New machine in stores makes life very convenient. 

There’s a lot of competition between the top convenience store chains in Japan, which is great for us as that means we’re constantly being treated to exciting new products exclusive to each store.

The latest product to entice us is one from 7-Eleven, and though not a lot of people know about yet, it’s so awesome that we reckon it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a cult hit with customers. The reason why it’s managed to fly under the radar since its 1 March release date is because it’s located in the freezer section with the ice creams, which isn’t usually where we’d go to look for smoothies.

The stickers on the freezer cabinet do their best to draw attention to the smoothies inside, but curiously, they come with the message “お店で作る!” (“Omise de tsukuru!”), which means “Make them in store!”

The “Seven Cafe” notice on the stickers signifies that these smoothies belong to the Seven Cafe section, which includes beverages like hot coffees, served via machines near the front registers.

Having the smoothies so far away from the Seven Cafe section, in the freezer where customers wouldn’t naturally think to look for them, can make things confusing for first-timers. Especially when they don’t even look like smoothies when you pick them up — instead, they look like cups of frozen fruit.

▼ Banana

▼ Mango and Pineapple

You shouldn’t let the look of these frozen fruit-filled cups put you off, though, because once you’ve handed over 300 yen (US$2.35) for one of them, you get to transform it into a smoothie, using a pretty nifty machine near the registers.

Simply hold the barcode in front of the reader on the machine so it can scan the product and know which smoothie it will be making.

▼ Then peel off the lid and pop the cup on the tray inside

▼ Once you close the door, that’s when the magic begins…

The machine quickly whirs into action, gobbling up your cup and spinning it round and round…

▼ …and round and round some more.

After a few moments, your drink is ready, sliding out towards you like a character taking centre stage.

Once you’ve taken your freshly made smoothie out of the machine, you can add a lid and straw to the drink and be on your merry way.

How neat was that? We had no idea this machine existed, but now that we’ve used it once, we’d definitely be happy to use it again. The only thing left to do was taste the beverage to see if it was any better than the ready-made smoothies you can buy in the fridge section.

Here to do that is Go Hatori, who took a slurp, got a hit of super cold fruity goodness, and couldn’t stop slurping.

The banana smoothie was creamy and delicious, thanks to the soy milk that the machine added to it, and much, much fresher than a lot of smoothies he’s tried before. It was so good he was glad he bought the mango and pineapple one as well, so after polishing off the banana smoothie, he took a slurp of this one next.

▼ Mmmmmmm…

It was fantastic! It tasted so good that he took a look at the ingredients label to see what it contained. To Go’s surprise, there was way more than mango and pineapple here — there was carrot, passionfruit, and acerola in the mix as well.

The only criticism Go had was the price, which was slightly high for a smoothie, especially given its relatively small serving size. But if you don’t mind paying a bit more for a freshly made smoothie, then you’ll be more than happy with these drinks. In fact, you might even splurge on trying the other flavours in the lineup — Strawberry and Banana, Blueberry Yoghurt, and the Green Smoothie.

So next time you pop into 7-Eleven, don’t forget to pop by the freezer section for your favourite flavour and have a go at using the special machine. And if you’re lucky, you might even get to use one of the new “floating” hologram registers, which is another neat drawcard for 7-Eleven.

Images ©SoraNews24 
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