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.


yjoyce said...

Woooo...I actually LOVE this jelly bean! I used to eat it when I was a kid in Hong Kong! I think they have (or used to have) yogurt flavour jelly bean too. I love chewy/gummy candy, so I love this...instead of the "western" counterpart. well..that's me anyway... =P

Anonymous said...

I, too, used to eat this as a kid in Hong Kong! :)

I think these are the best jelly beans after Jelly Belly. I've seen them in Japanese markets here in California, but have never bought them again because I am no longer a fan of jelly beans. :P

Orchid64 said...

Thanks to both of you for reading and commenting!

I did really like the flavor and texture, and felt these were higher quality than other types of jelly beans (as noted in the review). I just didn't like the size and how it caused me to bite the inside of my mouth. ;-)

Anonymous said...

LOL Shari, if you scroll one page down there are shots of him smiling! He looks quite natural too.

Keep up the reviews, love it as always=)

Unknown said...

Nice review, I'm always so frustrated when I'm trying to savor candy and they're too small so I pop a bunch in my mouth to compensate. The only place I can find Poifull (I'm from California) is from the asian corner store in those little 5-box mini sets. They're really expensive over here!($2.50-$3.50)
Do you happen to know if any online store carries them for cheap?

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Oka, and thanks for reading and commenting. Unfortunately, I don't know any online places that carry Japanese snacks. Being in Japan has the benefit of direct access to the snacks, but it does mean that I have no experience with online sellers at this time.

I'm sorry that I can't be more helpful!