The easiest way to breathe new life into a snack food is to combine a famous regional ingredient with a familiar flavor. Two recent convenience store arrivals highlight this strategy well.
Calbee’s long-running Shiawase Rich Butter potato chip series has long been a winner for those seeking something sweeter in their potato snack. It’s gone and upped the stakes by updating the flavor with real Hokkaido butter. The honey flavor in these chips (¥214 after tax) really ups the ante on the sweetness, making for a richer flavor experience overall.
Yamayoshi’s current limited-edition creation, meanwhile, tries something new with seafood-flavored potato chips. Usually, when a snack trumpets a lobster taste, the end result is something closer to mediocre crab. Yet its new Spiny Lobster Grilled Mayonnaise chip (¥152 after tax) manages something rare: nailing the lobster flavor — kind of. It’s impressive all the same.
I guess giving a nod to a place famous for said crustacean demands a certain quality.