Photo: © grape Japan

Frito-Lay Goes Hard BDSM In Japan With Its Latest Snack

Frito Lay is no stranger in Japan. Ever since it set up an independent company, Japan Frito-Lay, Ltd. in 1990, it has been offering local versions of Doritos and Cheetos, popcorn (having acquired Mike Popcorn, Japan's first popcorn company), the puffed potato twist snack Dragon Potato, the takoyaki flavored snack Takoyaki-tei, and several other now-discontinued snack brands. (You can see their complete past and present lineup here.)

Adult themes

While they have had unusual limited-edition flavors collaborating with movies, characters and even pop bands, the only thing even remotely approaching "adult themes" by Frito Lay could be the spicy chicken flavored "Doritos Late Night" they released in 2017.

With the latest two entries in their "Mania" series, however, Frito Lay has taken on an unmistakably "adult" twist, featuring S&M iconography and very masochist-friendly language about the pain it promises to deliver in a small Cheetos-like corn snack, one with sinus-burning wasabi-flavor and the other with a throat-stinging blend of habanero and Akahachi, a chili pepper native to Okinawa 3.4 times as hot as habanero.

Hard Mania

This is not the first time Frito Lay has offered these two flavors. Their original "Mania" series in 2017 had a "Wasabi Mania" and a "Gekikara Mania" version (gekikara 激辛 meaning "extremely hot"). But these flavors have now returned in a new snack format and a radically different package design. Smaller, more compact and harder, the new snack is called "Hard Mania."

Hard Mania: Extremely Hot Double Punch flavor

If you only looked at the chili pepper-headed character kneeling in pain, arms stretched out in anticipation of an attack by a giant snack piece, and the message "An extremely spicy attack will strike you...!" on the front of the package of Hard Mania Gekikara W Blend Aji ハードマニア 激辛Wブレド味 (Hard Mania: Extremely Hot Double Blend flavor), you could think the product is just hyping up how spicy it is.

Photo by © grape Japan / © Japan Frito-Lay, Ltd.

But look more closely at the brand logo "Hard Mania" and you'll see a feathered eyemask and a slapper whip next to it, which lends a completely different nuance to the images and messages on the package.

Photo by © grape Japan / © Japan Frito-Lay, Ltd.

Turn the package over, and you'll see a warning message:

"Habanero and Akahachi! Are you looking for stimulation? Two top-strength spices have formed a tag team to deliver real extreme spiciness to you".

Photo by © grape Japan / © Japan Frito-Lay, Ltd.

They aren't kidding when they say "extreme spiciness." This little snack is packed with powdered chili peppers.

Photo by © grape Japan / © Japan Frito-Lay, Ltd.

Hard Mania: Stimulating Wasabi flavor

If it's the sinus clearing stimulation of wasabi which you prefer, then you'll surely appreciate Hard Mania: Shigekiteki Wasabi Aji ハードマニア刺激的わさび味 (Hard Mania: Stimulating Wasabi flavor).

Photo by © grape Japan / © Japan Frito-Lay, Ltd.

Continuing with the S&M theme, you'll find a studded leather cap and eyemask along with a candle dripping wax to the right of the Hard Mania logo on the package.

Photo by © grape Japan / © Japan Frito-Lay, Ltd.

Studded with wasabi powder, these snacks will bring tears to your eyes.

Photo by © grape Japan / © Japan Frito-Lay, Ltd.

If you're in the mood for some extreme stimulation in your snacking experience when you visit Japan, you can pick up a bag of Hard Mania at Family Mart convenient stores for 138 JPY (tax included).

By - Ben K.