Until last week, Krispy Kreme was selling its doughnuts in a makeshift store in front of the Shibuya Mark City Starbucks. Not far from this spot is a larger, actual Krispy Kreme store. Perhaps Krispy Kreme was selling doughnuts in front the Starbucks to entice customers to pick up some as “gifts” to take home. From today, another shop called “Zen Doughnuts” is now selling doughnuts made without oil. Although we don’t know much about Zen, we were surprised at how quickly this makeshift store changed from the high-calorie Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the healthy Zen ones. We wondered what kinds of customers stopped to buy the doughnuts. Was there a difference in customer for the two? Was Zen trying to take on Krispy Kreme? If the next seller to use this store space is also a doughnut shop, does it mean that this space is somehow a good match for doughnuts? Maybe it’s because Starbucks is selling coffee, the perfect match for doughnuts, right in front of this space?
There are certainly many differences between Krispy Kreme and Zen other than the way they make their doughnuts. The packaging is also different–Krispy Kreme places its freshly made doughnuts into a bag or box and Zen wraps its doughnuts one by one. Zen doughnuts are also sold on the internet (through the Japanese shopping site, Rakuten) and are a good fit with Japan’s gift culture of wrapping everything individually.
It’s interesting to see Western things “transformed” in Japan. Even in the same city and the same place, seeing these transformations is a valuable experience.