It's amazing how easily suckered in we are by packaging. The same product that we have overlooked a hundred times may go into the shopping basket if it is swaddled in new wrapping. A product that we might overlook draws out attention because of the way the label is designed. I think this "Jun Hit Choco" ice milk bar suckered me in both with the silly name ("Jun Hit"? It sounds like a pop star... ) and the large blocks of chocolate all over it.
Hyphenation clearly is a bit of a challenge.
The label also promises me that they have used only "the finest quality chocolate". I'm sure that that's the truth. After all, it's not like a snack food manufacturer would lie to a consumer about the quality of the ingredients in order to entice her to purchase it.
I picked this up for 100 yen ($1.09) at a local 7-11. It's an 80 ml. (2.7 oz.) bar and only 120 calories. The size is on the generous side, particularly for the caloric impact. The company that makes this is called Andeico, and this is my first review of one of their products. They make frozen treats as well as chilled baked items like chou cream (french pastry shells filled with custard or whipped cream) and puddings and yogurt. Their forte appears to be cold treats. The company was established in 1946 and their motto is something along the lines of, "we will never produce non-quality items." It's a rather small company with only 346 employees, and that may be one of the reasons I have never seen any of their products before. It's hard for smaller companies to get shelf space compared to bigger ones.
When I removed the bar from the package, I smelled nothing and a closer sniff also didn't yield much olfactory pleasure. The bar is very, very dark in color. My immediate sense was that it was going to be like a Fudgesicle, but I've been fooled before by Japanese ice milk bars with hard outer shells and surprises lurking within. It turns out that this actually is a "Fudgesicle-like" bar that is the same texture and substance through and through. It's easy to lick or suck on and doesn't melt too quickly. It softens and gets pleasantly easier to draw into your mouth.
The taste was very strong. It is intense, deep dark chocolate with bittersweet undertones with the right level of sweetness to make it palatable. One of the ingredients is coffee and, though you can't detect it in the bar, it likely helps develop and enhance the chocolate flavor. This was immensely flavorful in a way that was deeply satisfying for me, though it may be off-putting for people who dislike dark or bittersweet chocolate.
If you want something which is chocolate and has flavor "teeth", I can't recommend this bar enough. It's strong, but good. This bar lives up to Andeico's motto about quality. If you're the type who only enjoys milky chocolate or muted chocolate, this is going to be a bit much for you, but I favor milk chocolate and still loved this. I'll definitely buy it again if it remains in the freezer case at 7-11.