Conbini Monday – Week 2

img_2260It’s a bit quieter this week with Golden Week being in full swing. I didn’t have to line up today at the convenience store which is unusual. The store is located under a juku (cram school) for kids and they are always buying snacks and things.

This week I wanted to take a look at the new sports vegetable (野菜) drink made by Asahi and Kagome. It is called spo-vege (スポベジ), for the combination of sports and vegetable. It was released for sale on April 7th and was recently featured in TRENDY Magazine as shown below.

photo taken from TRENDY magazine, May 2009 edition
photo taken from TRENDY magazine May 2009 edition

Recently a number of new products have been created by 2 manufacturers combining forces. In the search for new and different products to gain market share this joining of forces is an interesting approach.

The drink tasted pretty good and didn’t have the normal thick feel of a vegetable drink. It did taste more like a sports drink than vegetable.

Asahi and KAGOME join forces to make Spo-Vege
Asahi and KAGOME join forces to make Spo Vege
As is normal in Japan a nice easy way to peal the label off to separate for rubbish
As is normal in Japan a nice easy way to peal the label off to separate for rubbish
the label coming off cleanly
the label coming off cleanly
Now I can throw away the wrapper (burnable) separate to the bottle (non-burnable)
Now I can throw away the wrapper burnable separate to the bottle non burnable

Separating rubbish is a big thing in Japan, particularly if you live in a mansion building (condominium) where the manager (管理人さん) is probably going to tell you off if you don’t get it right. I actually have to separate the bottle top as well in a different rubbish pile.

Here is a typical sign for rubbish collection showing the different days for putting out burnable and non-burnable rubbish.


Spo-Vege is still new but it looks like it could be succesful against other sports drinks like Pocari Sweat, Dakara, Amino supli, Aquarius etc.


See you next Combini Monday for a look at more treats !


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  • I've never had a vegetable drink before. Looks pretty good (although I'm not a fan of sports drinks).

    Question: I read スポベジ as, Spo-bege, In context does ベ become "ve" sound or would you still pronounce it as "be" (I know there isn't a character for "ve", so I guess "be" is synonymous with "ve"?)

    • the "ve" is really being taken to a べ since it is the closest sounding thing. If you had a Japanese product that had a べ in it then normally in English we would translate to "be", but since we know this word came from "ve" in the first place you have to bring it back to the original.

      The translation of foreign words into katakana is sometimes done on pronunciation and sometimes done on spelling of the original word.

  • Now I'm really curious as to what that "Jake pudding" or whatever it is in the background of the first picture. Care to indulge?

    • Well spotted ! The Jake Pudding is a "caramel pudding drink". I will organize a quick write up about it this week. Check back in and I will give you all the details including the taste test. :p

  • The posters for this drink were draped all over Shibuya station a few weeks back and I wondered what it was like.
    I wanted to make up a good advertising slogan , something along the lines of the "Kick the Carrot, and Punch the Pepper: drink Spo -Vege."

    I got lucky, they were handing out free samples of the stuff in Ebisu station a few weeks ago.
    I tried it and was very glad I had not paid for it. Not a very pleasant taste IMHO. Lets see how long it remains in the shops shall we.

    • The free samples are always good value aren't they? nice work. I didn't mind the taste, but I am used to drinking Dakara and Pocari so it wasn't very different either.

      I must have been sleeping when those ads went up at the station. I can't remember seeing them.

  • looks pretty damn good and I imagine it tastes much better than the power-aid stuff available here in europe