Friday, February 11, 2011

Nighttime Sweets Strawberry Parfait

Packaging is a way of manipulating people into buying stuff they might not otherwise buy. Without the allure of packaging, people are pretty much going to be basing their purchases on three factors - appearance (if the food is actually visible), type of food, and price. I have to wonder what shopping was like back in the "Little House On the Prairie" days when "inventive packaging" was showing an illustration of a guy with a huge handlebar mustache on a jar of "Uncle Earwax's Super Hardening Mustache Paraffin". I'm guessing people pretty much just bought what they needed back in those days.

The producers of boring food like yogurt rely on us being dumb enough to be fooled by misleading images of the flavor of the slightly sour, thin goo contained therein. Even someone who is fairly "savvy" (which is what we all think we are, which is part of our overall "stupid") can be suckered into seeing a lovely bit of strawberry ice cream with whipped cream, berries, and wafers and think that's what we're going to be tasting. Of course, they can't be really accused of misleading us because it says, "this is an image" under the parfait picture.

I didn't have high expectations of this when I saw it at Seiyu for 100 yen ($1.20), but I had a good experience with the previous entry in the "Nighttime Sweets" line, the apple pie yogurt. I figured that the line deserved my attention even if I'm not a fan of strawberry-flavored foods in general. To be clear, I love the fresh berries, but just dislike how they are incorporated into processed food.

Peeling back the foil, I was greeted with the scent of real pureed strawberries. Color me surprised. I was also shocked at the taste of this because it reminded me of strawberry shortcake. In fact, if you pureed a shortcake that is what it'd taste like. Seriously. Okay, if you took one of those small round yellow sponge cakes that are sold cheaply in local markets, piled on some berries, whipped cream, a little sugar, and then doused it in whole milk and then pureed it, that is what this tastes like.

I was truly blown away by this. The fine folks at Luna made yogurt that tastes very little like yogurt (again, their vanilla yogurt tastes like a tiny pot of heaven). There is definitely some cream flavoring in there and what looks, smells and tastes like real berries. There may also be essence of cake, for all I know. What is for certain is that this is only 69 calories and tastes great. I'll be sorry when this inevitably leaves the market, but I have some hopes now that this line is going to deliver again and again with each new offer.


Burp and Slurp~! said...

Haha! I'm one of the those fools who expect much from good packaging. I'm glad this one pulled its weight though. I wonder why it says it's for "nighttime" though. I'd love to have this in the morning as a snack!

Uniflame said...

It is always great when you find something you really love ^^

Orchid64 said...

I think that they're pushing this line for women who want to eat late at night but not gain weight (hence the low-calorie nature). I tend to eat it as an afternoon snack!

Thanks for commenting!

Nora said...

Thanks very much for this. I happen to be in Japan (Kyoto) right now and started looking for this yogurt once you posted your review. I found it tonight (at a Circle K) and am similarly impressed. You haven't steered me wrong yet!

Orchid64 said...

I'm really glad you liked it, Nora!

I'm on my third carton of this yogurt. I'm going to be sad when it finishes its run on the market (which it inevitably will).

gopreds303 said...

I really really really hope they have this at our local Oriental market... I really want to try this now. You think maybe this would possibly be exported? :)

Orchid64 said...

It's an interesting question, gopreds. I really think the Luna line would go over well in Western countries (especially America) if people tried it. I guess it is possible that it might be exported (esp. to the West coast), but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

gopreds303 said...

Living in the Southeastern part of the country does have it's downside I suppose. Anyway, I'll keep my eyes peeled. Thanks Orchid!

PS- You'll be happy to know your page is a daily ritual for me (with my morning cereal). Your articles are so funny with a great mix of western culture and eastern influences so it's still relate-able.