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Recently in Japan, there is a trend in which products enjoyed mostly by children come out with limited versions aimed at adults. For example, for several years now, Japanese kids' favorite popsicle brand ガリガリ君 GariGarikun has an 大人の (otona no | literally "adult") series featuring more complex or refined "grown-up" tastes. We've also seen how Pocky released grown-up versions of their popular chocolate stick sweets with a champagne flavor or made to be paired with whisky or wine.
Whereas GariGarikun and Pocky are often also enjoyed by adults, however, some products are almost exclusively enjoyed by kids. For example, the kids' DIY candy brand Nerunerunerune.
As an "educational candy" sold by Kracie Holdings, Ltd., Nerunerunerune has been around since 1986, delighting children with its fun, DIY style in which you add water to different powders to create fluffy or creamy textures and color changes, sometimes with molds and tools provided to create various shapes according to a theme like sushi or burgers.
But now, it would seem that even Nerunerunerune isn't immune to the "grown-up" limited-edition trend.
Nerunerunerune for grown-ups
Literally meaning "grown-up Nerunerunerune," 大人のねるねるねるね otona no nerunerunerune contains Concord red grape juice and Chardonnay white grape juice, creating an "authentic red and white grape flavor" with a moderate sweetness. To this, Kracie Holdings added their own original wine flavoring. The result of considerable effort, this flavoring was developed by analyzing red and white wines specifically selected by a sommelier for their compatibility with Nerunerunerune. The company also changed the texture of the candy, making it fluffier and lighter than the standard type, for a more sophisticated mouthfeel.
The graph above explains how the wine flavoring was obtained. For the red wine, ethyl cinnamate was isolated from a wine made with Pinot Noir grapes grown in New Zealand which was light and aromatic with berry notes. For the white wine, citronellol was isolated from a wine made with Gewürztraminer grapes grown in France which has a tropical bouquet with rose and lychee notes.
Collaboration with Numéro TOKYO
If the sophisticated wine flavor isn't enough to convince you that this is a grown-up product, Kracie Holdings has collaborated with the international fashion magazine Numéro TOKYO on a promotional video:
Moreover, from September 26th to October 2nd, 2022, the ad visuals you see below will be displayed in the youth alternative shopping areas of Ura-Harajuku and "Cat Street" in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward. If you see them, you can use the hashtag #大人のねるねるねるね
大人のねるねるねるね otona no nerunerunerune goes on sale on September 5th, 2022, and will be available in supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores throughout Japan.