We all need convenience stores if we suddenly running out of battery during a wee hour or a sudden craving of ice-cream. Everyone loves a convenience store because it’s open 24 hours, 7 days a week and it has almost everything that we need. In fact, some convenience stores have atm machines such as 7-Eleven.
Now, Malaysian are blessed with another choice – a Japanese convenience shop, Family Mart. When Family Mart opened in Malaysia, it was a dream come true for every Malaysian who is obsessed with all things Japanese. The Japanese flagship convenient store is now conveniently just-down-the-road, so much that it has over 100 outlets in Klang Valley.
Why is Family Mart so popular among Malaysians and always full of people until late at night? What makes the convenience store so special compared to 7-Eleven? We found out that Family Mart knows how to win Malaysians hearts – with food obviously. Read on to know more:
1. One of the obvious is the sale of their matcha ice cream
Where else can you go to taste an authentic matcha ice cream? Definitely Family Mart. With the affordable price RM2.90, we don’t think you can get delicious matcha ice-cream anywhere else. Their signature matcha ice cream is their best-selling and one of the attractions that keep people coming back to the store.
Try to go to any Family Mart store late at night and you’ll see there is still plenty of people buying the ice-cream. We wonder how much do they get from selling ice-cream? Besides, Family Mart knows how to play with their ice cream menu. They will introduce a new ice-cream flavour once every few months. They have introduced cheesecake flavour, taro and on-going flavour sea salt. We are definitely looking forward to seeing the new flavour. It’s cheap and really good, this proved to be the most popular reason.
2. They have a full range of Japanese authentic food
The second most popular reason that makes people willing to queue for half an hour just to wait for the broth cooked is oden. Maybe you have heard of udon, so what is oden? Oden is a type of Japanese one-pot dishes consisting of several ingredients such as fishcakes, corn stewed in a soy-flavoured dashi broth or in Malaysia, Family Mart introduced tomyam soup to suit the local’s taste. Who can say no to that?
Once Family Mart stepped in M’sia, people hype their oden to the point people are willing to queue until late at night. Once you had a taste of it, surely it’ll become your go-to meal and even late-night craving. Many local stores starting to create oden as an additional menu since M’sians really love it but nothing can compare to Family Mart’s rich and tasty tomyam soup. Nyum!
3. Their presentation as a true japanese convenience store
Family Mart really deserves credit in their marketing strategy. Once you step in the store, you’ll be greeted with a true Japanese shop feel. All the shelves are neatly arranged. The pastry shelves are always stuffed with freshly-baked pastries and bread – everything is well presented.
Our top pick alley is their desserts. Strawberry and cream sandwiches are fresh and well presented, not to forget their parfait, onigiri and bento. Family Mart has some delicious options. If you notice, they will stock up the shelves with fresh food every night. That’s the best time for you to grab some late-night craving.
4. Affordable yet filling meals
A convenience shop is the best option if are in a hurry but need to grab something. But, most importantly the meals have to be affordable, that’s what a convenience store should be. Family Mart has quite a few options for onigiri, from teriyaki chicken, tuna, and even local taste such as rendang. They are cheap too.
For those who can’t afford to take one-hour lunch breaks, they can buy their bento set, let the cashier reheat in the microwave for a few minutes and you are set to dig in! All the bento set are fresh, and you can pair with a bowl of fresh salad. It is definitely a great option if you are in the process of saving some stash.
5. Besides their famous matcha ice-cream, they make full use of their matcha ingredient
Their strategy is very clear – promoting authentic Japanese food and with that, make full use of matcha ingredient. Family Mart really uses the full potential of their matcha powder. Their RM2.90 matcha ice-cream is not the only matcha-based food you can find. There is a full range of matcha food available in the store – ranging from matcha bread, matcha waffle ice-cream, matcha pudding, matcha snacks and more.
How is 7-Eleven catching up with the competition?
According to a news published by The Sun Daily in May 2016, 7-Eleven is unfazed by the entry of Japanese convenience store brand, Family Mart into Malaysia. The CEO said they welcome competition because it builds the perception of convenience.
The convenience store currently recorded 2,347 number of stores and growing while Family Mart has over 100 stores focusing in Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley. Well, we believe that M’sia needs more healthy competition and it somehow can drive them to stand out from their competitors in winning customers’ heart (key point: customer service).