Archive for June 27, 2007

We Love Candy!

Last week, England’s most famous chocolate maker, Cadbury, announced a bid for a majority stake in cough drop maker Sansei Foods Co. Apparently, sales for the Japanese company – producer of Xylichrystal Mint candy – have dropped in the past year amid stiff competition.


Candy, candy, candy. It ranks high among the things I love to hoard whenever I’m in Japan. And with so many choices out there – from mouth-puckering lemon drops to soda-fizzing gum – it’s easy to see why manufacturers are constantly racking their brains for the next new thing. It’s competing among Willy Wonka clones.

Though it’s not taste alone that gets the product sold. My favorite candies come in bright shiny packages printed with animated characters and glittery writing. Freebies are a big plus, too. Remember how exciting it was to dig into a box of Cracker Jacks? With Japanese candy you might find a sheet of stickers or a little charm that high school girls love attaching to their school bag.

Some candies even turn into collector’s items. A few years back, young girls everywhere were snatching up packs of a mint candy called Pinky. Tiny tablets the size of baby aspirin, a select few carried a heart-shaped insignia that bestowed good fortune onto whoever came across it. I was even having friends in Japan to send me packs of Pinky, though of course it’s like searching for that rare golden ticket that only money or good karma could really afford.

Japanese candy has developed such a reputation that it’s spurred fans in the U.S. to dedicate online sites on the industry. Candy Blog describes and rates each product. Another fan site has a Flash-designed slideshow displaying an array of curious oddities like hamburger-shaped chocolates and gummies with smiley-face apples.

With Cadbury possibly expanding their presence – they currently sell Mentos and Clorets – in Japan it’ll be interesting to see what flashy new products come about. After all, when it comes to Japanese sweets, it’s all about the eye candy. \(^_^)/


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June 27, 2007 at 5:28 pm 14 comments

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June 2007


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