Japan’s favourite chocolate

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It’s Valentine’s Day today, but I cannot find a nice ranking, so instead here’s an ordinary survey from @nifty about chocolate.

Demographics

Between the 29th of January and the 4th of February 2016 3,364 members of the @nifty research group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

I don’t understand why mint scores so low in Q3; most of my foreign friends cannot wait until summer and mint chocolate sweets come into season, but whatever they are offering are difficult to find and the season ends all too quickly. On the other hand, in the second part of Q1, I cannot really believe that half the surveyed population eats chocolates four or more times per day!

Here’s some interesting chocolate flavours:

Tomato chocolate?
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Heartstring tugging ways for girls to pass guys Valentine chocolates

With Valentine’s Day almost upon us, goo Ranking published the results of a ranking survey into heartstring tugging ways of passing Valentine’s chocolates, and as is the tradition in Japan, it was for men receiving them from women.

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Demographics

Over the 7th and 8th of December 2012 1,059 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 61.4% of the sample were female, 10.8% in their teens, 14.4% in their twenties, 24.9% in their thirties, 28.8% in their forties, 11.5% in their fifties, and 9.6% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample. This question was for the women only.

Note that there are two kinds of chocolates; obligatory chocolates that have to be handed out to every male in one’s workplace or class that have no romantic significance, and true love chocolates, the meaning of which should be obvious!

I don’t think I’d be really too impressed with any of the below, myself, except of course the no beating about the bush of number four!
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2010 Valentine’s Day plans

Who do you most want to send a Valentine gift to? graph of japanese statisticsIt’s coming up to Valentine’s Day, which in Japan means that women buy gifts for men, on the whole, not only for their true love (or object of affection) but also for men at work, although with Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday this year, chocolate companies are hurting. So, today’s survey from Yahoo! Japan Value Insight is all about St Valentine’s Day.

Demographics

Between the 8th and 10th of January 2010 400 women between the ages of 20 and 39 resident within Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 100% were women, and 25.0% were aged between 20 and 24 years old, 25.0% between 25 and 29, 25.0% from 30 to 24, and 25.0% from 35 to 39.

The best chocolates I’ve received have been B.B. Chocolat Premier (hmm, they don’t seem to have an official web page), as I do like the look of them, which is just as important, if not more, that the actual taste on Valentine’s Day.
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Curious confection consumption

To follow up on the recent look at confectionery consumption, here’s a related silly survey from goo Ranking into strange ways of eating sweets.

Demographics

Between the 23rd and 25th of March 2009 1,043 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private online questionnaire. 52.2% of the sample were male, 7.8% in their teens, 17.1% in their twenties, 28.2% in their thirties, 24.8% in their forties, 11.4% in their fifties, and 10.7% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

My strange way is that I used to peel all the chocolate off Kit-Kats back in the UK and suck the chocolate off Penguin Biscuits, but I cannot lay claim to any odd sweets-eating habits in Japan. I’ve never seen Jelly Babies (or Peeps for the Americans) in Japan outside of import stores, so there are no reports in the list below of people starting with a decapitation.

Here’s a bunch of pretty boys doing number 1, eating their Tongari Corn from their fingers:


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Confectionery consumption in Japan

How often do you usually eat confectionery? graph of japanese statisticsRecently MyVoice investigated the subject of confectionery consumption amongst its panel of monitors. As a cross-reference, last year MyVoice looked at cheering oneself up with sweets.

Demographics

Over the first five days of April 2009 15,582 members of the MyVoice internet community successfully completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% were in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 35% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 19% after fifty or older.

I’m surprised at the relatively low figure for spending in Q6, especially given a quarter eat sweets daily – I wonder if this means people only counting treating themselves explicitly to sweets, rather than also adding in purchases of treats for children that they eat together?
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What to expect this Valentine’s Day in Japan

Do you think there should be exchanging of obligatory chocolates at work? graph of japanese statisticsIt’s coming up to that time of the year in Japan where the women may express their love and have to express their gratitute, so Macromill Inc looked at women and Valentine’s Day.

Demographics

Over the 21st and 22nd of January 2009 515 female members of the Macromill monitor group aged between twenty and thirty-nine completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 54 were aged between 20 and 24, 155 between 25 and 29, 174 between 30 and 34, and 132 between 35 and 39.

In Japan there are two different types of chocolate that women must buy for Valentine’s Day. The first kind is “true” (本命, honmei) chocolates, the other “obligatory” (義理, giri); the first goes to your true love (or object of infatuation, etc), the second male colleagues at work. As you may guess, the amount of effort and expense gone to for each type varies greatly!

Note that “traditionally” it is the women who give men presents on Valentine’s Day, and they hope for something in return on White Day, the 14th of March. However, from this year some of the chocolate makers have been promoting 逆チョコ, gyaku choko, reverse chocolates, which come in a mirror imaged box.

Two years ago I translated a similar Macromill Valentine survey that you may want to cross-reference.
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Under 4% of Japanese dislike chocolate

Do you like chocolate? graph of japanese statisticsChocolate; I couldn’t live without it. Although last year I looked at a number of chocolate-related surveys, and with Valentine’s Day coming up soon I’ll no doubt look again next month, I hope that like me, you just can’t get enough of chocolate even in survey form, as in this report from MyVoice on chocolate image.

Demographics

Over the first five days of December 2007 14,628 members of the MyVoice internet community successfully completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 54% of the sample was female, 2% in their teens, 16% in their twenties, 40% in their thirties, 27% in their forties, and 15% in their fifties.

In Q6, I’ve heard various bits of quackery associated with chocolate, but never that it protects against tooth decay or hayfever!

What’s your favourite Japanese chocolate-based snack? I’m a Pocky person, although I don’t eat it as much as I’d like.

{democracy:9}

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Ask What Japan Thinks: Chocolate brands

Welcome to a new irregular feature, where I will try to answer queries from my mailbag (and other questions prompted by the buzz of 103bees).

This time, a reader named A.P. emailed to ask what brands of chocolate the Japanese like. Off the top of my head, regarding bar-type just chocolate products, Ghana would appear to be the number one brand name. Thinking about chocolate-based sweets, tops would have to be Pocky of course. For premuim brands, the local brand Royce, USA ones like See’s and Mary’s, and Belgium’s (well, manufactured under licence from Belgium) Godiva. There are also a number of smaller speciality chocolatiers dotted all around the country, whose products can sometimes be found in department store basement food courts.

There was a boom in bitter chocolate last year, but that was mostly spurred on by fakery from Hakkutsu! Aru-Aru Daijiten.
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Return your love with accessories, your obligation with cookies

Should there be giri chocolates at work? graph of japanese opinionRecently, Macromill Inc. published the results of a survey into Saint Valentine’s Day. They interviewed 515 female company employees aged between 20 and 39 from their internet monitor group over two days towards the end of January this year. In the sample 57 women or 11.1% were aged between 20 and 24, 169 or 32.8% between 25 and 30, 182 or 35.3% between 30 and 34, and 107 or 20.8% between 35 and 39.

In Japan, Saint Valentine’s Day actually incorporates two different celebrations. Before I mention them, note that this day is just for women to give stuff to men; we get our chance next month, on White Day, the 14th of March. One celebration is, of course, the one we all know in the west, giving a present to your object of affection. The second is “male appreciation day”, where 義理チョコ, giri chocolates, are given to men, usually work colleagues, in theory given freely as an expression of thanks, but the word “giri” can be translated as “obligatory”, indicating that most female employees have to pay for chocolates for all the men in the office. Mari Kanazawa covers this issue today in her own inimitable style, as does Shari at My So-Called Japanese Life.

At work there’s quite a fair haul of goodies – there is the standard chocolates (Royce, from our company shop), then some Zunda beans Pretz (I think they are a Valentine gift anyway!), and a huge selection of hand-made cakes by one of my colleague’s wife, whose hobby is making cakes for us. I had a lovely cherry sponge, done to the quality (including the obligatory double-wrapping) of commercial cakes.
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