Saturday, September 20, 2008

The novelty factor...

One thing that's definitely better in Japan than in Canada is Baskin Robbins (also known as "31 Ice" here). They not only have the standard ice cream, shakes and floats, but they also have crepes and fabulous looking sundaes!

But for me, the best thing is the variety they offer. Every month they have at least two or three "new" seasonal flavours. This month, for example, they added Darjeeling Tea, Ringo (apple) Sorbet, Tiramisu and Baseball Park (a nutty flavour). And of course, to keep the number of flavours constant, they also have flavours discontinued every month, so the seasonal flavours are only available for about 2-3 months.

They're also smart about their advertising for new flavours. They have pamphlets (Ice Cream Flavor Menus) showing all the flavours to be released and discontinued over a period of three months, as well as all the standard flavours. And the strategy of appealing to people's love of novelty seems to work: everytime I go by the Baskin Robbins, I always see at least one or two (if not more!) people buying ice cream--all year round!

At any rate, I know the marketing strategy works on me. It's actually a wonder that I've managed to lose weight since moving to Japan, considering that I buy ice cream from Baskin Robbins at least once or twice a month--I've even gone as often as four or five times a month!--and I almost always get one of the seasonal flavours. This may change now that I've been here for a year and I'm starting to see repeats of flavours from last year, but still, there's usually at least one flavour that's completely new to me. I've also got a collection of all the Flavor Menus that have come out since I came to Japan--with the flavours I've tasted checked off. =P

When I finally move back to Canada, I'm definitely going to miss Japanese Baskin Robbins! (But it'll probably be better for my health. ^_~)