Quirky finds at Taiwan convenience stores

By Catherine Ling - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012

A salad that might anger some women, snack chips made from jelly, and esoteric medicinal wines – just some items you can get readily at all hours in Taiwan. Pre-packaged convenience heaven rules in Taiwan, where there are more flavours for soy milk and tea than you can shake a stick at. Are those juices and flaxseed crackers really organic from a 7-Eleven? You’ll be surprised. The network of convenience stores in Taiwan is so large, they actually wield immense power as a distributor.


Black fungus made into juice is funky enough, but this one’s organic to boot.


Five-spice konnyaku chips – will these be crunchy or chewy? Perhaps both!


Feminists might baulk at this somewhat sexist labelling, but perhaps this salad contains nutrients specifically beneficial to women.


No self-respecting Taiwanese convenience store would be without


For anyone who has ever thought Vitagen’s or Yakult’s serving was tiny…


Fancy a Proker?


Dietary fiber is sold as a beauty product.


Various medicinal wines featuring deer antler, ginseng and essence of bamboo leaves.


In addition to instant noodles in cups as big as buckets, they also have fresh noodles in supersized portions. This half-catty (300g) bowl of sesame cold noodles is appropriately for King Kong appetites.


Oligo-collagen marshmallows giving you 950mg of precious collagen in a yoghurt-flavoured centre.


Yes, the Taiwanese love rice, but even in coffee?


Japanese-style oden – so many varieties floating in tasty hot broth. So good on cold days.


Soy milk is obviously huge here, and they have so many flavours and variants here.


Finally, this is where you can get your xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) fix 24 hours a day.


Many of the stores also feature dining areas for people to sit and enjoy the wide variety of convenience food. Some even have cafe style al-fresco seating.


That’s not all. Convenience stores also offer photocopying, fax, laundry, photo development, telephony, bill payment, money withdrawal, train ticket booking and postal services. You can even courier goods, or collect items ordered online. Many outlets also sell video games, DVDs, books, magazines, and clothing. These 24-hour stores truly embody the meaning of convenience.