Major Renewal of Candy “Yatter! Men” Due to Price Hikes | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Major Renewal of Candy “Yatter! Men” Due to Price Hikes

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‘We don’t want to lose the candy culture that makes a childhood moment memorable.’

Apparently, the official name is “Yatter! Men” (noodles).

It is no exaggeration to say that Yatter Men is a national candy. You used to eat it too, right? The money coupon was worth 10 or 20 yen, and it tickled the gambling spirit of children.

Such a favorite soul food of the Japanese people used to cost 10 yen, but I wondered if the price could be maintained in this wave of price hikes! I was worried, so I went to talk to the manufacturer, “Jack’s Confectionery”.

The exterior is almost like a house! I was relieved to hear that it was not a high-class building.


The company is located in Higashi, Osaka, a very local area. With a map in hand, I walked along the street, thinking, “This is definitely not in a residential area like this,” when I heard a mysterious pressing sound coming from a building that looked like it had been there since before the war. I looked and saw that it was labeled “Jack’s Confectionery Factory No. 2”. I noticed that the house across the street was also the company building of Jack’s Confectionery. This whole area had been jacked by Jack’s Confectionery!


When I entered the headquarters, I was greeted by the third president, Miki Nakano, and his son, Yu, the managing director. So it was a family business. But I had no idea that it was made by such a small company. I have been eating Yatter Men since I was a child (in fact, even now), and it is almost a staple food for me.

On the left is the president, Miki-san, and on the right is Yu-san. Their mild-mannered personalities are just like those of the Yatter Men company!

Jack’s Confectionery was founded in 1948. The company was originally a confectionery wholesaler, but it became a manufacturer of “Nikki Bars” and “Mukden” (do you know what they are?) The production of Yatter Men was about 30 years ago. I think it has been around for longer, but it is a rather recent product.


Incidentally, the current product lineup is said to be about 20 kinds, including Yatter Men, “Unchi Gummi,” “Sucker Scratch,” and “Ika-ten de gozaru,” among others. I am embarrassed to say this, but I have eaten all of them. I still buy them at candy stores.

This is just a part of their product lineup.

The amazing thing about “Jack’s Confectionery” is that they are doing only candy with a lottery for a golden ticket. Nowadays, they are probably the only company that does this. And since the highest winning amount is 100 yen, it’s a high-return gamble that even adults are tempted to take.

Oh, I noticed that the Yatter Men hit was changed to “100 yen”, “50 yen”, and “one more extra”.
By the way, if you win, you can use it as a golden ticket at the candy store, but how do you return the money to the store? When I asked him about the biggest mystery since my childhood, he said, “They put in the same amount of hazel products as the total amount of winnings.” In other words, if there is a win worth 400 yen, they put 140 pieces in the wholesale instead of 100. So if they sell all of them, the stores don’t lose any money. Of course, it is not legal to take the golden tickets to any store other than the store where you bought them. Please don’t do it. Some stores put their stamp on each item to prevent this. That’s smart!


Candy made by an amazingly analog production method

When we asked to see the production site of Yatter Men, which we have longed to see, he told us, “Yatter Men is manufactured in such large quantities that the contents are made by other companies. Because about 1,000 boxes of 140 pieces are sent out into the world every day. Gummies and chocolate products are made here.”

Noodles are hand-formed into molds.

They label and cut them. Not by hand, as you would expect.
There are about 20 employees. Did everyone join the company because they love Yatter Men after all? I think so. I’m sure the kids will be able to brag to their friends, “My parents work for the Yatter Men company,” and become heroes. I envy you!
This is the machine that presses the shapes. The “pshoo, pshoo” sound you hear on the front was this sound!
It’s a mold for poop and starch gummy bears! It’s kind of funny!

I knew the illustration was drawn by the president!

This is the new Omikuji Yatter Men. I’ll explain in detail later.

But the Chinese-like illustration of Yatter Men looks a bit amateurish and familiar, doesn’t it? I asked him, “Who draws them?”, and he replied, “I draw all of them” I knew it! I had a hunch.

I have loved comic books since I was a child and dreamed of becoming a cartoonist. I gave it up when I entered college, but it was too expensive to hire a professional to do package design for this company, so I decided to draw them myself to save money. I also draw all the stickers for the extras inside. I had to make about 70 different stickers for each product, so it was very difficult just to think about it.

Tearful cost-cutting! The illustrations are the culmination of the president’s dreams that have blossomed since he was a child. It makes me cry.

I hope the creepy-crawly retro illustrations will never change!

“By the way, the packaging of Yatter Men has been renewed in 2018, and the lid has been changed from paper to aluminum. You can open it neatly by flipping it open from the corner, and you no longer have to stick your finger in. The previous lid also had a flip-open method, but the adhesive was too strong and it doesn’t come off. I said it was a bad idea because if you poked a hole in it with your finger, you would tear the lettering on the money order ticket,” Yu said.


I have been eating it for a long time, and when it was renewed, I was sad to see a wave of modernization in Yatter Men. I was also impressed that the lid was now aluminum, which made it more resistant to moisture, and the noodles were crispy and fresh.

Am I the only one who misses the beautifully peeled off Yattermen?

The wave of rising prices. Yatter noodles, there is no way out now.

I asked him if he was considering raising prices due to the soaring prices, to which he replied, “We have already been offering ‘open pricing’ for several years now. When the consumption tax was raised to 10%, it became more and more difficult for us to charge 10 yen. That is why we decided not to advertise the price as 10 yen, but to let the candy shops decide the price freely. In fact, some stores sell them for 15 yen and some for 20 yen.”

The reason why some of the boxes are monochrome is because it costs a lot of money to make hot-selling products in color. They are cutting costs soundly.
However, this price hike is a bigger blow than the tax hike. “The wheat used to make ramen, the plastic containers used to wrap it, the vinyl, the aluminum, the utilities, the transportation costs, it’s all gone. In the past, there was a way out by adjusting the price if something went up, but now there is no way out. We can’t even reduce the content. We have been able to get by by reducing the weight, but it’s sad that the package now contains only about 1/3 of a ramen.”

It is true that the amount of ramen has been reduced, but it was a painful process.

“Prices are expected to continue rising in the future, and the candy industry is going down, except for Jack’s Confectionery. We have been cutting back and cutting back, but there is nowhere else to cut back any further, so we have no choice but to raise the wholesale price.” Hearing such heartbreaking voices makes us angry at the hiking prices.

In addition, labeling requirements and hygiene standards for food products are becoming stricter, and candy makers who want to keep costs down are finding themselves in a difficult situation. The same is true for “best-before” dates: printing expiration dates on each individual product is too costly, so some companies have taken workarounds, such as releasing products in Yatter Men bags. This is a new product called “Omikuji Yatter Men,” which contains a “fortune” instead of a prize so that it can be sold at mass merchandisers. It is also sold through the company’s online store.

Seventy pieces in one bag is a little scary (laughs)! I would be happy to receive one, but
They are not money certificates, but omikuji. It’s very Jack-like to put “bad luck” in there!

Let’s start a campaign to encourage adults to eat candy too!

What can we do to help the candy industry, which has been hit hard by rising prices? I came up with the answer: “The public should buy more candy.” In fact, I eat candy as much as my staple food. There are still candy stores in my neighborhood, so I buy Yatter Men, gummies, and other delicacies with the kids, and every time I think to myself, “It’s wonderful to be an adult who can buy candy without worrying about the price.” People who say that candy is bad for your health because it contains coloring may be saying that alcohol, fatty ramen noodles, or sweets with garish colors that look good on Instagram are more damaging to your health.


For those who say, “They don’t sell candy in the first place,” there are usually candy shops in AEON malls and other Mitsui commercial facilities. Even supermarkets have candy corners these days. I miss them so much! I want people to buy them habitually as their daily food, not just occasionally.

Cushions made for some kind of campaign. They are still being used as prizes in crane games. I want one!

“We are a company that lives in the gap because products like this are scarce now. That’s why we don’t want to lose the candy culture that gives children memories of a time in their lives,” says President Nakano. I really agree. Children and parents alike enjoyed eating them together. “In the old days, we always eat Yatter Men,” he said, “I used to cheat and get scolded by my auntie. How about sharing your memories with them?”
Yatter Men is the pride of Higashi-Osaka!
  • Interview, text, and photos Shigeru Nekota

    Born in 1979. Worked as an editor and writer for town magazines, travel books, and recipe books. Currently, as a web writer, he writes on a wide range of topics from decadence to traditional crafts. He loves to drink despite his weakness, and his life motto is "Sake is best drunk while walking.

    Another blog
    Shigeru Nekota's food blog "I love quirky restaurants!

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