Morinaga and Hi-Chew
What’s all the fuss, you may ask? The month of May is finally here, and that means it’s time for another amazing snack box full of carefully curated exotic snacks and exotic sodas. You know we’re obsessed with unusual but tasty foods, and as the weather warms, our excitement grows for the joy of an old fashioned, backyard barbeque. That’s why we’re bringing you a slew of BBQ inspired treats and drinks from all over. We know you’re going to love what’s inside, so head on over to Desert Drinks and treat yourself or a friend to a subscription box!
Hi-Chew! Japan’s Answer to Chewing Gum
If you’re as passionate as we are about exotic snacks and exotic sodas, you probably know that most of these international delights were molded by the culture and time period they originate from. M&Ms were inspired by food rations from the Spanish Civil War. Nutella was designed to stretch limited coco supplies after WWII. Instant Noodles were designed as an easily accessible food during famine and periods of war. And Hi-Chew? It turns out chewing gum in public is considered rude. Let’s face it, it’s pretty unsightly to watch someone pluck gum from their mouth for disposal. Hi-Chew was designed as a treat that would dissolve slowly while you chew it, removing the need to spit out your gum. This sweet, chewy, treat quickly grew in popularity in Japan and has been crafted in a whopping 170 different flavors since its inception.
In 2012, Boston Red Sox pitcher Junichi Tazawa was asked to stock the bullpen with gum for his fellow players. Junichi decided to supply them with Hi-Chew. The candy was so popular with the baseball team that Junichi couldn’t keep up with the demand. Eventually he had to ask Morinaga & Company for assistance, and the confection company happily obliged. In fact, this event likely expedited the expansion of Hi-Chew into the United States, as their first US candy facility opened in NC in 2015.
Taichiro Morinaga: Confectioner & Entrepreneur
The founder of Morinaga & Company is a man who’s life journey would bring him across the ocean to the U.S. After losing his father at a young age and growing up in poverty, Taichiro moved to America at the tender age of 23. While living in the states, he came across a good samaritan who gave him a piece of candy. This event would change his life forever. During this time, candy in Japan was expensive, and was limited to products made from sweet beans or honey (which were based on confections imported by Chinese and Portuguese traders). Candy imported from Europe was even more of a rarity. To Taichiro, experiencing this sugary treat was down right magical. Determined to bring western style candy to Japan, our young entrepreneur spent the next decade in an effort to learn all he could about making new and exciting treats. When he finally returned to Japan, he started his own candy push cart. This proved to be so popular that Taichiro was able to found Morinaga & Company in 1918. What makes this story so incredible is that Morinaga & Company was the very first in country western candy manufacturer and the first to produce chocolate in Japan. How cool is that?
A Magical Snack Experience of Your Own
Morinaga’s life was completely changed after one, simple, exotic snack. From times of sadness to celebrations with family, food and drink are strongly tied to our memories. Why not create some memories of your own with something out of the ordinary? We’ve got Prawn Salad Lays Chips from Thailand, Lychee Rose Oreos from China, Premium Espresso Coffee Soda made right here in the states! And of course, we wouldn’t be Desert Drinks without our monthly subscription boxes. Come on in and create a little personal history with some unique snacks and exotic sodas from Desert Drinks!