new products

New tomato yoghurt divides opinions in Japan

By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

Japan isn’t scared to explore new and unexpected flavor combinations when creating limited-edition products — we’re looking at you strawberry chocolate shrimp chips — but is there a point where a line should be drawn for the sake of everyone’s taste buds?

“No”, says Japanese dairy specialist Morinaga, who’s decided to push the boundaries of customers’ tastes with a new product called “Delicious Tomato Yoghurt."

Morinaga was so confident in this new flavor creation that they forged ahead with it, even after a survey asking “Would you like to try tomato yoghurt?” was slammed by survey respondents.

▼ The suggestion of tomato yoghurt was met with “大酷評” (“a huge amount of severe criticism”).


To a lot of our overseas readers, yoghurt and tomatoes may not seem as weird a combination as, say, yoghurt and cherry blossoms, but here in Japan tomatoes belong firmly in salads and pasta sauces. This is probably why the new yoghurt has divided opinions in Japan, with some saying it should be stopped at all costs and others calling it a dream offering. Still, when our Japanese-language team caught wind of the new yoghurt, they were keen to expand their horizons and give it a try.


SoraNews24 reporter Ikuna Kamezawa peeled back the lid she could see a few red pieces poking out to greet her.


Ikuna was surprised at how strong the aroma of tomatoes was, even before the yoghurt hit her taste buds. As someone who doesn’t mind tomatoes but can’t stand tomato juice, she wasn’t sure what to expect from tomato yoghurt, but after taking a taste, it was nothing like she’d imagined. It was strangely good. She took another mouthful to check, and sure enough, it was delicious.

Worried that her taste buds might be deceiving her in some way, she quickly handed a tub to fellow reporter Go Hatori for a second opinion. Like Ikuna, he likes tomatoes but hates tomato juice, so he was equally unsure about how he would react to tomato yoghurt.

He also commented on the strong tomato scent, and after swallowing a mouthful, he thought for a moment and said, “Huh, what about that? It’s delicious! Isn’t this popular? Even people who hate tomatoes would like this.”

Morinaga isn’t quite so sure about that, as they’ve specifically designed the yoghurt to be an affront to tomato haters. Their way of thinking is the more tomato haters hate the product, the more tomato lovers will love it.

So for those who dislike tomatoes for their taste, they’ve added real tomato chunks that don’t hold back on flavor. To the naysayers who dislike the texture of raw tomatoes, Morinaga has made sure to retain the pulp-like texture in the yoghurt, and since some don’t like the scent, Morinaga has sought to make the unique aroma really pronounced in the new product.


Morinaga’s new commercial for the product shows tomato haters screwing up their faces at the new yoghurt, while one tomato lover sings its praises at the end.

It’s clear that if you love tomatoes, you’ll love this new yoghurt, but if you don’t like tomatoes, you’ll probably want to steer clear of it.

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Yoghurt Sake is the newest Japanese KitKat we need to get our hands on right now

-- We did it! Japan develops tomato-feeding robot for runners 【Video】

-- So what does Japan’s new Lawson Tomato Latte drink taste like? We tried it out!

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Why not - tomato is a fruit. People are naturally wary of any new food.

We have goats and people always love the milk when they try it. But if we tell them it's goats milk before trying it, they are always hesitant.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

With so much ‘divided opinion’ I will need at least a week to weigh up the pros and cons of this product-I hope my work won’t be affected...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Try it people, could be good !!..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is the real breaking news we've been waiting for.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why not cucumber yogurt, too? It is already popular in many countries. Raita is one common name for it.

Is this Morinaga product sweet or savoury?

iftd66, I quote, knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, yogurt is almost cheese (cream cheese) and the tomato with cheese taste is delicious. I don't see why not give it a try. Heck, if you can stand the taste of natto and other stinky foods the Japanese eat, I don't see the problem with "toma-yo".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sure, why not. I like avocado smoothies and fried bananas (ok, plantains) so this sounds agreeable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think the sticking point is Yogurt, you would normally thing of yogurt as a sweet desert with yuzu or strawberries, but tomatoes? no, not for me sorry. but if it had a different name, may be I would try it. like Gaijintraveller says cucumber with yogurt is called raita in other countries.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think the sticking point is Yogurt, you would normally thing of yogurt as a sweet desert with yuzu or strawberries, but tomatoes? no, not for me sorry

You've never tried a Middle Eastern or North African dish with yoghurt on your lamb or chicken, frequently in combo with a tomato-ey sauce? One of the tastiest things you could ever eat, Brian, I urge you to get out there and broaden your yoghurt horizons.

And raita, too, to cool down a curry... yummy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yumm.. raita is delicious, with a spicy biryanis and cold beer. I've had raita with only cucumber, only tomato, and one with both. Also had raita with something like tanuki udon toppings atop a thick yogurt. I'm salivating. I do recall that all raita was savoury though, so not sure how a sugary version would taste.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I will try it, is it be the first crazy thing that Japan has invented, I might even puke, but I’ll try it, why not?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can't imagine that it is good, but would still be willing to try it.

We had a rule in my parents' house, that you didn't have to like everything put in front of you, but the polite thing to do was to at least try it before turning it down. Not all was good, but most things are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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