Convenience store king 7-Eleven
Onigiri are popular at convenience stores in Japan because they are a healthy, portable snack that is very affordable at about $1 a pop. Will it sell in the U.S.? 7-Eleven thinks that by going with fillings more attractive to the American palate -- pulled pork, anyone? -- it will work. I say why not? With a trial run there's little to lose and potentially much to gain as international food further differentiates 7-Eleven from regional competitors, such as Casey's General Stores
This isn't 7-Eleven's first foray into international convenience snacks. Back in February, the company rolled out sore-throat soothing mentholated gum, which is widely available abroad.
What else might the company bring over? With a few years of working overseas, I consider myself an international connoisseur of convenience store food, and I have a few suggestions that can help to further differentiate 7-Eleven from the pack.
First up, beverages that taste good and are good for you -- without calories. In Japan, Coca-Cola
How can 7-Eleven give fast-food operators McDonald's
Last on the list is a type of candy I wish Hershey
I'll be watching and waiting to see if 7-Eleven decides to implement any of my suggestions. Until then, your stomachs (and mine) will just have to growl.
Share your own ideas about what 7-Eleven should consider introducing into its stores on the 7-Eleven discussion board.
Fool contributor Nathan Parmelee owns shares in 7-Eleven and thinks karaage is oishii (delicious). He does not own shares in any of the other companies mentioned.