Lotte’s new advertising campaign for its range of gum products takes inspiration from ikemen “cool guys” often featured in anime and otome dating sim games. The company has released their new “Gum Boyfriend” advert debuting five guys, each with their own different personalities and quirks corresponding to one of Lotte’s brands of refreshing gum. But which chewy bad boy is your favorite?
2 days ago
With such a wide range of delicious and delectable (and, erm, shall we say unusual) snack foods available in Japan, it’s a little hard to understand when people get whipped up into a frenzy over plainer options, such as toast and bread crusts fried with sugar. Now, twitter users in Japan are getting their tastebuds in a twist over the confusingly-named “English Toast”, a sweet snacklet that first became popular in Aomori prefecture and has now expanded into a whole range of conbini sandwiches. But what on earth is it?
4 days ago
Japan is a crowded country, and that goes for just about everything. Even store shelves are crowded. Most people do their shopping on foot, which means supermarkets and convenience stores tend to be on the small size, and shelf space is always at a premium.
As such, companies have to do something to make their products stand out. This is why so many Japanese beverages and snack foods have seasonal flavors that are only available for a limited time. Of course, taste engineers in Japan can only come up with so many normal flavors, and when they run out, the only thing to do is go on to the abnormal flavors.
Nov 14, 2014
It’s amazingly easy to find good food in Japan, which is largely due to how hard many food industry professionals work when choosing ingredients are and preparing their dishes. Every now and then, though, the country stumbles across some new delectable that, by any logical standard, has no right tasting as good as it does while being so quick and simple to make.
For example, this week Japan discovered a delicious cheese snack with just one ingredient that you could be enjoying in literally two minutes.
Nov 14, 2014
There are a number of upsides to Sailor Moon Crystal, the recent reboot of the smash hit anime from the 1990s. Aside from benefitting from 20 years of advancement in animation technology and technique, the franchise’s proven record of success means that Crystal has a higher budget and sticks closer to creator Naoko Takeuchi’s manga than the previous adaptation did.
Still, a reboot is a reboot, and if you’ve already watched all 200 episodes of the original Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon Super S, and Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, then you’ve got a pretty big head start on many of the places Crystal’s plot is going. So if you’re the kind of person who snacks when you get bored, maybe some Sailor Moon tortilla chips will help you pass the time.
Nov 13, 2014
The vagaries of reading in Japanese mean that often the same text or numbers can be said a variety of ways. For example, some of the many readings for 2 and 9 and “ni” and “ku,” which combine to form niku, the Japanese word for “meat,” which is how November 29 became known in some circles as Meat Day. Going from the carnivorous to the carnal, 8 can be read as “hai,” making both November 28 and February 8 observed as Knee-High Socks Days.
Sometimes, though, you don’t need pun-filled pronunciations for an excuse to start a pseudo-holiday. Writing November 11 all in numerals gets you 11-11, and all those vertical lines look to some like a handful of enticing Pocky sticks. And so, this week Japan celebrated Pocky Day by not only devouring boxes of the stuff, but by turning the chocolate-covered treats into works of physical and photographic art.
Just like how everyone gets excited about superhero crossover projects, two different companies combining forces is a sure way to get junk food fans in Japan fired up. We’ve seen this before with Kentucky Fried Chicken potato chips, and now spud lovers have a new flavor many people are used to getting amped by: coffee.
Since we’re always ready to add to our extensive resume of potato chip sampling, we picked up a bag to try some for ourselves, and they turned out to be even more surprising than we’d imagined.
Nov 6, 2014
The idea of the “lifehack” – at least as far as the Internet knows it – has been around long enough that we’ve long since progressed from wide-eyed, childlike wonderment at the simple genius of saving a bagel in a CD spindle, to dubiousness and bafflement at the increasingly complex and hit-or-miss lifehacks folks are tossing out these days.
So, forgive us for still being on the fence about how we feel towards this next lifehack: Behold, the “Baby Wipe Lid Chip Saver.”
It’s hard to think of a more Japanese condiment than wasabi, but even among diners born and raised in Japan, you can find people who order their sushi wasabi nuki, or without wasabi. We can see why, since not everyone who loves the flavor of raw fish also enjoys the sensation of simultaneously having their sinuses cleared and their tongue set on fire.
What’s a little harder to understand, though, is why the makers of wasabi-beef flavored potato chips have decided to offer a wasabi-free version of their salty snacks.
Oct 27, 2014
Already home to a plethora of weird and wonderful snacks, a new contender appears to have hit the Japanese market.
Usually, snack makers like to lure in young and old with fanciful cartoon mascots and promises of salt and/or sugar-based delights. But food producer UHA appears to have taken a totally different route with their Kinoko No Manma, which loosely translates as “mushrooms as they are”, but a slightly more fitting interpretation might be “I Can’t Believe They’re Not Mushrooms!” As the snack’s name implies, its main selling point is that the things inside the bag look exactly like freshly picked mushrooms, but in fact they aren’t…
Or are they? It’s exactly that confusion, and the snack’s rarity, that’s causing many online to wonder: “What do these things taste like and how can we get them?”
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
Oct 26, 2014
Once upon a time in Bangkok, there was a magical moving emporium that only opened its doors to a lucky few. Inside, those who were permitted to enter could feast on every kind of sweet treat imaginable, and when they stepped out of this cave of wonders, they found themselves in a completely different place.
You might think this to be a fairy tale or the stuff of urban legend, but Thai native Kittiphun Khongawatkiat was lucky enough to chance upon this amazing taxi filled to the brim with snacks and candies and took some snaps to prove its existence.
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Japanese language here at RocketNews24, but that’s not to say we don’t have any issues with it. For example, Japanese doesn’t really have a good equivalent for “food coma.”
We can understand certain words that are tied up in cultural or historical context not existing in other languages, but the absence of food coma in Japanese seems like a pretty big oversight. After all, everyone occasionally zones out after a really satisfying meal, whether your native language is English or Japanese…or if you happen to be a parakeet.
Earlier this month, we found out that the city of Mino, in Osaka, has been selling tempura maple leaves for at least a hundred years. Since we’ve made it our mission in life to eat everything that can be deep-fried (barring non-food items like deep-fried scissors), we immediately called Hisakuni Kosendo, one Mino’s maple-cooking outfits, and ordered a pack to try for ourselves.
It’s the middle of August, and while the days we’ve been having recently aren’t quite as face-meltingly hot as those a couple of weeks ago, it is nevertheless still pretty toasty out there. Thankfully, just like when suffering with a cold or sore throat, the summer heat does afford us one very tasty luxury: a genuine excuse to gorge on delicious ice cream!
If you’re feeling the heat this summer, or are just curious about some of Japan’s go-to ice cream treats, join us after the jump for a special video featuring five of our frozen favourites.
Jun 22, 2014
Do you often find your purse, backpack, attaché case is crammed with sugary snacks to help you through your day? If so you may want to follow these girls’ example and have your snacks become the bag.
May 24, 2014
Earlier this week, netizens in Japan started going nuts about a new range of popcorn on sale at 7-Eleven. Unlike in some countries, 7-Eleven Japan takes great pride in regularly launching new, limited-edition snacks, and more often than not they’re surprisingly tasty. The response its latest product garnered, however, was ludicrously enthusiastic.
When netizens got wind of the “amazingly delicious” new caramel and (curiously) cheddar cheese flavoured popcorn on sale at their local Sebun, people apparently started bulk-buying, resulting hundreds of tweets going out bemoaning a lack of stock and pestering 7-Eleven – who then added fuel to the fire by acknowledging that the snack was indeed hard to come by – and demanding to know where they could get it.
Curious to find out what all the fuss was about, we procured a couple of bags and sat down to conduct a little taste test. I can tell you right off the bat, though, that the super-amazing mecha-delicious popcorn pretty much everyone in Japan – including our own Japanese staff – is raving about really isn’t worth all the hype.
Apr 15, 2014
The snack aisle of Japan’s convenience stores is a fiercely competitive marketplace, and just about every week sees the release of some new flavor of candy or potato chip trying to steal the spotlight from its rivals. But while many of these pretenders to the throne of snack foods are only on sale for a few months or even weeks, the spicy potato rings called Bokun Habanero have been on sale without hiatus for over a decade.
Still, you have to keep evolving in order to stay ahead, and next month will see the release of a new Bokun Habanero that’s 10 times hotter than the normal version.
Mar 29, 2014
A week ago, we brought you news of how snack maker Calbee is pushing the potato chip with its gourmet, triple-thick slices of fried spuds. Potato chips are only one half of Calbee’s pincer attack on your salt-receptor taste buds, though, as the company also produces the phenomenally popular line of shrimp chips called kappa ebisen.
The extremely competitive nature of the Japanese junk food industry means that you have to keep innovating though, and sometimes in the process of pushing through existing boundaries, you end up in strange new places, which explains why Calbee is now selling shrimp chips covered with strawberry chocolate.
Who hasn’t had a daydream about being the best in the world at something? Unfortunately, most of us have already missed our chance to set the Guinness World Record for youngest professional drummer, yet are still a couple decades away for breaking the mark for oldest competing gymnast.
Thankfully, there are accomplishments that aren’t age sensitive, such as the world record for longest relay of people feeding each other, which is exactly what a group of teamwork-minded snack food enthusiasts got together to attempt in Tokyo.
Mar 20, 2014
If you asked people to pick the most innovative Japanese company, most of the responses you’d get would probably be from the automobile and consumer electronics industries. Toyota and Honda are responsible for some of the biggest strides in production techniques and robotics. Nintendo and Sony revolutionized digital entertainment through their game systems and portable music players.
Our vote, though, just might go to snack maker Calbee, for the way the company is constantly pushing the potato chip envelope. In the past, they’ve brought us both fresh-fried and Kentucky Fried Chicken flavor versions, and now they’re set to expand the medium even further with triple-thick, gift-quality gourmet potato chips.
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