Lawson launches premium onigiri rice balls

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Two types of onigiri rice ball made with the Fukkurinko variety of rice are seen Monday in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

Lawson, Inc. launched in this month a campaign of selling onigiri rice balls made with brand-name rice sourced from various regions. The company aims to raise awareness of local rice brands and increase onigiri sales by 30%.

In the “Nippon Okomeguri” campaign, using high-end rice brands — Fukkurinko and Yumepirika from Hokkaido, Yamagata Prefecture’s Yukiwakamaru, Hyakumangoku from Ishikawa Prefecture, Toyama Prefecture’s Fufufu and Fukui Prefecture’s Ichihomare —, the company will alternate rice every two months from July to May. The onigiri will be sold at about 14,000 outlets across the country.

In the first batch starting Tuesday, two kinds of onigiri using Fukkurinko are available — a simple salt-based version, at ¥108 including tax, and one made with grilled salmon mixed with shiso leaves and miso paste at ¥160 including tax.

This is the first time Lawson has launched a premium onigiri to its nationwide stores. The company has previously sold premium onigiri exclusively at outlets in the areas close to the source of the rice brands.