Photo: PR Times
food

International-hit candy Hi-Chew adds English to in-Japan logo, makes it bigger than the Japanese

6 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Has there ever been a bigger Japanese-sweets-overseas success story than Hi-Chew? Sure, Japanese dessert flavors, like matcha and sakura, have made inroads in other countries, as have certain sweet snack types like ice daifuku (often called “mochi ice cream”). As an individual product from a specific brand, though, few can rival Morinaga’s Hi-Chew fruit chew candies in English-language territories, where even Glico’s Pocky can’t match its popularity and enthusiastic acceptance by the mainstream public.

Hi-Chew wasn’t an overnight overseas success story, though. It first went on sale in Japan back in 1975, but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that it really caught on in the U.S., thanks in no small part to word of mouth from Boston Red Sox teammates of Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa. Free samples at the stadium then turned baseball fans into Hi-Chew fans too, prompting Morinaga to open a Hi-Chew factory in the U.S. to keep retailers including Target, Walmart, and a slew of other retailers outside the Asian food specialty market sphere stocked too.

So now, to reflect Hi-Chew’s evolution to an international snack staple, Morinaga has redesigned the logo it uses for the candy in Japan, and not only have they added English to it, the English text is much more prominent than the Japanese.

▼ Old Hi-Chew logo in Japan

Screenshot-2024-02-10-at-12.26.50.png

▼ New Hi-Chew logo in Japan

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The new logo still features the Hi-Chew name written in Japanese phonetic katakana characters (ハイチュウ), but hanging off to bottom right of the logo, underneath the HI-CHEW part. “We are taking this opportunity to redesign our brand logo from katakana to an English rendering of Hi-Chew as we aim to be a global brand loved by many people,” says Morinaga in its announcement.

Morinaga has also said that it will be bringing mango Hi-Chew, the second-most popular flavor in America (behind strawberry) to Japan for the first time, with the packaging even touting it as “A popular flavor in America!” (アメリカで人気のフレーバー!).

Screenshot-2024-02-10-at-12.27.11.png

It’s not unusual for Japanese businesses to design logos that use English script instead of Japanese. Nintendo, Toyota and Sony are just three examples of prestigious companies that use an English-text logo for their organizations even within Japan. For that matter, Morinaga itself uses English text for its company logo, which features an angel with M-shaped wings.

Screenshot-2024-02-10-at-12.27.17.png

In particular, Japanese companies with international aspirations regularly use English logos companywide, with Japanese-text-only logos more commonly associated with entities with a more provincial scope, or heavily focused on products with deep ties to classical Japanese culture.

As such, the logo redesign isn’t likely to be seen within Japan as Hi-Chew sweeping its originated-in-Japan status under the rug, but as a sign that the candy has achieved success and recognition overseas beyond that of a short-lived fad or novelty.

Source, images: PR Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Hi-Chew releases new Japanese School Lunch flavor to stimulate appetites and nostalgia

-- What does this Japanese candy have to do with the Red Sox? Quite a lot, actually

-- Hi-Chew fruit candies re-invented in DIY food creations

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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I don’t eat this type of thing, too sweet.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I've never prooved this snack...I wonder how it is...I wonder whether it's a gum or candy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So many products already here are advertised, presented, sold in Japan with names/titles in English.

The article mentions Nintendo, Toyota and Sony and they are but a few of the 1,000s, many being major corporations.

So if anyone is "sad" at the loss of Japanese-ness, then they haven't really been paying attention.

English is ubiquitous.

Just a non-event imo.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I wonder if they also plan to offer packaging in Spanish, Hindi, Chinese,Arabic and French languages, as to create even more potential customers.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

ハイチュウ, especially スッパイチュウ, are my guilty pleasure. I'm not usually protective of "Japaneseness", and I'm aware they are sold under the westernized brand overseas already. But this westernization for the Japanese market makes me a little bit sad. It feels like they are sorting themselves into the bulk of imported candy now.

the logo redesign isn’t likely to be seen within Japan as Hi-Chew sweeping its originated-in-Japan status under the rug

"That's not good," my wife says, similarly not being able to put a finger on to why. That's a sample size of one, of course, but I'm afraid they are a misjudging Japanese sensibilities.

With or without sugar?

Oh, they absolutely contain sugar, believe it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

With or without sugar?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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