All About Asian Food





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.



The Taiwanese have 10 pieces per pack, the Japanese have 12. No contest here.


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.


cybele said:

Interesting that I'm not the only one who noticed the substantial differences go beyond the package size and language.

Ariana said:

i have loved Hi Chew for a while but I had no idea about the differences, but after I read this I realized the difference, I love the Taiwanese apple and the Japanese strawberry the most out of all he flavors so I cant decide which kind I like most but both are pretty awesome :)

Barb Campbell said:

Gustavo! What's going on? Only two flavors of traditional, Japanese Hi Chew? When will you have more flavors?


N said:

I love the Japanese Grapefruit Hi-Chew. I like smaller pieces. I also love the Morinaga Red Bean Caramel, Black Sesame Caramel, and Brown Sugar Caramel. I'd love to try the Almond Pudding Caramel. I can't find the brown sugar anywhere anymore.

HI Barb :)
Morinaga had half a foot in the quarantine zone, so to export the Hi-Chew was pretty expensive. But, I already checked on them and placed an order for some new seasonal flavors. We should be expecting Orange-Banana and Strawberry-Banana. They should be here before the New Years.

Kayle said:

Ok 1st of all i live in denver and i go 2 a japenese store were
The hi- chews are 99 cents and botan rice candy is 89 cents plus
Pocky is lik a buck per box oh ya i love hi chews too espcially the
Green apple

Barb said:

You have no Japanese Hi-Chew?!!! Only the strip package that is so much more expensive per ounce? Please say it ain't so Gustavo!

Working on getting more. Since the Tsunami and flood my ordering cycle was thrown off, so I have more coming in that you'll love. But the questions is when. I thought they should be here by now :( And I know everyone one else is pretty mush out of them too because they have none to sell me boo :(

Rick McMorrin said:

they are the same hi chew is now make in Taiwan. This is dumb if i gave you one you wouldn't know the difference . Go look for your own self in their website. Idiots

Angela said:

This is very useful because there is a difference between hichew made in Taiwan vs Japan. If you check the ingredients list and trans fats contents the 2 types are a little different. Candy may be candy for some people while other people may be concerned about what they are eating (whether it is due to allergies or health concerns).

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