Shingen, meet Mike.

Searching the snack shelves of Japanese convenience stores, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that looks much more American than Mike Popcorn. Yes, it really is pronounced just like the man’s name (and not mike/”mee-kay,” the Japanese word for a tortoiseshell cat and one of Japan’s most popular pet names), and it’s even produced by the local arm of Frito-Lay, whose parent company is headquartered in Texas.

▼ Mike Popcorn

But at the end of this month, Mike Popcorn is going to get very Japanese with a special new flavor: sweet mochi! Specifically, the brand is partnering with Yamanashi confectioner Kikyouya, maker of Shingen Mochi, Yamanashi Prefeture’s most popular traditional sweet.

Shingen Mochi is a soft mochi served in a deep, rectangular tray. Dusted with kinako, a roasted soy powder with a sweet cinnamon-like taste, once you unwrap the package you drizzle on the sticky kuromitsu brown sugar syrup that comes in a separate container, then eat it with a wooden utensil that’s sort of like a broad toothpick.

Shingen Mochi tastes delicious, but as you can imagine, it’s a bit of an involved process, and you have to pay pretty close attention while eating it if you don’t want to end up with powder or syrup all over your clothes or the table. But you can now enjoy the flavor of Shingen Mochi with no assembly, special tools, or messy fuss, thanks to the Shingen Mochi Flavor Mike Popcorn that Kikyouya and Frito-Lay have created, their first collaboration in the 50-plus-year history of the Shingen Mochi brand.

The companies promise that the Japanese-inspired popcorn is made with an abundant amount of kinako and brown sugar, giving you a flavor that Japan has loved for generations in a crunchy finger-food format. It’s also a treat for the eyes, with Kikyouya’s instantly recognizable flower and tied cord motif, and its creators say we can also look forward to a tantalizing sweet aroma the second we tear open the bag.

Considering how amazing the Shingen Mochi Kit Kats we ate a while back were, we can’t wait to get our hands on the Shingen Mochi Mike when it goes on sale nationwide on September 30 for an impulse buy-friendly 115 yen (US$1.05).

Source: PR Times
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: Kikyouya, PR Times
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