If there’s one thing I learned recently, it’s that I’m not special… Don’t worry, I’m not going through a depression, it’s an inside joke that some of you may get.
In any case, in line with how not special I am, I really like snacks! As such, when Sugoi Mart offered to send me a box full of Japanese snacks to test out and talk about, I jumped on it! Free Japanese snacks, are you kidding? Who would turn that down? Not me!!!
Sugoi Mart is an online store that offers unique Japanese food & snacks, to drinks, collectibles, appliances, beauty, games, & more! They are a Japanese-based business that seems to be owned by the same parent company as Japan crate for those of you who are familiar. Instead of being a subscription model, like a lot of Japanese snack sellers I have been seeing lately, they are a traditional store where you can pick and choose exactly what you want. Although there are some garb bags and bundles for those of you who still like a few surprises!
I only got to experience the snack aspect so I can’t talk about the collectables but there are some very cute-looking things on the site.
I will get to my personal reviews but I think that snacks tend to be extra hard to review since they depend almost entirely on the taste of the consumer. Something I find absolutely delicious may not be your cup ‘o tea and vice versa. So I’m going to start with the aspects that should be a bit more universal. For instance shipping!
Shipping to Canada where I live was relatively fast. It took a bit over a week for my box to get delivered to my door and I had no issues at all on that front. It was packaged well and everything inside showed up in one piece. There was a large box with some loose individual snacks and drinks inside as well as two grab bags. There are still plenty of snacks left as there was enough to keep me fed for weeks should I decide to stick to a diet of 100% junk food. Which seemed like a good decision at the time!
Moreover, nothing was expired or even close to the expiration date. That’s something you occasionally need to look out for when ordering food online, especially from overseas. All the individual wrappers and packages were completely sealed with no rips or holes and all the chips were intact. I didn’t receive a bag of chip dust.
As these are actual Japanese snacks and not American-made ones, a lot of the packaging is only in Japanese. This isn’t an issue for me but if you have any sort of food allergy, it may be difficult to get the information you need from the product itself. I would recommend researching a bit before you order to avoid trying to translate a tiny Japanese ingredient list with your phone.
As for the contents. I received two different types of instant ramen (one was an adorable Pokemon-themed cup), a couple of soft drinks, some cakes and gummies as well as one large bag of assorted chips and one, also a large bag of assorted kit kat flavours.
I think the myriad of Japanese Kit Kat flavours are pretty well-known internationally by now. The candy bar is a favourite in Japan and they really went all in with the variety of flavours available. I have tried quite a few throughout the years but there were still some new ones here. Among the standouts for me were Bana which is absolutely delicious, chocolate cake and strawberry which I had firmly decided were blueberry flavoured because I apparently have no sense of taste (a great quality for anyone trying to review snacks) and the “whole wheat” flavour which to me tasted a bit like sweetened condensed milk and had a very pleasant unassuming flavour that paired great with coffee.
At the end of the day, they are still Kit Kats. If you like Kit Kats, you’ll probably like them. The grab bag offers a huge selection of individually wrapped small two-piece Kit Kats which are great for a little light treat and easy to share with friends. It’s also fun trying to figure out the flavours when the only clue you have is a picture of a mountain. Yummy, Fuji flavour!
The chip bag was a bit more of a challenge. Admittedly there were more unusual tastes for people that aren’t used to Japanese snacks. There were Avocado and cheese Doritos. I should stress that these were avocados and not guacamole. I have to admit, the taste was a bit odd for me. There was something sweet about them that didn’t quite mesh with the rest. But the crunch and mouthfeel are exactly what you expect from Doritos.
There were some egg-flavoured pringles that really did taste like eggs. I would describe them as uncanny. Some beef-flavoured Cheetos (made with real beef). I gave them to a friend who said they kind of tasted like BBQ Cheetos and she really liked them. And some seaweed kettle chips. I love both seaweed and kettle chips so those were a hit for me.
The cakes and drinks were all Sakura-flavoured. Of these, the Baumkuchen was by far my favourite. It had a delicate layered texture and a lightly sweet Sakura taste. I wish I had some left. I have to admit I didn’t like one of the ramen at all. I don’t know what the flavour was but it wasn’t for me. The Pokemon one though was great and I got a sticker! YAY.
Oh and there was some delicious almond crusted pocky. Pocky are pretty easy to get here so it’s not as exciting but they were quite yummy.
I went through the site and as far as things I can get up here go, the prices seemed pretty good. There are even some anime theme bags that could make a great gift for fans of the show. If you want something specific or if you just want to try out a few snacks and not shell out for an entire box, you should definitely check out Sugoi Mart.