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Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate’

New Hokkaido Milk from Morinaga

New Hokkaido Milk from Morinaga


The new sweets keep coming from the local convenience store. Here are two I tried today. The Mickey/Minnie ones are Hokkaido Milk sweets and the strawberry ones are Cubyrop Gummy filled with collagen. I am not even going to try and guess where the word Cubyrop comes from, but the series seems to have a lot of different flavours available.

Strawberry Cubyrop Gummy from Bourbon

Strawberry Cubyrop Gummy from Bourbon

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img_0865-1I bought a pack of Yuzu Potato chips the other day to try something different. Yuzu is found in Japan although originally came from China. The taste is very similar to a mandarin and may even be a derivative of that fruit.

There are many varieties of potato chips to choose from in Japan and the Yuzu variety may not last long in the convenience store where new products tend to change out very quickly.

Convenience Stores becoming Market Research Stores
Convenience stores appear to be becoming a market research store rather than their original purpose of serving the basic foods conveniently. Every time I visit my local convenience store I see new products only to go back in the following week to see them gone.

Japanese Snack Reviews Blog
Back to the Yuzu story, the end result was the Yuzu potato chips were good. I was going to write more about this topic but found a great article at Japanese Snack Reviews which I thought summed up the whole experience.

If you like Yuzu, these chips are for you, although the convenience store may have already filled their spot with the next new product.

I also bought some Chocolate coated Sunflower seeds which I had not seen in Japan before. I don’t know a lot about these but they did taste good.

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You can’t go anywhere in Tokyo at this time of year without running into people buying Valentine Day Chocolates. They are everywhere. The economy might be taking a hit, but the chocolate manufacturers are certainly making the most of this Valentine season. Here are some quick shots of a few offerings to tide you over until the 14th.

Godiva Chocolates

Godiva Chocolates

These bag styled chocolates are cute!

These bag styled chocolates are cute!

Chocolate cookies

Chocolate cookies

The display cases are always well presented

The display cases are always well presented

and in Shibuya where I could not even see the chocolates for the crowd

and in Shibuya where I could not even see the chocolates for the crowd

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A towel made to look like a chocolate roll for Valentines Day

A towel made to look like a chocolate roll for Valentines Day

Of course most people love chocolate and in Japan the women generally give the chocolates to the men, but for those who want to join in the Valentine fun but just can’t have the chocolate here is the answer.

It looks like a Chocolate roll and has the name ミニロール バター Mini butter roll taste, but if you look closely you will see it is actually a rolled up towel!

I am a chocolate fan so i would be very disappointed to receive a towel for Valentines Day, but I am sure there are some people who might prefer the towel.

This year many guys are supposedly giving the girls chocolates for Valentines Day in what is becoming known as gyaku choco or reverse chocolate.
Here is my post discussing that.

Here is a very good look at what women are thinking in Japan around this Valentine Day period from WhatJapanThinks.com
http://whatjapanthinks.com/2009/02/06/what-to-expect-this-valentines-day-in-japan/

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Billboard for Chocolate Underground

Billboard for Chocolate Underground

The movie “Chocolate Underground” is set to open this Saturday (Jan 31) at the Shibuya Theater – Tsutaya.

Since Jan 16 the ads have been up in Shibuya promoting the animation movie which is an adaptation from the novel “Bootleg” by Alex Shearer, a British author. On the right is an advert showing at Shibuya crossing.

Story
“The story centers on two 13-year-old boys who live in a country that has banned chocolate and mandated fruits and vegetables for daily consumption. The boys discover a stash of cocoa and sugar and decide to run a bootleg chocolate factory, in complete defiance of the government run by the oppressive Good for You Party. Their misadventures eventually sparks a revolution in the country. The theatrical version will add 20 minutes of new footage and present the entire project in widescreen format. ” – Source: ANN

Preview
Yahoo Japan has a preview at:
http://streaming.yahoo.co.jp/p/t/00098/v04623/
The official site trailer is here:
http://www.choco-bar.jp/trailer/index.html

Alex Shearer in Japan
According to the official website for the production at http://www.choco-bar.jp/index/index.html Alex Shearer will be coming to Japan and giving an introduction on the first day of screening followed by a talkshow the next day. The dates are:

31st Jan at Shibuya Theatre – Tsutaya, movie starts at 10am, introduction for Alex Shearer at 11:30am following screening and then a second introduction at 12:25 followed by the second screening of the movie for that day.

1st Feb a talkshow between Alex Shearer and the translator Kanehara will be held from 6:30pm.

It looks like you may need to get reservation tickets if you want to attend the talkshow.

Photos
Here are some photoclips from the official site:
To see more go to http://www.choco-bar.jp/story/index.htmlchocolateunderground1

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Morinaga Gyaku-choco survey Jan 2009

Morinaga Gyaku-choco survey Jan 2009

Morinaga have decided in order to boost the sales of chocolates around the Valentine Day period, they are going to encourage men to start giving chocolate to women, rather than just having the women spending all the cash. They have launched a Gyaku-choco campaign for their chocolates and have produced a number of tv commercials already promoting it.

Survey
In a survey they conducted in January this year covering ages from 10 – 50 years, taking in 400 men and 400 women, they concluded the following:

1. That men think it would be ok to give chocolates to women on valentines day and that if the women threw in a quick “Choco, Hoshii-na!!” (チョコ、欲しいな~)then 90.8% of the men would give them chocolate. I am surprised they didn’t ask the men what else they might want to give the women as a follow up question.

2. 98.3% of the women said if they received chocolate from men they would be happy. 66.7% said they would feel the men were paying attention, 44.3% thought it would be great or fashionable (素敵).

3. When asked if they would think of the male giver of chocolate as someone of the opposite sex, i.e. view them as a male, 20% said yes and 57.5% said “probably, depending on the person”, which Morinaga use as their headline to say

“close to 80% of women would view men giving them chocolates as romantic.”

Statistics don’t lie, but Morinaga might be jumping to large conclusions on this one.

Gyaku-Choco (逆チョコ)
The exchange of Chocolate from Men to Women rather then Women to Men is being called Gyaku-Choco (逆チョコ). The survey suggests the name for a guy giving chocolate to a girl should be Chokomen (チョコメン) after the phrase Ikemen (イケメン).

Here are 3 chocolate products that Morinaga have brought out in their Gyaku-Choco series. Note the writing of the product name etc is backwards.

Morinaga's Gyaku-choco series

Morinaga's Gyaku-choco series (pix from Morinaga website)


What about White Day?
Back to the survey, here is the best part; while traditionally White Day was established to get the men to buy something in return for the women after they receive their chocolates on Valentines Day, the survey says 70% of the men think they should get something in return if they give chocolates and 90% of the women said they would consider giving something in return. The moral of the survey seems to be that you have to give to get.

For men giving to women, the average cost of chocolate to be given to a true love was surveyed at 1,672 Yen, whilst chocolate given to others was around 600 Yen. For women giving to men the figure was 1,714 Yen versus 542 Yen.

TV Commercial
Here is a video clip of the latest Morinaga CM for Valentines Day

Quick Poll
What do you think about the chocolate situation on Valentines Day?

I wrote a follow up piece on Valentines Day. Click here to read it.

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cacao-kome

cacao-kome

Ok, its not electrical and you cant hook it up to your computer via a USB port, but this is definately a great product just out in Japan. It’s a retake of the chocolate biscuit or cookie. Whereas most biscuits are made of wheat which an increasing number if people are finding they have an allergy to, this new Japanese chocolate biscuit is made from rice. The name cacao-kome is a combination of chocolate and rice.

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The biscuits or crackers are very very tasty. They can be bought in white and milk chocolate. I found them at the local convenience store but am sure they are available in supermarkets as well. Be warned, there are only about 12 crackers in the pack and they disappear fast!!

Their release date was 9th December 2008. I have tried to find some information in English on other sites but have not been able to find anything in Google.

If you are living in Japan and like your chocolate give it a go. You wont be sorry.

If you read Japanese here is the link to Meiji Chocolate’s site talking about this product.

http://www.meiji.co.jp/corp/news/2008/1127.html

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