To a future where we can eat all the onigiri we want and save the environment.

In terms of large scale convenience store chains in Japan, Family Mart is one of the most well-known with over 17,000 stores operating nationwide, and soon the company is to celebrate its 40th anniversary in September 2021. To commemorate this milestone, the convenience store chain is jumpstarting a “40 Good Things” campaign and one of the items included is a new lineup of musubi (rice balls) wrapped in environmentally sustainable packaging.

This isn’t the first time a convenience store chain has shifted to using sustainable packaging for delicious musubi—both 7-11 and Lawson have also transitioned in their own way, whether it’s primarily sourcing plastic made from plant-based oils or adjusting the product design to use less plastic. However, what makes Family Mart’s transition special is that the shift to eco-friendly musubi packaging is part of the convenience store’s larger “Family Mart ecoVision 2050” plan, in which the company hopes to greatly reduce their food waste and carbon footprint by 2050. Furthermore, Family Mart is debuting its new packaging with four distinct and tasty rice balls.

For these musubi, some of the fillings are immediately recognizable, especially to folks who regularly eat or have eaten rice balls. The first two of the four are the “Salmon Musubi” and the “Japanese Mayo Tuna Musubi,” and the former is a quintessential filling for musubi while the latter has rice cooked in umami-filled dashi, or fish stock.

▼ Salmon Musubi at 128 yen (US$1.17)

▼ Japanese Mayo Tuna Musubi (118 yen)

Other fillings include “Tori Gomoku,” or a savory medley of chicken meat, burdock root, carrot, shiitake mushroom, and chicken oil and “Mentaiko Mayonnaise,” which combines the fishy goodness of pollock roe and Japanese-style mayonnaise into one satisfying meal.

▼ Tori Gomoku Musubi (124 yen)

▼ Mentaiko Mayo Musbi (128 yen)

All in all, with this new lineup of musubi, we get environmentally friendly packaging and scrumptious rice balls. Just with this simple transition to eco-friendly packaging for its musubi, Family Mart estimates the move will help in cutting its annual plastic use by 70 tons, no doubt a sizable but necessary goal given how the effects of climate change have only been growing in severity. 

Reference: 7-Eleven, Lawson
Source, images: PR Times

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