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Alphabet Chocolate
Quality after Quantity?
Date:27, Feb, 2019
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Hello. Today I'm talking about Alphabet Chocolate produced by Meito. Have you ever heard Meito? Probably no. Well, they are a sweets manufacturer in Nagoya, Aichi. And Alphabet Chocolate is their long-seller since 1970.

What's Alphabet Chocolate? you might wonder. Alphabet-shaped chocolate? No, no, no. It's just a bite-size cube chocolate. On the top, carved is one of alphabet letters (A to Z) at random.



Alphabet Chocolate
File: 名糖アルファベットチョコレート.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photed on Sep. 16, 2013)

Why did they begin to produce it in 1970?

In 1960, importing cacao beans was liberalized. Then, a lot of chocolate products were produced during the decade of 1960's. Most of them were bar chocolates. So Meito didn't choose producing bar ones. If they did take it, they would only play second fiddle to the precedents. That wouldn't bring great fruits to them.

Then, they decided to produce bite-size chocolate. Alphabet Chocolate had stayed obscure for a while, however. The point of change came there in 1977. They began to launch it at the bigger pack (300g!) in 1977. It became a big hit. People put quality after quantity. Today the regular pack is 191g.



I don't think it was not so reasonable. 1970 is the year that Japan's population broke 100 million. And the people were steadily on the increase in 1970's. It means the market longed for quantity before quality at the time.

Today Japan's population is on the decrease, on the other hand. They say they produce about 12 million packs of Alphabet Chocolate a year. The number is Japanese people's appraisal of Alphabet Chocolate's quality, perhaps.

Meito (Japanese)




 

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