7-Elevens in Asia: the HQ of Snacks and Unique Services

By Money Times

Dec 02, 2015 09:37 AM EST

The Asian 7-Elevens cater to their specific demographic: what you find in Thailand's 7-Eleven you probably won't find in Singapore's.

Each country's 7-Eleven has a different variety of snacks and services that not only are unique to the area but also can sometimes create areas where people like to hang out. Mashable talked with food host Lynn Chen about 7-Elevens Taiwan.

"[They're] more like community hubs where people hang out, do Internet, pick up a quick packaged dinner and actually sit down and eat. They sell everything from underwear to Christmas ornaments (in June!) to asparagus juice."

Indonesia's 7-Elevens are a similar social destination as Taiwan's stores. Their stores are primarily frequented by those 30 and younger and with access to more disposable income, so they are looking for "affordable luxury" as called by Henri Honoris, president director of Modern Putra, owner of Indonesia's 7-Eleven franchises reported by New York Times.

He explains further, "People still like to talk about their lives, they like to gossip. Now we give them an alternative. It's a warung (street-side food stall) with better quality."

And while Taiwan's 7-Elevens also offer dry cleaning, Singapore's stores offer something only usually seen around Thanksgiving: mashed potatoes. Before you think that this isn't something special - KFC offers it - it's how they dispense the mashed potatoes that make it a 7-Eleven specialty, through a vending machine.

Maggi, the international seasoning, soup, and noodle brand is the manufacturer of the machine. What starts out as a liquid as its dispensed, the mashed potatoes eventually firm up. The machine also dispenses gravy, should you want it.

In Thailand, the snack to go for are the burgers made with sticky rice instead of burger buns. The fillings vary from fried chicken, soy fried pork, spicy minced meat and more. They also enjoy sausages that also have their own variety of fillings including bacon, some German varieties, and footlongs that are all served without a bun.

Khaotip Teesukha, a university student, explains Thais' obsession with 7-Eleven in an interview with Global Post saying, "If I'm in a hurry to avoid traffic, which is every day, I need food really fast. I just want something warm and filling."

Japan has onigri, a triangular rice and seaweed snack, and more varieties of Kit Kats than you realized including rum raisin, wasabi, and matcha. While South Korea has a large variety of honey flavored products like their honey cream cheese latte and honey potato sticks.

What was started by Joe Thompson as "Tote'm Stores" in Dallas, Texas in 1927 eventually became 7-Eleven in 1946. With 56,600 franchises worldwide, the store chain has become a global presence with its first Asian store in Taiwan in 1979. 

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