Three Food Products I Think Would Sell in America

11 Sep

1. Aquarius: Technically, I guess this stuff sort of does sell in America already. At the very least, I know you can pick it up a specialty Japanese food stores (and perhaps the same could be said for everything in the following list). However, while the Fujiya Market in Tempe was a bit of a drive and didn’t always have it, Aquarius is pretty abundant here.

Aquarius is a sports drink, much like Gatorade or Powerade. However, it’s very light. It has no sugar or carbs, very little sodium, but still maintains a pretty sweet and refreshing taste; kind of a mild citrus flavor.

It is actually distributed by Coca Cola, and apparently they don’t bring it to the US because they sell Powerade there. Shame because it’s really good, and not as heavy as those other sports drinks.

2. Boss Coffee: Actually I’ll be honest, there’s nothing real great about this stuff. It’s really no different than a bottled Frappucino.

What I really like about it is that it’s “Boss Coffee.” It just kind of broadcasts sophisticated manliness in a cool sort of way. I really love the two tone logo of the man’s head with a pipe. After all, what kind of man would be without a pipe? A pretty damn poor excuse of a man if you ask me!

I like coffee a lot, and the occasional milk-based coffee drink. But in America, coffee drinks are often marketed to women and artistic types. (Not that that ever stopped me from buying them.) A “manly” coffee drink could catch an interesting share of the market.

3. Anpanman Senbei: These were part of a welcoming package we got when we ALTs first came to Himeji. It’s funny, when you think of Japanese stuff that’s popular with kids, you might think of Pokemon or Dragon Ball or Doraemon or some such. But living here now, it’s Anpanman I see all over the place. It’s a tremendously popular series that has run since the 80s, but I wasn’t very aware of it in America.

Senbei is a kind of rice cracker. They’re very good, and come in a lot of varieties, usually salty. The red branded ones here, agesen, are actually pretty sweet though. They’re also puffed and have a great crunch to them. I swear the could be sold in America as “Crunch’ems” or something and they’d sell big.

The green packaged ones are oyasai senbei, a vegetable variety. They’re thinner and not as crunchy, and kind of taste like those shoestring vegetable chips that are white, orange and green. The blue packaged ones are soft sen and I have not tried them yet. I’d try ’em right now but I bought the photo’d senbei for someone else.

Bonus – Zunda Kit Kat: Just posting about these for fun. Believe it or not, Kit Kats are fairly popular in Japan. Unlike America though, there are a lot of seasonal and limited edition varieties. Since getting here, I’ve only seen regular and dark chocolate Kit Kats. But today I finally found these.

These are zunda flavored Kit Kats. Zunda is pulverized edamame, and is a culinary dish native to north eastern Japan (the Touhoku area). These are actually put out in support of the Touhoku earthquake relief.

I ate one of these before actually finding out what zunda is. The Kit Kats had a curiously bland taste. Very creamy, but not toward any distinct flavor I could recognize. Just a… very mild, creamy flavor. I doubt these would sell in America since most people probably don’t know what zunda is, but they are good.

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3 Responses to “Three Food Products I Think Would Sell in America”

  1. Nz17 September 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    If you want to be like a fish *in* water, you should check out the YouTube channel of videos by Rodger Swan. He’ll help get you straightened on what’s normal and what’s what in Japan. Sadly, Rodger passed away last year, but his videos live on. His “Tokyo Swan” serie covers being an university student in Japan at Keio University while his “Iwate Swan” serie covers being an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in northern Japan teaching high school, junior high school, and primary school. [ http://www.youtube.com/user/rodgerswan ]

    Oh, and there’s some useful Web site resources that I have to recommend to you. I’ve been thinking about moving to Japan or teaching English there for a long time, so I have done plenty of research on the subject. And with that in mind, I can say the following should prove to be quite useful resources.

    Japan Today [ http://www.japantoday.com/ ] covers Japanese news and events in English. So even for the inarticulate gaijin (oops, we’re supposed to be politically correct and say gaikokujin these days) you can get all your news in an easy-to-understand form. Plus it has some community features.

    The next is Gaijin Pot [ http://www.gaijinpot.com/ ] which is really great for acquiring things. It is basically electronic classifieds, but what makes it special is that it is typically used by foreigners leaving Japan. That means that many of them are just trying to literally get rid of their stuff because if they don’t they’ll have to trash it when they leave the country. So instead they list them online for free or cheap for local people to go pick up before they leave. It’s also used to advertise “yard” sales and job listings.

    Last is Ohayo Sensei [ http://www.ohayosensei.com/ ] which is probably the oldest teaching-in-Japan newsletter on the Internet. It’s also a classified but it is all contained in single biweekly newsletters that you can either read at the Web site or have e-mailed to you. It is the oldest and most trusted in this regard. You can find plenty of good listings for jobs should you ever decide to leave your current program or strike out on your own. There’s also lots of moving giveaways by American military personnel’s families if you need to acquire furniture, kid’s stuff, or other things too bulky to bring back home.

    Hope you find something here that will help you! Keep on writing on!

  2. Cheston September 11, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Coffee… Like a boss!

  3. Theresa September 12, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    It it’s edamane (Soybean) people will eat it here

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