Many candies in Japan come in multiple flavors. Kit Kats maybe the most wide spread in this arena. They release regional flavors (to promote tourism), limited time flavors (to promote regular consumption), convenience store limited flavors (to promote multiple lines of sale), big bag flavors (to promote increased consumption), and a variety of sizes and shapes (to draw different types of consumers). Yet today’s story is not about Nestle’s.
M&M’s, from Mars Japan, is foraying into this flavorful arena with a new product called, M&M’s Orange. The packaging is quite cute with the orange M&M character unzipping his shell to reveal that he is actually an orange hiding inside. Since the Mission Impossible movies where people peel off perfect disguises of other people, this theme has appeared in all manner of commercials and M&M’s have picked up on it.
Sometimes when I’m talking about calligraphy, or some other fine detail of Japanese culture, my Japanese friends joke that when I go home I peel off my foreigner disguise and I’m really some old Japanese scholar. I play it up by grabbing skin under my jawline and stretching it up like I’m de-masking. The effect is pretty funny.
Orange M&M’s come in two colors – orange and white – but as far as my limited taste buds can tell, they are both the same flavor. I expected there to be an even number of each color, but eating them in pairs, I found there were ten orange ones left over.
Oddly, I have only found these at the Pocket Plat kiosk store on the Ujiyamada Station (宇治山田駅) platform: not in the supermarket candy aisle, not in the convenience stores. Perhaps this is because some stores only carry M&Ms in the summer (according to a store owner I interrogated) or because most stores think it won’t sell.