Posts Tagged ‘drinks’

New drinks crackle and fizz with invention

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Super carbonated and super caffeinated Pepsi Strong Shot

Super carbonated and super caffeinated Pepsi Strong Shot

Summer’s here and silly season has officially been declared on cold drinks, with the industry releasing the latest in novelty products to a market thirsty for outlandish new inventions. While jelly drinks are still riding high, Japan’s food scientists have been busy dreaming up new gimmicks in order to conquer the competition. Here’s our pick of the bunch:

Haro Haro Pocho Pochi Cola from Mini Stop

Haro Haro Pocho Pochi Cola from Mini Stop

  • Energy Shaker from Meiji is a twist on the standard jelly drink: the wobbly stuff is actually good for you, containing minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Like a typical jelly drink, you have to shake it around before drinking to break up the jelly into easily digestible pieces. The drink is also high in caffeine and is designed as a pick-me-up for worn out businessmen or budding athletes, though we’re betting it’s more popular with the former demographic.
  • Caffeine junkies can also get their kicks from imbibing Pepsi Strong Shot, a new product that does what it says on the can. Not only does it have extra caffeine but it’s also more carbonated than your average Pepsi. The warning on top of the can instructs you to refrain from drinking it immediately; apparently if you don’t wait 15 seconds the sheer fizziness of the beverage will overwhelm you, though what it actually does is just make you burp a awful lot. You also have to be careful where you open it so you don’t, ahem, froth over other people.
  • While Energy Shaker and Strong Shot are strong contenders for the crown of most outrageous concoction, Mini Stop’s Haro Haro Pochi Pochi Cola is the flamboyant queen of the new beverage releases. Pochi Pochi is an onomatopoeic word to denote the popping sensation you feel in your mouth when you imbibe the tiny candy pieces contained within this drink, but the excitement doesn’t stop there. On top of the cola is a layer of jelly and on top of that a swirl of ice cream. It costs ¥268 and is 238 calories, more than twice the calories contained in a Energy Shaker. Bring it on!

Zima kisses traditional giveaways goodbye

Friday, May 7th, 2010

zima bottles

Five smackers to choose from.

Canned and bottled drinks often come with an omake, a little extra giveaway perched on top or hanging from the neck – some tiny value-add to stand out. Character charms to put on cell phones are common, but oil-blotting sheets, model airplanes, PET bottle pouches, and even miniature Le Creuset cookware barely raise an eyebrow. (What’s that? You wish someone had kept a blog with pictures of all these Japanese drink bottle giveaways for the last five years or so? Enjoy.)

Zima is taking the art of the omake to a new level with its spring “Kiss A-ZIMA” campaign. The party may be over for the sweet, clear “malternative” beverage that was axed two years ago in the states, but it’s turning into a make-out fest in Japan now that each bottle comes with a pair of silicone lips. With the tag line “Zima taste is kissing taste,” the campaign suggests drinkers can enjoy their citrusy 4.5% alcohol beverage and steal a kiss from a celebrity at the same time.

Models Yukina Kinoshita, Aya Kiguchi and Yuu Tejima and soccer player Yuto Nakamura and actor Kensei Mikami all had their lips immortalized in the soft, pink plastic. The Kiss A-Zima campaign Web site has films of the lip-casting process for each person. A CG animated version of the lips twirls endlessly in a companion screen, accompanied by five measurements in millimeters (under, top, depth, width and height) and six dimensions (thickness, weight, firmness, etc.) plotted on a radar graph for each set of smackers.

In scenes that would be horrific if they weren’t so comical (or is it the other way around?), each set of lips is molded and then, several weeks later, presented back to the original owner in a black velvet jewelry box. Each star puts his or her lips around the mouth of the bottle, acknowledges what a strange feeling it is, and then takes a slobbery slug of the drink to loud lounge-y music.

The bottles come with instructions and a few do’s and don’t’s, laid out and explained by Gigazine. There is so much more one could say about all this, but, like step three on the instructions, I think we’re just going to let you “imagine.” And we’re going to try not to imagine where this could all end up if the booze giveaways are a hit.

A few  unexpected uses of the lips are posted on YouTube. (You can click at work – we said unexpected uses.)

We wouldn’t leave you without an omake. And, as with so many of the little drink bottle trinkets, it may actually be better than the thing its attached to. From Gigazine, video of the lips being made in a factory in China.

Mind-boggling highlight: Line workers elbow-deep in piles of lips, tearing them out of their webbed strips and chucking them into bins and big plastic bags for usable and unusable lips.


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