Posts Tagged ‘Pepsi’

The latest funky food flavors, coming soon to a konbini near you

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Japan is known for its seasonally flavored foods. Swing by your local konbini in the fall and you’re likely to encounter limited-edition beverages, snacks and candies that weren’t on the shelves a few months earlier.  Some companies pump out more flavors than others, with Nestle’s Kit Kat chocolates alone having dozens of varieties. This summer, manufacturers are debuting a number of interesting flavors to entice convenience store shoppers.

  • As if summer needs to be any hotter, Tohato will begin selling habanero pepper and lemon-flavored corn chips in late July. We’re excited about this one, despite the sinister face on the bag. The company will also be debuting yogurt-honey Caramel Corn and arrabbiata-flavored chips, which arrive in Japan this month.
  • A few weeks ago, we reported on our taste test of the Pepsi-flavored cheetos, which hit the shelves Monday.
  • More directly on the beverage front is Suntory’s Boss Black Sparkling. Best served cold, this carbonated coffee hopes to refresh and awaken those gulping it down on a hot summer afternoon. (Note: If you preferred your fizzy coffee hand-poured, Excelsior Caffé has begun offering a “Perriespresso,” which combines Perrier sparkling water with the chain’s espresso over ice.)
  • The average konbini has a pretty impressive array of instant noodles, but how many of them would satisfy a hankering for Italian? Maruka Foods is now selling peperoncino-flavored instant yakisoba, which combines the convenience of instant noodles with the Italian pasta sauce made form garlic, oil and chillies.
  • A few weeks back, Luna began selling its mint-flavored yogurt. This seems like it could be a crowd-pleaser, with the soothing mint and cooling yogurt making for a perfect way to fend off afternoon drowsiness during the dog days.
  • For dessert, check out Kabaya’s ramune-flavored chocolate  that fizzes just like the soda pop.

J-blip: Pepsi-flavored Cheetos

Friday, June 14th, 2013

A new snack about to hit convenience store shelves in Japan might possibly make waves, it could start a buzz, but it will definitely generate . . . fizz. FritoLay’s Shuwa Shuwa is, according to the promotional copy, “a snack that allows you to enjoy the fizziness of a carbonated drink via the pairing of long-seller Cheetos and Pepsi Cola seasoning.”

That’s right: Pepsi. Flavored. Cheetos. The PR claim is that the “refreshing tartness” combined with the bubbly sensation is the perfect taste for summer, but what did the office taste-testers think?

shuwa shuwa

Crunchy bubbles: Shuwa Shuwa

Reformed sugar-holic Mark: “The first crunch packed plenty of  joy and wonder, taking me back to the first time I had Pop Rocks, but by the third or fourth bite, the sugar rush was too much and they just ending up tasted like sickly sweet Cheetos. It was a bit like this.”

Mio, who has been known to hoard imported sweets:  ”It smells like cola, tastes like cola and even fizzes like flat cola, but when it comes to texture it’s wrong in absolutely every single way. Oh and there’s this weird corn aftertaste. My verdict: It’s awesome . . . but then you could put fizzy powder on a dog biscuit and I’d probably have said the same thing.”

Shaun, an expert on flavor mechanics: “It tasted like corn chips with — you know cola gummies? They might be coated in kind of cola sugar? It tastes like corn chips coated in cola sugar. The cola flavor wasn’t inside the chips, but it was more like a dressing. It was really sweet, but that didn’t stop me.”

Mayumi, who probably is the only person in the office with fully functioning taste buds: “It was like I had chips and Pepsi at the same time. They were really fizzy though. They smelled sweet and didn’t taste like any chips I’ve had before.”

New kid on the block Eric: “My first taste was surprisingly Pepsi-like. It had that cola flavor and, even more noticeably, the bubbly fizz of a soft drink. After a bit of munching, however, the flavor turned much more corn-like. If I’m looking for refreshment on a hot summer day, I’d prefer an ice-cold soda pop to the chips. Besides, I’m a Coke fan.”

Note that these are not to be confused with China’s Pepsi chicken-flavored chips. No chicken in evidence here, just sweet, sparkling cola corn snacks.

Unfortunately, I was no longer in the office by the time these surfaced, so I’ll have to wait like the rest of Japan until July 1. After conquering convenience stores, Shuwa Shuwa will appear more widely starting July 15. Exchange a cool ¥125 for 414 calories of fizzy sugar high, and then you, too, can say, “Yes, they really do taste like Pepsi.”

Pulsations (11.02.12)

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Here are the latest Pulsations, links to fresh stories and visuals about Japan, shout-outs to fellow bloggers, and highly clickable stuff that we think you might enjoy.

In no particular order, they are . . .

  • Pepsi Energy Cola — How does it taste? (from Grinning Studios): Pepsi Energy Cola is back, and Darth Vader is endorsing it. Blogger Grin gives a brief review of the drink and tells you where you may find it before it vanishes off the shelves again.
  • JapanaEight: Eight things that scare us (from Japanator): Think “kigurumi” cosplayers are creepy because you don’t know who’s underneath all that extra padding, and if they are wearing anything? Terrified of introducing women to your large anime figurine collection? You just may have something in common with one of these eight contributors.
  • Renewing my driver’s license (from Dru’s Misadventures): Need to renew your driver’s license here soon but don’t know what to expect? Blogger Dru shares his own experience with the process.
  • A giant pop-up jungle gym emerges in Tokyo Midtown (from Spoon & Tamago):  For young and old Tokyoites alike, Design Tide Tokyo 2012 is offering a giant wooden playground. You should hurry if you wish to check it out, though; it will be taken down on Nov 4.
  • Halloween in Japan 2012 (from The Japan Times): We know you read The Japan Times Online daily, but just in case you missed it on the first scroll …

Visual Pulse

The Japanese performance group World Order has released a music video for their song “Permanent Revolution.” The video, a commentary on the recent disputes among the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans, delivers the message that “We are all one” in a lighthearted manner. The members act as robot-like sightseeing, feet-soaking salarymen who, at the end, sign peace treaties with their other Asian counterparts. Nothing quite eases tension a little the way humor and goodwill do, no?

Corporate brands drawn to anime’s selling power

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Tiger & Bunny,” which just ended its first season, has been one of the most popular anime releases this year, despite that fact that contained blatant product placement for Calbee, Softbank, Pepsi and Bandai. The show features superheros called NEXT who perform acts of bravery about the futuristic city of Stirnbild, earning points as they do so. As their activities are filmed on TV in this fictional world, each hero is sponsored by a different company and sports the logos of  a sponsor.

Characters include Pepsi’s Blue Rose and Rock Baison, a bull-themed hero who  advertises the yakiniku restaurant Gyu-kaku. According to Tokyo Walker, fans of Rokku Baison have even affectionately nicknamed him Gyu-kaku -an. These companies are keen to capitalize on their involvement in the show: Pepsi is running ads featuring Blue Rose (see above) and Gyu-kaku are offering discount vouchers for a special Rokku Baison set meal (a pretty good deal for yakiniku lovers btw).

Despite anime characters being used to sell just about anything in Japan via product tie-ins, product placement within a contemporary anime is unusual, according to Nico Nico Pedia. One reason is that anime creators believe this would turn off fans, another reason is that once the toy industry got involved in anime and tokusatsu, toy companies had strong objections to introducing other products onto a show, so instead sponsers names were announced at the beginning and end of ad breaks.

Continue reading about product placement in anime →

Will summer colas quench thirst for new flavors?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Just the thing when you're parched?

When it comes to beverages, the Japanese tend to mix it up a bit and are always thirsty for new flavors and innovations. To quench that thirst, this month three new colas are being launched on the market, just in time for the summer months ahead. As this year is going to be a particularly hot one, with general aircon usage severely curtailed, here’s a quick round-up:

We’re betting this year that the front-runner is going to be Pepsi Dry. Following on from the hugely successful limited-edition novelty flavors of shiso, baobab, Mont Blanc and azuki, the gimmick this time is that the drink is not so sweet. Half as sweet as normal colas, the Suntory drink is designed to be refreshingly dry on a hot summer’s day. On sale from May 24, Pepsi Dry will cost ¥140.

Bridging the gap

Asahi have countered with a healthy cola, which contains vitamin C, vitamin B6 and caffeine. A crossbreed of energy drink and cola, Dodekamin Energy Cola is made to give you a jump start when your energy is flagging. It’s definitely going to appeal to sweaty salarymen battling with the heat under difficult conditions. Launched May 17, the drink costs ¥140 for a 500 ml pet bottle.

Our final cola is a limited edition number sold exclusively at Family Mart and AmPm. Definitely coming under the novelty cola category, Sakuranbo (Cherry) Cola, is unlike any cola we’ve seen before and its shocking pink color almost seems to disqualify the drink from the cola category. We’ve not tasted this particular concoction yet but Colawp.com remarks that it does have an intriguing sweet and sour flavor. The drink, manufactured by Suntory, went on sale on May 3 and costs ¥147.

 

 

 

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!
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