Convenience store king 7-Eleven (NYSE:SE) is on the innovation trail again. According to a recent Reuters article, 7-Eleven is working to bring the Japanese snack onigiri to the U.S. sometime in the next few years. For those who haven't had the pleasure, onigiri are rice balls that have a little treat inside. The filling varies, but some of the more common fillings are shrimp, plum, and chicken.

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 (NASDAQ:CASY).

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 (NYSE:KO) and KirinBrewery (NASDAQ:KNBWY) carry a number of tasty teas that are enhanced with vitamins and minerals. Love Body from Coca-Cola is my personal favorite. Continuing on the beverage theme -- this time with calories -- outside of the U.S., Coca-Cola's Orange Fanta is a completely different beverage. The international version is still carbonated, but tastes better and contains real fruit juice.

How can 7-Eleven give fast-food operators McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) a run for their money? Further enhance the menu of hot, ready-to-eat snacks by rolling out the Japanese version of chicken fingers called karaage. Karaage is a common item in Japanese convenience stores.

Last on the list is a type of candy I wish Hershey (NYSE:HSY) or Mars offered an equivalent of stateside. It's a European candy called wine-gums that is in just about every convenience shop. Wine-gums are made in England and the Netherlands, but the consensus among those who devour my personal inventory is that a Dutch company by the name of Redband makes the tastiest variety.

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.