When FamilyMart opened in Malaysia, it was a dream come true for every Malaysian who is obsessed with all things Japanese. Malaysians flocked to the place, stocking up on Japanese foods and snacks they have waited so long to get their hands on. They rejoiced in the fact that a Japanese convenience store is now conveniently just-down-the-road; so much so that FamilyMart has over 20 outlets in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley now!
But why is FamilyMart so popular amongst Malaysians? It is only a convenience store, after all. We spoke to a few Malaysians to find out why they loved this place so much – they tell us why they really like going to FamilyMart compared to other stores:
- To get ice cream – sorry, sofuto – and Instagram it in front of the store
This proved to be the most popular reason!
If there’s one thing every Malaysian look forward to – besides 3-day weekends and year-end bonus – it’s FamilyMart’s new ice-cream flavour once every few months. “I don’t think you can get delicious matcha and cheesecake ice-cream anywhere else for only RM2.90. It’s cheap and really good, that’s why there’s always a loooong line at the ice-cream counter!” says Farouq.
Also, we all know the rule: pics or it didn’t happen.
2. Because it’s cooler to tell people you’re having ‘oden’ for lunch
Yeah, you can say you had sushi or udon, but those are so yesterday. Oden? Now that sounds way cooler. A bowl of tofu, boiled eggs, daikon, fish cakes stewed in delicious tomyum soup – who has the strength (or the audacity) to say no to that?
Oden is also convenient when there aren’t many options available, according to Joseph. “There isn’t much option where I work, but there’s a FamilyMart down the road. While my colleagues prefer driving out, I prefer to just pop into FamilyMart to get a bowl of oden and head back to the office. It’s easy and filling!”
3. Cos we all ‘need’ an Americano after lunch
“I mean, where else can you get a hot Americano for RM5.50? We all know Malaysians need their Americano after lunch!” says Anna, who is a self-proclaimed basic b*tch. I totally feel you girl – literally cannot function without a latte after lunch.
4. The sandwiches, especially the strawberry sando
Egg sandwiches, chicken slices, strawberry and cream – whatever your heart and stomach desires, FamilyMart has it. “There’s a very good reason why sandwiches are always 25% off during new store openings!” says Keesh. “I’m a simple guy, I love pastries and sandwiches – and FamilyMart has some delicious options. In fact, when I was in Osaka, I survived solely on FamilyMart sandwiches!” he said.
5. Because onigiri is cheap and yum!
“I love Onigiri because it’s simple, easy, and delicious! Because of the nature of my job, I can’t afford to take one hour lunch breaks, so I get my colleagues to buy me one to two onigiris and I’m set! It’s cheap too,” says Cassandra, the ultimate woman-on-the-go who thinks that lunch breaks are a luxury she can’t afford.
6. Because premium Japanese Tea
“Green tea is good for digestion and works great for my diet. The one in FamilyMart is also low in sugar, so I always get one whenever I can. I also love their packaging!” says Zoe, who claims she is absolutely obsessed with the Japanese culture. She also spends most of her time researching low-calories food and drinks for her intermittent diet.
7. “Just follow friend”
“I work in a mall, and there’s a FamilyMart here. Every time after lunch, my colleagues want to make a pit stop at FamilyMart. Sometimes we get ice-cream or coffee, sometimes we just look around and leave. I guess it’s comforting for some people to just be around Japanese products,” says Amy, who has only ever bought a turkey sandwich from the Japanese store. Well, I guess we all have that one friend who can’t walk past a FamilyMart without going in!