Garigari-kun apparently believes you can improve on perfection.

Japan’s Garigari-kun might just be the perfect popsicle. With a core made of shaved ice, it’s delicious and refreshing, instantly delighting taste buds, quenching thirst, and cooling the body. Add in an amazingly low price of just 76 yen (US$0.56), and it’s easy to see why Garigari-kun is Japan’s favorite popsicle.

So it’s hard to not feel at least a little uneasy at the announcement from maker Akagi Nyugyo that it’s going to be changing how Garigari-kun tastes and feels very soon.

▼ Garigari-kun’s classic Soda flavor has a bright blue color, like the frozen treat seen here.

In a customer survey held last summer, a large number of Garigari-kun buyers mentioned the popsicles’ cooling and refreshing qualities, the brand’s instantly recognizable mascot character, and the large number of limited-time special flavors in the lineup. Not so many mentioned an informed admiration for the production process or an appreciation of the high-quality ingredients, such as exceptionally pure water, used in Garigari-kun’s production, or at least not as many as Akagi Nyugyo would like.

As a result, the company has decided to revamp its packaging, recipe, and manufacturing method for its flagship Soda flavor (in the Japanese sweets world, “soda” refers to a light citrus cider flavor). They’ll be shaving the ice used for the core more coarsely, resulting in larger crystals, and also tinkering with the ingredient mix to deliver what they promise is “an even more refreshing aftertaste” than the current Garigari-kun’s.

▼ New Garigari-kun packaging

Similar changes are also coming to Garigari-kun Cola and Grapefruit, the other flavors that were part of the original mix when the brand launched in 1981.

This will be the first change to the Garigari-kun Soda recipe since 2002. With the flavor so beloved, it’s doubtful that the new recipe is going to be substantially different, but it’s still a big risk tampering with what consumers have largely considered perfection for the last two decades-plus. Akagi Nyugyo isn’t exactly giving Garigari-kun fans much time to say goodbye, either, by announcing the change on March 2 and saying that the new version will be in stores in mid-March, joining the new-recipe Asahi Super Dry and new-recipe Japanese Chicken McNuggets in the market.

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