Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Random Picture #147
Recently, my husband and I ran across an enormous heart-shaped box of chocolates in Safeway Supermarket. It was about as big as his chest and he held it in front of him and I took a picture of it to show our friends back in Japan. The idea was to illustrate this ridiculously huge novelty box with a little over 2 lbs. (a little under a kilogram) of low quality chocolate in it.
The reason that it's such a good shot to show Japanese folks is that novelty containers of any appreciable size are not especially common due to the smaller dwellings. Tirol will make a few novelty boxes, but they are small and generally made to be immediately disposed of when you get a tad bored with them. It's not only about storing the packaging, but it's also about finding the space in the trash to dispose of them. Trash cans in Japan aren't the behemoths that you see in the U.S., and you are obliged to break things down for recycling (and to wash them).
What is shown in this picture are two novelty containers for "jelly" confections. These are essentially shelf-stable gelatin (made with agar agar, a substance derived from seaweed) in fruit or yogurt and fruit flavors. I'm guessing the market these are designed for are parents or others buying gifts for children, but in Japan it's just as likely to be designed for office girls as you don't have to be a child to get your Hello Kitty on.