Mystery “happy powder” does not make us happy. 

If you’re looking to try a very Japanese snack that’s so popular it’s a household name, you can’t go past Happy Turn rice crackers.

Made by leading snack food company Kameda Seika, Happy Turn claims to “spread happiness with happy powder“, according to the blurb on the packages, and it’s been successfully delivering on that promise since 1976.

The happy powder is about as addictive as the coating on Pringles chips, so when we heard that it would be used for a new range of collaborative goods exclusive to Lawson, we immediately headed out to see what we could find.

The one product that stood out to us as most bizarre was the Au Lait beverage. We couldn’t imagine what it would taste like to drink a milky Happy Turn, so that’s what we chose to try, picking up a few so everyone in the office could give us their verdict on it.

▼ The Au Lait is priced at 168 yen (US$1.32)

With no English other than the company name and “Happy Turn” in small letters on the drink, it wouldn’t be hard for a foreigner to walk in and mistake this for orange juice.

That’s definitely not a mistake you want to make, because looking at the ingredients list, this drink is mostly made up of milk, sugar, and…a salty seasoning.

Opening the lid reveals an ordinary-looking milk-based drink, but how will it taste?

We gave one to P.K. Sanjun to try first, who took a sip and said:

▼ “I can’t have a second mouthful.”

P.K. usually perseveres with even the weirdest food combinations, so this initial assessment wasn’t boding well for the Happy Turn drink.

Perhaps our reporter An Suzu might feel a little happier?

▼ Umm………

An Suzu never has bad word to say about anyone, but even she wasn’t able to say anything nice about this drink.

Surely Mr Sato, the king of weird food, the conqueror of bad flavour who once even ate rice balls made with his own sweat, would be able to down the drink in one and give us a glowing review?

“This is totally messed up!! It’s salted milk! I can’t drink it. I can’t have another mouthful!”

Well, that certainly was a surprise. Who knew that milky happy powder would be the thing to dethrone our reigning champion of food challenges?

To be fair, nobody else in the office could stomach the drink either, with everyone saying it was undrinkable. It might taste better if diluted with water or ice, but seeing as nobody was willing to take a second sip to try that, the Happy Turn Au Lait gets a big thumbs down from us.

The company did do a great job, perhaps too great a job, of replicating the flavour of the snack in the drink, and that may have been its biggest downfall, as it failed to strike a balance between flavours. Still, if you’re keen to see if you can stomach two mouthfuls of this salty beverage, feel free to give it a try and let us know how you go!

Personally, we’ll be sticking to the traditional Happy Turn for our happy fix in future.

Reference: Lawson
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