Thursday, April 8, 2010

Toranoco Nanchatte Cola

One thing that you have to love about Asian countries is that their copyright lawyers are sitting around twiddling their thumbs. It seems that you can get away with knocking off nearly anything in Asia without concern for stepping on some company's trademark if the number of products that closely resemble various brands are any indication.

This cola, made by Cheerio, is not only a blatant design rip-off of Tabasco brand pepper sauce, but it even goes so far as to put a disclaimer on the bottle that tacitly acknowledges its theft. The yellow banner across the bottom of the bottle says, "this isn't sauce!" The name in Japanese, "nanchatte" also indicates that this is all a big joke since that is used in Japanese to say, "just kidding!" So, this isn't sauce. Ha, ha!

Given the cheesy knock-off nature of this product, I bypassed it for months. I only gave in when I saw it at Don Quixote for the low price of 39 yen (42 cents). I figured that it was worth that much for being able to talk about it, even if I knew there was virtually no chance that I'd drink at 154 calories per 350 ml. (the whole bottle).

The bottle is transparent, so you can see that this cola comes without the usual caramel coloring of things like Pepsi and Coke. It's a dark pink which makes the experience a bit odder. I expect pink to taste like fruit, but this smells and tastes like off-brand or second-rate cola. The closest thing it resembles is RC Cola in the U.S. The main difference between brand-name cola and cheaper versions is the lack of depth of flavor. Things like Pepsi and Coke have a variety of flavorings. This just tastes like a wet, carbonated version of cola candies. It's not bad, but it's not great.


mr. pineapple man said...

love your blog- very very useful/helpful!

ebidebby said...

Parody products seem pretty popular in Japan... I thought this might be spicy cola from the look of the bottle, but it seems it was just bad.

joey mack said...

Just stumbled on your blog! So far... I LOVE IT! Being Japanese myself, I find it to be even THAT MUCH MORE entertaining.

As a side note, check out this video. It's pretty funny and features a few "Japanese" snacks.

cinabar said...

Wow - I just assumed this would be a new cola flavoured with chilli and spices... how strange. Cool bottle though! ;-)

Orchid64 said...

Greetings and thanks to all for taking the time to comment (and for the very kind compliments!).

I had hoped that this was going to be spicy as well, but, alas, it's just a cheap cola.

Blue Shoe said...

Hmmm...seen this one a few times and thought about trying it. Glad you did so I don't have to.