Friday, June 4, 2010
Poifull and Poifull Beautist Jelly Beans
If you download Meiji's English language company brochure, you'll get a good look at their effort to position themselves as a company which is trying to promote health as well as junk food. You'll also get an eyeful of their kind of scary-looking president in his profile picture. His jowls look like they're trying to force him into one of the biggest frowns I've ever seen. I don't know why Japanese men don't smile in their pictures, but I think they need a little more coaching before they position themselves as the face of their company.
The Poifull Beautist seems to be an attempt to sell jelly beans that promote health. They're fortified with vitamin C, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and ceramide. My guess is that the idea is that they will give one beautiful skin. I picked up the Beautist variety of Poifull, a 40 gram bag with 135 calories, at a local 99 yen shop ($1.07) because the silly concept caught my fancy. My husband bought the plain version of Poifull, a 53 gram box with 187 calories, at New Days for 120 yen ($1.30), not knowing I'd already bought a version of the same snack. He bought it because he rarely saw any jelly beans in Japan and wanted to sample them.
There are some flavor differences between the regular and "beautist" version. Beautist has blood orange, grape, lemon, and green apple. Regular poifull has lemon, grape, apple, and muscat. The quality of the jelly beans is very good. The flavors are all intense, somewhat sour, fairly authentic and one can be distinguished from the other easily. These are actually marketed as being akin to bontan ame, a unique jelly candy made with a Japanese citrus fruit, but they are pretty much a jelly bean.
I love the flavor of these, and one might wonder why these get an "indifferent" rating. The problem is that these are tiny little jelly beans. Each is about 1.2 cm x .6 cm (.47 in. x .24 in.) in size. This would be fine if they were mints or Tic Tacs, but for a food that has to be chewed to be consumed, it makes it difficult to eat them without tossing 3-5 in your mouth at once. I found myself biting my cheeks while trying to eat them as single jelly beans and I wasn't keen on chewing on multiple ones at the same time.
I wouldn't buy these again mainly because I don't like the experience of chewing up the inside of my cheeks while chasing a tiny jelly bean around my mouth. I can't fault the flavors or textures of the candy itself, but the size really ruined the experience for me. Clearly, this might be a very subjective experience and I would encourage anyone who wants a high quality, not-too-sweet, and very good tasting fruit-flavored jelly bean to sample these.