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These online shoppers are unfazed by a 43-year delivery wait

We’re spoiled when it comes to food delivery these days. With just a few taps on a meal app or a grocery store website, your order will be at your door quicker than it takes to fully deal with the drool running down your chin in expectation of what’s on its way. So, it’s remarkable to learn that folks in Japan placing an order for croquettes made with top-grade Kobe beef are willing to wait around 43 years for their order to arrive.

It’s not a joke. The highly regarded deep-fried beef and potato dumpling from a family-run butcher’s shop in Hyogo Prefecture is so popular that orders placed now may not arrive until 2067.

It means that, for example, anyone currently aged 30 who orders the shop’s popular “Extreme Croquette” today might not actually get to taste it until they’re 73. Oh, and anyone placing an order at the current time should also know that there are at least 63,000 people ahead of them in the line.

Japanese news outlet Mainichi Shimbun reported on the astonishing wait time a few days ago, but at that point, it was a marginally more acceptable 38 years. It seems like the publicity led to a rush of new orders. CNN also reported on it two years ago at a time when customers were being told that they’d have to wait a mere 30 years for delivery.

Those receiving their order just recently have been patiently waiting for about 10 years, according to Mainichi.

While the shop, called Asahiya, has been in business since 1926, it’s only been offering its specially made Extreme Croquette since 1999 — and it can only be ordered online.

Asahiya stopped selling its sought-after snack in 2016 when the wait time hit an already ridiculous 14 years, but a flood of requests from would-be customers pleading for it to carry on persuaded the shop to do just that. And since then, the delivery time has gradually crept up.

Shipped frozen and in packs of five, each croquette is currently priced at 540 Japanese yen (about $3.70) and contains around 1.06 ounces (30 grams) of highly prized Kobe beef. It’s worth noting that it only delivers to addresses in Japan. After all, imagine the wait time if its customer base was global.

Whether it’s a tasty food item or a piece of tech gear, or anything else for that matter, an absurdly long wait time for an online order can present all kinds of problems. Firstly, you might lose interest in it and decide you don’t want it anymore; secondly, you might forget what it was you ordered; and thirdly, you might be dead by the time it goes out for delivery.

Sensibly, the shop in Japan calls customers shortly before shipping to confirm the delivery address and, more importantly, to make sure they’re still alive.

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Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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