June 2011 Archives
Hi-Chew has long been one of the most popular products at Asianfoodgrocer. The candy is famous for its wide array of flavors, its long lasting taste, and its delicious quality. But now there is a new contender that may just make you think twice about Hi-Chew. And who is this new fellow ready to knock Hi-chew off its high horse?
It's Hi-Chew. The traditional Hi-Chews are made in Japan, but we are now getting shipments of Hi-Chew from Taiwan, and these offer a completely new take on Hi-Chew. So now the question is, which is better, Japanese Hi-Chew, or Taiwanese Hi-Chew?We've taste tested the two side by side, comparing everything from taste, to texture, to price, to packaging. So read on and discover which is the Hi-Chew for you!
The Taiwanese win this contest. The pieces are very close in size, but the Taiwanese Hi-Chews are just a little bulkier.
This is no contest. The Japanese are famous for having ridiculously cool packaging. The individual pieces are wrapped in a metallic wrapping, and the entire pack is sealed in a colorful, sparkly, engaging design.
This is where things get complicated. The Taiwanese have a stronger taste to them, and they're even a little sweeter. Also, the flavor actually tastes like the fruit it's flavored with. Mango really tastes like mango. Banana really tastes like banana. But the taste is simpler too. The Japanese, however, has a much more complex taste, and while it isn't exactly as sweet, it has a much creamier, juicier effect. So we'll call this one a tie, because it really comes down to preference. Some like the extra sweet taste, some like the juicy, creamy, complex flavor.
The Taiwanese ones have more of an aroma, and they really smell like the fruit they're flavored after. This is impressive, because usually candy just smells like sugar, but they make the smell resemble real fruit. This offers a rewarding fragrance while you eat your candy, and really adds to the effect. The Japanese have a much more subtle scent, and while it smells just fine, it doesn't quite have the same rewarding effect.
The Japanese Hi-Chews have more of a rich, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Each piece offers a satisfying chew, and it just feels good to eat. The Taiwanese don't quite have this effect. They're not quite as juicy- they're more chewy and don't quite melt in your mouth as much. But the texture is something that initially made the Japanese Hi-Chews famous, so it's hard to fault the Taiwanese ones here, because honestly, how many candies can really compete with the Japanese Hi-Chew's texture?
Taiwan wins here. The taste is stronger and sweeter hands down. The Japanese one isn't quite as strong- it's got more of a subtle effect with different flavors that sort of tease your taste buds. So it's sort of brute flavor strength versus gentle complexity. The Taiwanese ones are stronger, but people may also be looking for a candy that is less simple and a little more intricate in its quality.
NUMBER OF PIECES PER PACKAGE
The Taiwanese have 10 pieces per pack, the Japanese have 12. No contest here.
PRICE PER PIECE
We told you this was in depth. With ten pieces and a price tag of 99 cents per package, The Taiwanese average out to about 10 cents per piece. The Japanese Hi-Chews are a little pricier. With 12 pieces and a cost of $1.79, each piece comes out to about 14.9 cents each. Either way it's money well spent, because you won't find these prices everywhere. And if you really want to stretch your candy, you can just break each piece in two, and turn 12 pieces into 24.
CONCLUSIONS: Japan vs. Taiwan
The Japanese Hi-Chew has a richer, juicier texture, with a more complex flavor, and more pieces per pack. The packaging is prettier, and the melt-in-your-mouth effect is wonderful. But you pay a little more for it.
The Taiwanese Hi-Chew has a stronger flavor, a richer fragrance, and tastes a little bit sweeter. Each piece is slightly bigger, and while you get fewer pieces per package, the entire pack costs just 99 cents.
So in the end, it comes down to what's more important to you. Is it price? Is it texture? Fragrance? The strength of the taste, or maybe the complexity of it? Is it the number of pieces per pack, or the size of each piece?
Well you've read through our opinions. We like them both for different reasons, and welcome you to try them both. Leave your thoughts on our comments section and tell us if we totally missed the mark, or if you agree.
Well, Fanime 2011 has ended, and personally we're all exhausted. Now that the last Ramune has been drunk, and the last Cloud Strife has left the building, and all the booths have been broken down and shipped away, we're forced to go back to the real world where things aren't nearly as cool. But it was a fun four days, and we can't wait until the next one!
2011 was by far our biggest year at Fanime. This was the first time we had three booths, we had more people working at our tables than the previous years, we brought more goodies, and had more energy than ever before! If you stopped by to see us then you know we had everything from Pocky, to Hi-Chew, to Ramune, to cheese flavored Kit-Kats. We even had non-edibles like bento boxes, make-up and plushies.
But even with all the cool things we sold and all the nice people who came to see us, and the AMAZING cosplay that we saw, working at the convention still wasn't easy. We were on our feet 99% of the day, and most of us are still feeling the back aches, the foot cramps, and the leg pains. From set up to the time we left, the days could stretch well over 12 hours long, and lunch breaks were a rare commodity. We were constantly scrambling to find room in our cooler to keep the ramunes cold, and when a certain type of Pocky or Hello Panda ran out, we'd have to scramble through our mess of boxes in back to find the next set of candies. It didn't help that we had no place to sit, and only a few moments throughout each day to catch our breath. And was all the pain, the nightmarish fatigue, and hard work worth it? Of course it was, we know that Fanime isn't for the weak!
And to all the people who asked for Curry flavored Ramune or blueberry Kit-Kats, or Strawberry Calpico- we're sorry we didn't have them. But next year we'll bring even more of the rare, the tasty, and the weird.
If you had your picture taken with our models, or if you were cool enough to have a costume that drew the attention of our camera you can find those pics here. It was great seeing so many great Cosplay outfits and crazy characters. Some of our personal favorites were the Pyramid Head and nurse from Silent Hill, Jack and the splicer from Bioshock, the ghetto fabulous Mario Bros, the near complete cast of Avatar, the Dalek from Dr. Who, and of course, the storm trooper.
So all in all it was a fun, exhausting, exhilarating, loud, crazy, unforgettable four days. We sold a lot of candy and drinks, made a lot of new friends, probably pissed off our neighbors with all our yelling and goofing off, took a lot of pictures, and had an awesome time. Check out our pictures, and come see us next year!