Mishima Foods (Naka-ku, Hiroshima City), which is familiar with red perilla sprinkles “Yukari”, official goods are gaining popularity. The socks designed with furikake packaging sold out on the first day of release in online stores this spring. We explored the secrets behind the successive birth of unique products such as cushions and furikake-colored ink.
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Yukari and other Mishima Foods series
20 types of goods sold by mail order
The “Yukari” package is simple with white letters on a purple background. The color scheme is reminiscent of materials, such as green for green perilla and orange for taraco’s light. Currently, there are about 20 types of official merchandise, such as T-shirts and pocket bags, which are sold by mail order except for events.
The socks that received a great response were those released on March 1. There are three types: “Yukari” and “Akari” and “Hiroshi” under rice mixed with Hiroshima vegetables. Each color scheme was used for the entire sock, and the embroidery of the package design was decorated at one point.
Yukari (left) Akari (middle) Hiroshi’s socks
I made 1300 pairs, but they are almost out of stock
The idea was Tabio (Osaka City), which operates a sock shop. “Mishima Foods’ furikake is well known, and the color goes well with socks,” Tabio said. A total of about 1,300 pairs made were almost out of stock, of which about 400 pairs sold online by Mishima Foods were sold out on the day of release. Mishima Foods himself was surprised that “I thought it would be in about three months, but it disappeared so quickly.” Tabio says, “I want to think about a second installment.”
Yukari, Kaori, and Akari’s “Three Sisters” color fountain pen ink is also unique. It was released in collaboration with Sailor Fountain Pen (Kure City) in January. Fordec (Nishi-ku, Hiroshima City), which sells office supplies, proposed “to liven up the stationery industry” (the company). He focused on the “#インク沼” that became popular on SNS.
The face panels of the three sisters “Yukari”, “Kaori”, and “Akari” that stood out at the event at Hiroshima Gate Park
The impetus for the rise in popularity of Yukari was the spread of social networking sites (SNS) about seven years ago. A tweet likening them to the three sisters became a hot topic and the personification spread. “Umeko”, “Hiroshi” and “Bonito” were also born, and now there are “6 people”.
“After all, the most popular is…”
“After all, the most popular is Yukari,” the spokesperson said. It was born in 1970. In 2020, the 50th anniversary of its release, official merchandise began by making about 10 types of T-shirts and bags with package designs. When a limited part of the product was sold, there were many requests for resale, and mail order was started. Since then, collaboration proposals from different industries have come in frequently.
“Even if there are no letters, there are many people who understand that it is ‘Yukari,'” says the person in charge.
According to Mishima Foods, many people with a connection to the name purchase it is popular as a gift. “Yukari” was almost the current design in 1985, and the spokesperson smiles, saying, “With this color and design, people can recognize it as ‘Yukari’ even if there are no letters.”
On March 31, when Hiroshima Gate Park (Naka-ku, Hiroshima City), the site of the former Municipal Stadium, opened, Mishima Food goods were lined up in a corner of the event venue. “Cute!” Some fans cheered. Asahi Kyoji, 65, from Aki Ward, Hiroshima City, said, “I was aiming for this booth, and I knew about mail order, but when I saw it actually lined up…”
Booth lined with T-shirts
On April 3, a new masking tape with a yukari or onigiri pattern was released. Other product plans seem to be underway. What kind of appearance can we see of the people involved? Maybe furikake is no longer just delicious to eat.