Innovative containers: Morinaga VS Meiji: 新鮮な「しまるボトル」森永 VS 明治

Recently, Japan has been really innovative about how containers look like. In part, I think they stimulate interest in consumers, making them pick up the product and hence increase the possibility of the first trial. It’s really refreshing to see this kind of innovation starting to pick up the pace in Japan. While flavors and contents of drinks are always changing depending on the seasons, their containers have remained the same for the past years. Only recently that Morinaga has started the trend.

First and most exciting innovation would be PREMiL! New concept of milk targeting those in their 40s-60s. There are 2 types of product options: one with fortified calcium and protein but still creamy (in blue color) AND one with added fiber and BB536 bacteria (purple color).

Now..look at their packaging! People thought these are yogurt drink at first…because the color and shape is similar to the existing package of some yogurt brands. When they picked the product up, read about it, the surprise factor came in when they realized it’s actually milk! The idea is that it would be easy to open, to pour (so the milk won’t spill if you squeeze the bottle too hard), and to keep. Some complain that it might be difficult when you need to cut the bottle for recycle purpose. Read more here: PREMiL

And then…Meiji followed suit with this bottle series…called “Shimaru bottle”. Shimaru is to close something – in this case the bottle.
Recently launched in combini are 2 variations of dairy drink: super creamy latte and matcha latte. Claiming that the cap allows you to keep the milk from spilling and to keep it for later consumption in case you don’t finish the whole thing. (the term “re-cap” is used in Japanese) Most products in the market are in the form of tetra box, so once you open you can’t really keep it long. Read more here: Shimaru bottle
Here is how the “Shiro no hito toki” (creamy latte) and matcha latte look like:
明治白のひととき 430ml辻利 かほり抹茶ラテ 430ml

They look pretty similar, no? What do you think? Do these new shape of bottle makes you wanna buy more?

How my “food for office” looks like

Just another random post I’d like to share. Here is an example of what I buy from Family Mart in the beginning of my working day. It usually consists of some drink, caffeine in certain form (coffee/red bull), healthy? snacks, and sometimes lunch.

On this particular day, I had to attend some presentation during lunch time so I did not have time to go out. I bought new sandwich product from Famima to try, along with Peanuts-flavor Soyjoy, smoked squid, veggies drink, and non-calorie fruity tea.

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Why did I select these? Let’s start with the tea. I love non-caloric fruity tea lineup from Dydo. They launched 3 flavors now and I love all. This one I bought is relatively new: pear and rose tea. (Details here)

Next, the Soyjoy! Now this is pretty tricky and controversial. I cannot say that this is completely a healthy choice to make. However, it is still better than other chips or chocolate snacks, or even the claimed “high-fiber” biscuits. The trick is to choose the one with lowest sugar possible. As of now, there are 2 soyjoy flavors I bought: peanuts (this one) and chocolate-almonds (I wrote about it here)

For another item for snacking my way during the morning and afternoon, I selected soft smoked squid! It’s still my favorite no matter how many times I ate it. The whole pack is about 60-70 kcal with about 6 g. of protein. Instead of eating sugary stuffs, I think it’s a pretty good chance to take in more protein! Plus, it’s so aromatic and intense in flavor. Once you put it in your mouth, it’s kinda hard to put down. (and it’s relatively cheap too! 108 yen)

I also bought Kagome veggies drink, just to feel like I’m taking veggies, which is so ironic. haha I don’t fully support people to rely on this kind of drink, but just on the day that you know you won’t have a chance to get a proper serving of salad, this may come in handy. Be sure to get the 100% veggies one and not the one with juice blend.

Last is the new sandwich! I was quite excited about this new sandwich from Famima. Why? It’s rye bread with basil/chicken and colorful veggies fillings. The taste is pretty delicious although the chicken is not that substantial. It’s so yummy and flavorful. The texture is good too: you get a crunch from almonds and green beans which goes well with the softer texture of the bread and basil spread. It tastes quite similar to the salad product I wrote about before. The whole pack is around 350 kcal, so….not too bad I think. However, to be honest, this sandwich though delicious still cannot beat the ones from Starbucks whose both quality and price are higher.

Let me know what you bought from your nearest convenience store!

“Coke Life” : the Latest product from Coca-Cola boasts stevia as a health hero : 「コークライフ」

“Coke Life” : the Latest product from Coca-Cola boasts stevia as a health hero : 「コークライフ」

You are going to spot this soon in Japan too!(if not already) Look out for the green label with familiar font written “Coca-Cola Life”
One bottle has 89 calories less than 140 kcal in normal version. However, it still contains more than 4 tablespoons of REAL sugar.
Why launched this? As more research attacked diet coke and coke zero (actually anything soda with the name “zero”) that it may contribute to weight gain rather than weight loss and “artificial” sweeteners are not warmly welcomed either (they are charged with the same penalty)…Coca-cola turned to the only sweetener that is exempted from health critiques – STEVIA!! Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from plant, thus, it is “natural”.

I don’t think the flavor would be that different. In the end, you’ll be drinking Coke. You’re just gonna buy it with less guilt! (well, supposedly so…)

New Soyjoy!! Chocolate and almonds! MUST TRY! : ソイジョイの新発売!チョコレート・アーモンド

Soy joy just launched a new flavor – chocolate and almond – anddddd I just couldn’t resist it so I tried it T_T

Guess what..it’s so good that I have to blog about it! With 146 kcal, 5.4 g. of protein, 9.9 g. of fat, and 7.1 g. of carbs, I personally wouldn’t think of this product as my first choice for afternoon snack. However, I loveeee nipping it all day, meaning breaking it to 4 portions and nip one at a time. I sip small cup of hot tea or hot coffee with it along with lots of water as my afternoon office treat. Especially on my way home from work, the chocolate chips chunks and almonds just make my evening LOADSSS BETTER! It would make you happy 🙂

Just be sure to keep the portion in check. You won’t wanna have this before a big meal…At least that’s what I’m doing. I would opt for a lighter alternative if I wanna indulge in the whole thing in one serving.

VERDICT: a good source of protein with less than 150 kcal. Not a bad deal for snacking/nipping. At least it’s better than eating chocolate or biscuits or potato chips. MUST TRY!

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