Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Tirol Black Coffee and Bear Chocolate (product info.)
Tirol is turning into the king (or queen, if we want to not be gender biases here) of cooperative endeavors with other manufacturers. For a company that sells chocolates for 40 yen (about 40 cents) each as their signature product, this feels weird. It's like the people who make RC Cola or Mallow Cups engaging in joint ventures with Starbucks or Pillsbury. And I realize that many of my readers aren't American, nearly 50 years old, and familiar with old-fashioned and regional products. Just think of whatever dinky small-time product you grew up with starting to penetrate multiple markets by making new and marginally related food-stuffs with bigger name businesses.
The concept of this coffee is rather cute, though not exactly unique. The coffee is just cold black coffee, but it's supposedly designed to be better when enjoyed with a Tirol chocolate. If you don't want to buy a separate chocolate, they have you covered because they put one under the lid (look carefully at the picture above and you'll see a square of "Milk" chocolate under it. The types of candy vary. I've seen some with almond chocolates under them, too. This is being sold at Family Mart for 165 yen ($1.65). My guess is that this is all novelty value over quality, but I can't deny it's a cute concept.
Speaking of cute, Tirol is also released a new chocolate called "Tirol Kuma" (bear). It's condensed milk chocolate with freeze-dried red beans, fruit-flavored jelly, and dried pineapple. It sounds dreadful, to be honest, but if I find one at an Asian market, I'll probably buy it.