Japanese snack brand Calbee, known for their wide range of potato chips, potato stick snacks like Jagabee and Jagarico, as well as their Kappa Ebisen shrimp crackers, have held an annual original "Snack Contest" since 2011, soliciting ideas from children on different themes every year. In 2019, for their 9th contest, the theme was "healthy snacks using vegetable ingredients." 1,032 applications were received from children in 23 schools in Tokyo as well as Tochigi, Kanagawa, and Chiba prefectures.
Winning entry commercialized for the first time
It took over a year of research and develop, but the first place winner of the 9th "Snack Contest" will go on sale in limited quantities on Calbee's online store from Thursday.
The winning entry, called コロコロベジタブル koro koro vejitaburu (Coro Coro Vegetable), submitted by an elementary school student (who remains anonymous), is a collection of cube-shaped snacks of several different vegetable flavors, stacked together to form a larger cube.
Calbee considered that it was "a unique idea in line with the theme of the contest", and the final selection was decided through a web vote by Calbee employees. Since 2021 would mark a decade since the contest began, Calbee decided for the first time that they would commercialize the winning entry. There were various difficulties in developing it in order to make it a fun product which children would enjoy. Calbee formed a project team transcending department boundaries, researched texture, ingredients, and conducted over 100 trials before reaching the final product. As you can imagine, manually stacking cube-shaped snacks one by one like building blocks is no easy task, but Calbee devised a special layout to make the end product look cute.
This will be a very limited lot of 120 because each one is made by hand. Since it's a labor of love, Calbee hopes you will thoroughly taste each and every cube while appreciating the hopes and feelings which the student poured into the entry they submitted for the contest.
The snack uses six vegetables: corn, carrot, sweet potato, edamame, purple potato, and azuki bean. Each of the 64 six-cm cubes are packed with the naturally delicious flavor of their key ingredients and carefully assembled one by one into a larger cube.
In order to reproduce the colorful and cute design and reflect the product name of the winning entry, Calbee carefully considered the layout of each cube so that it would look best. You can enjoy both the visual appeal of the whole and the different textures of each cube.
For the package, Calbee chose a transparent bag which can create a sense of anticipation for the contents inside. They also created a logo design reflecting the texture of the color pencils used in the winning entry's submission.
Price: 800 yen
Available at: Calbee+ (Tokyo Station) and Calbee+ Online Shop
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