Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
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Published on March 25, 2024
San Francisco Artist's Hoax 'Mayor Breed 7-Eleven Onigiri' Stirs Confusion and Intrigue Amongst 7-Eleven PatronsSource: X / @djbaskin

A peculiar stint involving Mayor London Breed's face plastered on Japanese onigiri snacks left San Francisco's 7-Eleven customers scratching their heads. The twist? The much-hyped collaboration between Mayor Breed and 7-Eleven was a hoax crafted by local performance artist Danielle Baskin, who took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to share her fictitious feat, which now comes with a nifty disclaimer from X noting, "This tweet is false. There is no partnership between the mayor and 7-11 and these onigiri are not being sold. The tweet author is a 'conceptual artist' who created the packaging and made up the backstory."

Images of onigiri packages featuring the Mayor's portrait went viral following Baskin's post that claimed the Mayor had "partnered with 7-Eleven on a new initiative to bring Japanese onigiri to convenience stores in San Francisco." The post garnered significant traction with fans of the international convenience store fare expressing their delight and confusion online, according to Eater SF. However, purely based on visiting two 7-Eleven locations, including the one at 221 Sansome St., neither Mayor Breed nor the chain ever sanctioned such an initiative.

Further investigation revealed the true origin of the social media post, with a spokesperson for Mayor Breed confirming to Eater SF that the Mayor's office had no knowledge of any such collaboration. Staff at both questioned 7-Eleven locations were also in the dark, as they had never stocked the quirky snack. Meanwhile, in a statement obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, 7-Eleven store manager Dharm Singh commented on the influx of disappointed customers inquiring about the nonexistent product.

Despite the misinformation, Baskin's odd promotional prank resonated with people's desires for accessible international snacks. The artist, known for her blend of humor and commentary in previous stunts, viewed the onigiri ruse as a demonstration of demand for a "perfect snack." Baskin expressed her belief that "if we all are excited, it will happen, it'll become reality," in her interview with Eater SF. Making the onigiri herself and using specialty packaging sourced from a recent trip to Japan, she orchestrated a hyper-realistic performance art piece that had San Franciscans itching for a taste.

In response to the stunt, the mayor's spokesperson, Jeff Cretan, while debunking any official association with 7-Eleven, recommended onigiri enthusiasts check out Onigilly, a local chain offering the snack. Cretan's statement, provided to the San Francisco Chronicle, expressed hopeful sentiments, suggesting that the artifice, albeit gullibly received by many online, did underscore a genuine appreciation for the Japanese culinary staple.