsite and then shipping them to their many stores. So those consumers who enjoy fresh coffee and fresh donuts might already decide that the prepackaged donuts from FamilyMart might not exactly be to their liking.
With a couple of my local convenience stores deciding to offer donuts I thought it was my civic duty to try and taste as many of them as I can while also savouring their delicious selection of coffees. In my extensive taste testing it would appear that the fresh donuts that Seven Eleven offers pretty darn tasty with my personal preference being the old fashioned style.
That said, I keep finding myself heading into my local Lawson during the afternoon to grab a donut and an iced Cafe Latte. It’s just so good that I can’t help myself!
I’m ever so glad that since it’s summer I can eat the odd donut every so often and work off the calories by jogging when I get home. come summer I’m definitely going to need to exercise some self-restraint!