Monday, March 10, 2014

Meiji Chelsea Butterscotch (from Candy Japan)

Today's item for review comes to you and me courtesy of snack service "Candy Japan". You can check out their web site here or you can read my service review. Their package this time included both Chelsea candies and Bontan Ame. I reviewed Bontan Ame (quite favorably) in the past here

I recently saw a sequence of product redesigns on Foodbeast in which the artist removed most of the design and offered minimalist versions of such venerable logos as Nutella's and Pringle's. It's my opinion that all product design in the modern age is relatively informed. That is, it is purposefully inclusive of certain elements in order to build brand identity and catch the eye of consumers. Nothing is there that doesn't mean something. While the minimalist versions are striking, even beautiful and absolutely less overwhelming, they aren't what would be conducive to sales.

That brings me to the design of the Chelsea hard candies. This brand has been around for what seems like ages. Meiji has offered a variety of flavors over the years including an Earl Grey and chocolate one, but their web site currently only shows this butterscotch, brown sugar, and some yogurt varieties. The package design is based on the Chelsea area of the United Kingdom and it is still a little funky, but it used to be even funkier (see picture above). I'm not sure if those who buy these candies these days think twice about the design, but it is meant to evoke a certain image and it doesn't seem to be hurting sales and it does provide strong recognition and distinguished Chelsea from other hard candies.

There is another way in which Chelsea distinguishes itself from other hard candies and that is its quality. This is the most amazing buttery hard candy I've ever experienced. It's smooth as silk and super rich with a good balance between sweetness and buttery flavor. It's as refined a hard candy as you can experience. 

Often, I will say that something is limited by its presentation. It's "only" a hard candy so it can't be that great, but I honestly think this is that great despite being a hard candy. It's the sort of thing you can keep at the bottom of your purse and be actually happy when you rediscover it after having forgotten it for a month.

This is a great little package from Candy Japan with two thing which I truly enjoy. Though these may not be "exciting" options, they are tasty and unique to Japan.


miyazaki said...

I agree that they are really good hard candies. Although they aren't the hard kind I really like the Morinaga Hi-Soft caramels, especially the coffee and matcha ones. I rarely see those except for the regular milk version.

Hirayuki said...

Interesting! I've seen Chelsea candies for as long as I can remember both at Japanese shops at home and in Japan without ever having given them a second glance (although reading the title of this post immediately conjured up a mental image of the package design, as you say). They sound fantastic, though--I'll have to give them a try.