What do Japanese really buy at the supermarket?
What do Japanese really buy at the supermarket?
Keio Store, a supermarket chain operated by Keio Group (the same company which operates Keio Railways and Keio Department Store), are a familiar sight across Japan. As Keio Stores are commonly found in the suburbs and next to train stations, they are an accurate reflection of what the average Japanese person really buys at the supermarket. Let’s take a look at the sales data for 2017 to find out Japan’s top 10 sweet snacks!
By now, the world probably knows that Japan has a serious sweet tooth. And, when it's time to take a break, the Japanese love to pair their tea with everything from western style cakes to traditional Japanese confectionery.
But, take a look at this list and you’ll see that it is dominated by chocolate -- chocolate bars, chocolate covered nuts, chocolate cake, chocolate pie and more! Thanks to sweet treats created by legendary sweets and snack makers Fujiya and Meiji, it’s safe to say that chocolate has conquered Japan.
10. Meiji Almond Chocolate
A thick milk chocolate coating acts as the outer shell of Meiji Almond Chocolate. Perfectly bite sized, each containing one almond which has been roasted to release its natural ruma. The chocolate and the smell of the almonds are pleasant. Be warned: the crunch of each bite is irresistible and this is one product you’ll definitely want to stock up on.
9. Meiji Kinoko no Yama to Takenoko no Sato
Meiji’s Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato are individually packaged chocolate snacks that come in a variety bag. Kinoko means “mushroom” in Japanese, and Kinoko no Yama are sweet, petite mushrooms with a biscuit stem and chocolate cap. Likewise, “Takenoko” which means “bamboo shoots” are the ones shaped like—you guessed it—bamboo shoot cookies covered in chocolate. While they are both chocolate covered biscuits, these cute snacks have completely different textures resulting in a viral battle between the two to become Japan’s most beloved woodland snack.
8. Lotte Ghana Milk Chocolate
Ghana Milk Chocolate bars by Lotte are made with carefully selected cacao beans which are added to milk. The velvety textured chocolate melts slowly in your mouth releasing a wonderful aroma and sweetness that lets you to savor the fine balance of chocolate and milk. Use Ghana Milk Chocolate in a multitude of desserts such as cakes, muffins, chocolate fondue, and hot chocolate. Price just under 100 yen, it’s a one of the most popular milk chocolate bars in Japan.
7. Nestle KitKat (Original)
What makes KitKat so darn irresistible is their perfect harmony of chocolate and crunchy wafers. Sweetened just right, KitKat are a treat suitable for kids and adults. Just as KitKat come in a wide range of flavors, so are the many ways that you can savor a KitKat. Eat it straight out of the wrapper or freeze and eat on a hot summer day. Along with classic chocolate KitKat, there’s also matcha, sakura kinako (cherry blossom and roasted soybean) sake (Japanese rice wine) and so much more. Not only does KitKat rank high on the Keio Store sales data for 2017, in 2014 it claimed the spot as Japan's number one sweet snack. It’s not surprising that KitKat have legions of overseas fans as well especially among visitors to Japan.
6. Fujiya Peanuts Chocolate
Fujita Peanuts Chocolate are filled with fragrant peanuts and are a rich source of dietary fiber and vitamin E. The peanuts are covered in rich milk chocolate created specifically to complement the taste of peanuts. Enjoy the balance between the sweet fragrance of milk chocolate and a lingering peanut aroma that surrounds you. These bite-sized pieces have just the right about of sugar to them, meaning that once you start you can't stop. You’ll certainly get your money's worth with this reasonably priced bag of chocolate peanuts, no doubt a reason why it ranks in the top 10 at Keio Store.
5. Fujiya Almond Chocolate
Similar to its Peanut Chocolate, Fujiya Almond Chocolate is a rich source of dietary fiber and vitamin E. The key difference is that inside each chocolate square is an entire almond, coated with a larger amount of chocolate. This allows you to experience both the bitterness and aroma of the cacao. Each bite releases the aroma of almond and the chocolate is sweetened just right. This is one sweet snack that is sure to remain your favorite.
4. Meiji Chocolate Kouka Cacao 72%
Meiji Chocolate Kouka is made with 72% cacao, resulting in a sharp taste of chocolate a refined bitterness that is suitable for even those who are not fans of chocolate. Plus, this chocolate is actually good for your health and figure. Each piece contains 127 mg of polyphenol, which can lower one's blood pressure, act as an antioxidant, prevent hardening of the arteries, and reduce stress. Not only is Meiji Chocolate Kouka 72% one of the best-selling sweets at Keio Store, it is Japan’s best-selling chocolate bar with a high percentage of cacao beans. Each pieces is individually wrapped, making it a chocolate that is very convenient to eat.
3. Lotte Choco Pie
Everyone knows Lotte ChocoPie. The outer shell is coated in a thick chocolate later while the inside is a moist cake with a pleasantly sweet marshmallow-like vanilla cream filling. ChocoPie can be enjoyed across generations and is a favorite among visitors to Japan.
2. Meiji Best Three
Meiji Best Three is an assortment of Meiji’s top-selling chocolate bars. The chocolates in the black wrapper are Meiji’s popular and bitterly aromatic Bitter Chocolate. The dark brown packaging contains milk chocolate made with a perfect balance of milk, cacao and, sugar. Lastly, the red packaging is Meiji Special Rich Milk Chocolate, which is sweeter than the others and contains a higher concentration of milk. One bag of Meiji Best Three contains 33 packages of mini chocolate bars, a value pack that truly lets you enjoy the best of Meiji. Get a few to share with your friends or stash them in your backpack or purse just for you -- we won’t tell!
1. Fujiya Country Ma’am (Vanilla and Cocoa)
There are two things that make Fujiya Country Ma’am cookies stand out from your average chocolate chip cookie: its main ingredient, wheat, and being baked for an extend period time at a low temperature. The result is a crispy outer layer surrounding soft moist chocolate and vanilla cream. There’s chocolate chips inside as well, allowing you to savor three different textures all at once. You can eat a single cookie in two bites, so have a few on hand for an impromptu snack time. Heat them up in the toaster or microwave for a gooey experience. These are the top selling sweet snack in Keio Stores, and Country Ma’am is proud to be Japan’s #1 cookie as well.
Step inside a Japanese supermarket during your stay in Japan, and you’ll see what all the fuss is about. All the snacks we’ve introduced to you are best-sellers that routinely make their way into the carts of Japanese shoppers. The next time you get a chance to visit a Japanese supermarket, be sure to buy a few of Japan’s best-selling sweet snacks!
*The above prices do not include sales tax.
*The data used for this article is accurate as of March 2018.
*Product availability may vary.
*Prices may vary by Keio Store branch, seasonal promotions, etc.
Photos taken with the cooperation of Keio Store Seiseki Sakuragaoka Branch
Keio Store Seiseki Sakuragaoka Branch
京王スーパー KEIO STORE 聖蹟桜ヶ丘店
1-11-1 Sekido, Tama-shi, Tokyo 206-0011
Keio Seiseki Sakuragaoka
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