Frosty Winter: Cold Stone’s Rum Raisin Ice Cream and Other Sweet Konbini Highlights of the Cold Season

Frosty Winter: Cold Stone’s Rum Raisin Ice Cream and Other Sweet Konbini Highlights of the Cold Season

Update: 16 December 2016

Japan is known for its glorious abundance of convenience stores, called konbini in Japanese, letting you buy whatever you want, wherever you want. Apart from snacks, drinks, or stationery, one of Japan’s konbini bestsellers are the many sweets and desserts. The trend over the last years has gone into the direction of rather elaborate and luxurious creations of a quality that you wouldn’t necessarily expect at a konbini! As such, every new season in Japan also brings a whole variety of new, sweet konbini surprises – let’s take a look at the very best of this winter.

Looking at konbini shelves, this cold season’s sweet trend goes towards chocolate being combined with different flavors in the most amazing ways, as well as staying in line with popular low-carb nutrition. One of the highlights we’re looking forward to the most is the collaboration desserts with the famous ice cream maker Cold Stone – these are absolutely must-tries!

■ Lawson

Chocolate Paradise: Taste Your Way through Exciting Chocolate Creations!

Chocolate Paradise: Taste Your Way through Exciting Chocolate Creations!

Lawson’s "MACHI Café" konbini café brand takes you to the exciting world of creative food pairings, offering three types of different chocolates from the end of November: the MACHI Café Chocolat "Colombia," "Venezuela," and "Dominican Republic."

These "single bean chocolate" were developed as a joint project by Lawson and Lotte under the supervision of Yoshiharu Sakamoto, Japan’s leading star barista – and the philosophy of the tiny treats is to honor the original flavor of cocoa. With a single bite, these chocolates allow you to taste the characteristic coffee bean aroma of each production area to the fullest – and when enjoyed together with coffee, these bite-sized delicacies will surprise you with yet another flavor! With the price of 50 yen per piece, they are also amazingly nice to your wallet.

The "Colombia" chocolate combines the bittersweet taste of dark chocolate with the richness of ripe, red fruits and nuts. When enjoyed with coffee, the different flavors mingle pleasantly and create an almost pear-like aroma.

MACHI Café Chocolat "Venezuela," on the other hand, is centered on the deep flavor of nuts until combined with coffee. Then the nutty aroma works perfectly well with the gentle sweetness of cocoa.

The third edition, "Dominican Republic," has a vivid raisin taste when enjoyed by itself, one that becomes much more gentle and subtle when eaten right after a nice, warm sip of coffee.

Product: MACHI Café Chocolat (Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic)
Price: 50 yen (tax included)
Sold at: Lawson stores in Kanto, Niigata, Koshin area (excluding Lawson Store 100)

Taste the Tiny Version before Your Get the Big One: the Limited Mini Christmas Cakes!

Taste the Tiny Version before Your Get the Big One: the Limited Mini Christmas Cakes!

Lawson’s konbini stores don’t only sweeten your chilly winter nights with flavorful chocolate but also with adorable mini-sized Christmas cakes in three variations, sold for a limited amount of time. The thought behind them is to allow people who want to make a reservation for an actual Christmas cake to get a bite-sized taste of the creation beforehand – a concept that has proven to be extremely popular ever since the tiny cakes were first sold at konbini stores in 2014.

This year, look forward to the classics of Christmas cakes with the Strawberry Shortcake, the Snowbomb, and the delicious Yule Log Cake. There will be special creations on the shelves as well, though, such as the French-style "Blonde Chocolate" and "Amaou Strawberry." Starting with domestically grown Japanese chestnut, these elaborate cakes are made with the best of ingredients – make this year’s Christmas a luxurious one!

Product: Blonde Chocolate Special Cake (left)
Price: 330 yen (tax included)
Sold at: Lawson stores all around Japan (excluding Natural Lawson, Lawson Store 100)

Product: Waguri Special Montblanc (right)
Price: 330 yen (tax included)
Sold at: Lawson stores all around Japan (excluding Natural Lawson, Lawson Store 100)

Product: Snowbomb (center)
Price: 320 yen (tax included)
Sold at: Lawson stores all around Japan (excluding Natural Lawson, Lawson Store 100)

■ 7-Eleven

Savor the Amazing Cold Stone Rum Raisin Ice Cream at 7-Eleven Konbini Stores!

Savor the Amazing Cold Stone Rum Raisin Ice Cream at 7-Eleven Konbini Stores!

The famous ice cream maker Cold Stone teamed up with Japan’s 7-Eleven konbini as well as Tirol Choco to bring us one of this winter’s most delicious desserts: Cold Stone Rum Raisin, sold from November the 15th, a Tuesday that happened to be the Day of Winter Ice Cream.

The Cold Stone Rum Raisin Ice Cream doesn’t only have plenty of raisins but also a generous serving of walnut for the right amount of crunchiness. This flavorful mixture is wonderfully emphasized by the creamy taste of the rum ice cream itself. Every spoonful is an exquisite explosion of flavors on your tongue!

Along with the ice cream, the "Cold Stone Rum Raisin" chocolate, created by Tirol, also hit the sweets aisle of every 7-Eleven konbini. Raisins and roasted almonds are engulfed in white chocolate, thus resembling the original ice cream by design but having its very own unique, wonderful taste. Make sure to not miss out on this amazing chocolate creation.

Product: Cold Stone Rum Raisin
Price: 286 yen (tax included)
Sold at: 7-Eleven stores all around Japan

Product: Tirol Chocolate “Cold Stone Rum Raisin”
Price: 43 yen (tax included)
Sold at: 7-Eleven stores all around Japan

Just Right for the Cold Season: Sweet Cheese Delights!

Just Right for the Cold Season: Sweet Cheese Delights!

7-Eleven konbini also brings us these two seasonal treats this winter: the classic New York Cheesecake as well as the "Rare Cheese Mochi" – rare cheese refers to cream cheese that has not been baked.
As expected, the New York Cheesecake is everything you’d expect from the famous delicacy: a creamy combination of cream cheese and meringue rich in flavor on top of a cookie crust that is so delicious, its mere aroma will make your mouth water when unwrapping the treat.
The Rare Cheese Mochi, on the other hand, is a perfect fusion of Japanese and European confectionery art: inside the soft rice dough typical for mochi sits a fluffy cheese mousse, elegantly refined with a drop or two of lemon juice.

Product: New York Cheesecake
Price: 165 yen (tax included)
Sold at: 7-Eleven stores all around Japan (except Hokkaido)

Product: Rare Cheese Mochi
Price: 110 yen (tax included)
Sold at: 7-Eleven stores all around Japan (except Kyushu)

Baked Konbini Goodness: Meet the Choco Muffin, the Baked Ring, and the Agepoyo

Baked Konbini Goodness: Meet the Choco Muffin, the Baked Ring, and the Agepoyo

Next on 7-Eleven’s sweet konbini selection for this winter are three newcomers of the baked donut series: the Choco Muffin, the Baked Ring, as well as the Agepoyo with creamy raw chocolate. These three treats are sold from the 22nd of November.

The Chocho Muffin is available in both a plain as well as a chocolate flavor, baked on a tray that was especially designed to make the perfect muffin – and topped with chocolate chips, for the extra chocolatey kick.

The Baked Ring, on the other hand, will surprise you with its flavorful dough made from plenty of egg that is both incredibly soft and moist.

Last but not least is the Agepoyo: as its dough is made from tapioca starch, it is the one and only king of fluffiness – and as you bite into it, the gentle sweetness of raw chocolate will take you to dessert heaven.

Product: Choco Muffin (left)
Price: 138 yen (tax included)
Sold at: 7-Eleven stores all around Japan (except in certain areas)

Product: Baked Ring (middle)
Price: 138 yen (tax included)
Sold at: 7-Eleven stores all around Japan (except in certain areas)

Product: Agepoyo with Raw Chocolate (right)
Price: 100 yen (tax included)
Sold at: 7-Eleven stores all around Japan (except in certain areas)

■ Ministop

Indulge in the Deep Flavor of Belgian Chocolate

Indulge in the Deep Flavor of Belgian Chocolate

Our next konbini sweets highlight can be found at Ministop and is on sale from the 18th of November – meet the Belgian Chocolate Bun! There’s no better way to fight the winter cold than enjoying this dessert bun with a nice cup of hot coffee. While the outside is a fluffy dough, the inside of the bun is filled with soft Belgian chocolate that’ll melt on your tongue from the first bite. On the top of the bun sits a little piece of orange peel that, with its subtle bitterness, goes just perfect with the creamy sweetness of the chocolate itself.

Product: Belgian Chocolate Bun
Price: 108 yen (tax included)
Sold at: Ministop stores all around Japan (2,230 as of October 2016)

Feasting on Desserts, the Healthy Way: Low-Sugar Sweets!

Feasting on Desserts, the Healthy Way: Low-Sugar Sweets!

Both from the 8th (Tue) and the 15th (Tue), sweets with less than 10g sugar per serving are being sold at Ministop for two consecutive weeks. They offer a delicious treat for both health-conscious eaters as well as to those trying to lose a pound or two! The low-carb sweets are clearly labeled, so there’s no excuse not to try them!

Product: Delicious Carb Control - Coffee Tiramisu, Berry Rare Cheese (top)
Price: 200 yen (tax included)
Sold at: Ministop stores in Kanto, Tokai, Kinki, Shikoku, and Kyushu from the 8th of November.

Product: Delicious Carb Control - Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake (bottom)
Price: 150 yen (tax included)
Sold at: Ministop stores in Kanto, Tokai, Kinki, Shikoku, and Kyushu from the 15th of November (16th for Tokai).

This Winter’s Hottest Hit: Premium Sweet Potato Soft Ice Cream

This Winter’s Hottest Hit: Premium Sweet Potato Soft Ice Cream

The next konbini delicacy we want to introduce actually started to be sold at the end of October – and became an instant success! The Ministop Premium Sweet Potato Soft Ice Cream is being sold per second, making an astonishing one million sales over the span of ten days.

The soft ice cream topped with a delicious sauce and caramel was created to resemble a sweet potato, hence the name of the delicacy. Having become such a massive hit in the dessert world, this is a definite must-try of this season!

■ FamilyMart

Donut Reborn: Doughy Deliciousness at FamilyMart!

Donut Reborn: Doughy Deliciousness at FamilyMart!

The konbini chain FamilyMart revamped its entire classic “FamiMa Cafédonut” series and released its shiny new donut sensations on November 15th (Tue).

From the French cruller with custard and whipped cream to the creative “Twisted Sandwich Donut,” these doughy delights are sure to sweeten your cold winter days.

Another highlight of this all-new series is the donut hole, filled with strawberry chocolate, and the brown sugar donuts – there’s much more to discover besides the standard ring donut!

Product: French Cruller (custard & whipped cream)
Price: 128 yen (tax included)
Sold at: FamilyMart stores throughout Japan (except Okinawa)

Product: Twisted Sandwich Donut (custard & whipped cream)
Price: 120 yen (tax included)
Sold at: FamilyMart stores throughout Japan (except Okinawa)

Product: Almond & Chocolate Donut
Price: 138 yen (tax included)
Sold at: FamilyMart stores throughout Japan (except Okinawa and Hokkaido)

Product: Twisted Sandwich Donut
Price: 120 yen (tax included)
Sold at: FamilyMart stores throughout Japan (except Okinawa and Hokkaido)

Product: Donut Hole (Strawberry Chocolate)
Price: 138 yen (tax included)
Sold at: FamilyMart stores throughout Japan (except Okinawa)

Product: Donut Hole (Strawberry Chocolate)
Price: 120 yen (tax included)
Sold at: FamilyMart stores throughout Japan (except Okinawa)

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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