We sometimes forget who is actually setting the pace in the consumer foodservice sector in many Asia Pacific countries. I recently reviewed some recent secondary data and was not surprised to find that convenience store chains were #1 in many markets.

Brands like 7-Eleven, Lawson and Family Mart has always been key competitors to fast food chains like McDonald’s, KFC and MOS Burger in Japan.  They have achieved clear leadership in terms of store counts with over 40,000 currently.

Convenience stores are also big players in markets like Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, and they are growing rapidly in markets like China.   They offer sushi, noodles, sandwiches, hot dumplings,  fried chicken, and gourmet coffee among others in addition to processed foods and the usual like magazines, ATM’s, copying machines, and overnight delivery services.

In Manila, Family Mart is adding tables allowing their customers to sit and enjoy their food on premise.  In Japan, you can find convenience stores that just focus on organic and natural foods.  The variety of items and formats is quite amazing.

Convenience store chains are clearly a threat to the continued growth of the QSR industry and they deserve respect.

Does your QSR chain have a convenience store strategy?

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