Searching for Candy Corn in Japan

MakiOctober 30, 2009
Ray likes candy-corn a lot. Yes, the candy-corn well known for Halloween!  As another Halloween approached this year, our hope rose again and our search for candy corn goodness resumed...
A friend sent these to Ray.
Halloween is another event rooted in western culture, but as we all know, many businesses see a ¥ marks in these things. So, even in Japan, every super market and shopping mall are decorated in Halloween style - including the distinct 3-color tooth-shaped candy corn pattern.  For an American, candy-corn is a necessary ingredient for Halloween.  Without them Halloween can't start.  They are the sugary taste of the season!

But as of yet, we are not able to get candy-corn in Japan. Every year, to make Ray happy, I call, walk to, and research many shops and importers looking for a candy-corn. But so far, I've had no luck.  I see candy corn images on many things, such as a banners, greeting cards, packages and even girl's tights!   But no candy-corn itself. Once, a guy who worked at an import shop told me that the big wholesale importer who dealt with candy-corn stopped handling them.

Normally I would expect somebody else to start handling them.  But, the bottom line of this problem is very simple: Japanese people don't like strong color combinations and straight forward sugar sweets, like candy-corn.  In Japan, candy-corn doesn't have the attraction of local people to make it worth the effort and cost.

~:+:~ ~:+:~ ~:+:~ ~:+:~ ~:+:~

レイはキャンディコーンが大好きだ。そう、あのハロウィーンでおなじみのキャンディコーン。今年ももうすぐハロウィーンがやってくる。ハロウィーンは西洋 の行事だけれど、さまざまな企業のマーケティング戦略で、日本でも10月になるとハロウィーン仕様に街や店が飾られる。そして、ハロウィーンと言えば、欠 かせないのがキャンディコーン。さっきお伝えしたように、レイはキャンディコーンが好きだから、ハロウィーンの時期には、普段は忘れている「キャンディコーン ラブ」が起き上がってくる。 けれど、日本ではキャンディコーンは手に入らないのだ。 毎年、毎年、レイを喜ばせようと、秋になるといろんな輸入食 材店をリサーチしたり、電話をかけたり、取り扱ってそうな店があれば覗いてみる。でも、キャンディコーンはない。キャンディコーンの模様が施されたバナー や、グリーティングカード、パッケージ、はたまたタイツまで見つけられるのに、キャンディコーン自体は見つけられない。ある輸入食材店で得た情報では、取 り扱っていた輸入業者が取り扱うのを止めてしまった、とのこと。 だけど、ほかの業者が取り扱ってもいいんじゃない?とも思う。 でも、行き着くとこは、 きっとあのキャンディコーンの色と甘さが強すぎて、日本人にはそれほど受けないんだと思う。日本では手間ひま+コストをかけるほどの価値はないんだと思 う。
January 30, 2010
Maki does indeed go to great lengths to help find me this "taste of home" during the Halloween holidays..  And gifts from my friends with the little treats are super fun to get! 

But I do think I disagree about Maki's conclusion!  Japanese clearly love this color combination, as evident in their heavy use of it during October.  Who doesn't enjoy this Autumn classic!

And for pure sugar tastes, that is classic Japanese!  In fact, the more traditional the sweet, the closer it is to pure simple sugar!  (That seems true of nearly all cultures!)

I think candy corn would sell well here - and the market is ripe for an enterprising importer.  As a side effect, that importer would make me very happy!
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