snacks

Forget snack packs, South Korean school girls sporting full-on snack backpacks

Forget snack packs, South Korean school girls sporting full-on snack backpacks

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.

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We try the new 7-Eleven premium popcorn that everyone in Japan is going wild about

We try the new 7-Eleven premium popcorn that everyone in Japan is going wild about

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.

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New super spicy snack coming to Japan is fine for your stomach, but not for your eyes

New super spicy snack coming to Japan is fine for your stomach, but not for your eyes

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.

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Strawberry chocolate shrimp chips: For when you want sweets plus seafood and/or are pregnant

Strawberry chocolate shrimp chips: For when you want sweets plus seafood and/or are pregnant

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.

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252 Pocky lovers gather in Shibuya to set a world record 【Video】

252 Pocky lovers gather in Shibuya to set a world record 【Video】

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.

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Snack maker promises its extra-thick, extra-expensive potato chips are extra-delicious

Snack maker promises its extra-thick, extra-expensive potato chips are extra-delicious

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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Chocolate covered shrimp chips are back in Japan!

Chocolate covered shrimp chips are back in Japan!

We’ve seen our fair share of interesting and often downright weird snacks in Japan, from Mountain Dew poofs that actually fizz in your mouth to chocolatey dried squid. Now we’ve got one more for you: Chocolate covered shrimp chips. If you wrinkled your nose at the thought of crunchy shrimp snacks, you’ll double over at the sight of these sweet and savory snacks that smell of the sea.

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Mr. Sato shows us how a real man opens his snacks 【Video】

Mr. Sato shows us how a real man opens his snacks 【Video】

The intense competition in the Japanese snack food market means that every week some product is getting kicked off convenience store shelves to make room for another one. Somehow, though, the puffed corn snack umaibo has remained consistently popular for over 30 years.

Umaibo’s biggest fans are elementary school kids, and the tasty little cylinders were a major component of some of our writer’s childhood diets. Recently we came to the realization that it’s time for us to grow up, though. Not by giving up our umaibo, of course, but by learning to open our snacks like a man.

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Maker of new “Ninja Snack” promises chips that “move like a ninja”, vanish without a trace

Maker of new “Ninja Snack” promises chips that “move like a ninja”, vanish without a trace

Heads up, snack fans! Japan’s Tohato foods has just announced a new brand that will hit shelves later this month. Called “Ninja Snack Fuwamaru“, they’re purported to melt away like a ninja into the night. Hmmm…

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Foreign residents pick their favorite snacks to pair with Japanese beer

Foreign residents pick their favorite snacks to pair with Japanese beer

A few years ago, I was hanging out with a friend in Tokyo. Being recently married meant that for the first time in several years I was living in an apartment more spacious and comfortable than a bunker, and I invited my buddy back to my place for a beer.

I called my wife to give her a heads-up that I was bringing home a guest, and when we arrived, I was surprised to see she’d gone down the block to the store and picked up a selection of snacks for our impromptu drinking session. In hindsight, this really shouldn’t have been so unexpected, as beer is almost always accompanied by food in Japan.

Our memories are a little hazy, but we seem to remember being taught, “When in Rome, drink as the Romans.” Taking this to heart, recently a group of foreign residents in Japan shared their favorite munchies to pair with Japanese beer.

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KFC has its own potato chips in Japan, and we’ve got them in our bellies

KFC has its own potato chips in Japan, and we’ve got them in our bellies

For all of the attention Japan gets for its culinary contributions such as sushi and tempura, precious little credit is given to the way the country is always willing to push the envelope of salty snacks. Walk into any convenience store in the country, and you’ll find shelf after shelf stuffed with rice crackers, assorted nuts, and most of all, potato chips.

Recently, snack maker Calbee unleashed its newest flavor: KFC Colonel’s Crispy Potato Chips, and despite having never been to Kentucky, I knew it was my solemn duty to eat them.

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We celebrate Pocky Day by sharing Japanese candy with the Maasai people of Kenya

We celebrate Pocky Day by sharing Japanese candy with the Maasai people of Kenya

Along with having a pleasing smell, one of the essential requirements of being part of the RocketNews24 team is a certain measure of eloquence. I can proudly say that the rest of the crew writes really, really good (they also help me out a lot, quite obviously).

But sometimes, words aren’t quite enough. How can mere prose do justice to the subtle hues of a cherry blossom, or the reverberations of a temple bell? Sometimes, in order to properly carry out our mission of spreading the simple joys of Japanese culture, we have to carry it with us and head out into the world, which is just what we did recently while traveling Africa.

Unfortunately cherry blossom season is still about five months away, and we couldn’t fit our cast-iron bell in the overhead bin, so we settled for the next best thing: bringing boxes of the chocolaty snack Pocky to share with the Maasai people of Kenya.

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Chocolate-covered squid, wasabi Kit Kat, and other anomalies of the Japanese snack food scene

Chocolate-covered squid, wasabi Kit Kat, and other anomalies of the Japanese snack food scene

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.

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Today’s trivia: Strange new koala spotted in packs of Koala’s March cookies

Today’s trivia: Strange new koala spotted in packs of Koala’s March cookies

For today’s random trivia, we try to catch a rare and elusive special koala from Lotte’s delicious Koala’s March snacks.

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Say “I Love You” this Christmas with these Romantic Potato Chips

Say “I Love You” this Christmas with these Romantic Potato Chips

It’s nearly Christmas! And that can mean only one thing: romantic dates on December 24th!

What? Did you think we were talking about the pagan festival-cum-Christian holiday on December 25th? No, no, no; the 25th is just a normal working day here in Japan, and everyone’s already forgotten about Christmas. People without plans for December 24th, however, might as well join the ranks of those who use trains on dates and pay money to sleep next to strangers.

With the romantic dates of December 24th, Valentine’s Day and March 14th’s White Day in its sights, snack maker Koikeya is about to launch a new range of potato chips — or crisps to backwards Brits like me — made especially for couples. And thanks to some clever packaging, Koikeya guarantee that these new chips will be the most romantic salty snack you’ve ever enjoyed…

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20 Guilt Free Snacks With Only A Hundred Calories

20 Guilt Free Snacks With Only A Hundred Calories

Imagine, if you will, a conversation in your Pilattes studio or gym locker room, or even on the train in any city in Japan, between two slender women, whom nobody would ever guess to be worried about their weight.  These women could be any age, married, single, with or without children, the point being that they are slender.

“I’m getting fat!  I really have to watch what I eat!”

“Me too!  My weakness is snacks I can’t help eating snacks!”

“Oh, guess what?  I found an article on RocketNews 24 about ‘diet snack food’!  It introduces 20 of them, I’m pretty sure it says they are no more than 100 calories each!”

Two heads meet in the center to gaze over an i-phone. Read More