Unless you’re way out in the inaka, you can never be too far away from a convenience store in Japan. Selling everything, from freshly made onigiri rice balls to button-up shirts for the occasional businessman (or woman), as well as providing services like paying bills or storing mail and packages, Japanese convenience stores, better known by the abbreviation ‘konbini’, are an essential part of everyday life in Japan.

When it comes down to which konbini to drop by, you are also spoilt for choices; there is Circle K, Daily Yamazaki, Ministop, Poplar, Seicomart, FamilyMart, Lawson and 7-Eleven. Amongst them all, the last three listed are arguably the most popular and well known, with a combined number of stores of well over 50,000 spread throughout the country. These days, all three brands are well-associated with Japan, but take a look back through history and you’ll find only one of the stores originated here – FamilyMart.

The first FamilyMart store opened up as a local convenience store in Saitama Prefecture’s Sayama city back in 1973, but it wasn’t until 1981 that it was incorporated as a business. It’s been 40 years since then, and in that time FamilyMart has opened up 16,642 stores in Japan, and a further 8,320 stores overseas.

In honour of hitting their 40th anniversary milestone, FamilyMart is holding the celebration campaign ‘40 Good Things 40 Good Things’. During the campaign, FamilyMart is focusing on improving their store lineup by incorporating five key phrases; ‘More Delicious’, ‘More Affordable’, ‘More Satisfying’, ‘More Environmentally Friendly’ and ‘More Hardworking’.

One such FamilyMart item that has been redeveloped under the key phrase ‘More Delicious’, is the konbini’s ‘Chocolate Frappe’.

FamilyMart has been offering Chocolate Frappe on their FAMIMA CAFE menu since 2014, but this time, the drink has been completely revamped into a rich chocolate frappe under the supervision of gateau chocolat speciality store Ken’s Cafe Tokyo.

Though no actual gateau chocolat is used in the recipe, the smooth, melty texture of the ‘Rich chocolate frappe supervised by Ken's Cafe Tokyo’ is reminiscent of the cake, and will certainly bring any chocoholic to their knees.
The beverage owes its richness and depth to the blending of Ecuadorian and Ghanian cocoa powder, fermented butter, and egg yolk with finely crushed shaved ice.

The drink was released on the 18th of this month and is available to purchase from FamilyMart stores nationwide for 298 yen (tax included). Coincidentally, today (the 21st of September) is known as ‘Gateau Chocolat Day’ in Japan, and surely there is no better way to celebrate than with a drink resembling the smooth chocolatey goodness of Gateau Chocolat?

The drink also comes with its own additional individual campaign, where 40 lucky people will be chosen to win a QUO card.
To take part, participants must first follow FamilyMart’s official twitter account (@famima_now), before tweeting their impressions of the drink along with a photo and the hashtag #濃厚チョコレートフラッペ.

40 lucky winners will be chosen from a lottery, and will receive a QUO card loaded with 1,000 yen.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.