Umaibo: Top 10 Most Popular Flavors in Japan
When it comes to treats for kids, Japanese children love Dagashi (駄菓子), but have you ever heard of that?
For those unfamiliar, Dagashi is the generic name for cheap, unique, relatively small Japanese snacks and candies.
Umaibo (うまい棒) from Yaokin (やおきん)
The price of Dagashi treats generally ranges from 10 yen (about 0.1 USD) to 100 yen (about 1 USD).
They are cheap, like American penny candies, and children can buy various varieties even with little pocket money.
Among such snacks, Umaibo (うまい棒: meaning Delicious Stick) is especially famous.
What kind of Dagashi Snack is Umaibo?
As you may already know, Umaibo is a corn puff stick with a pleasantly crunchy texture manufactured by Riska (リスカ) and sold by Yaokin (やおきん).
A stick of Umaibo is so cheap, only costs 10 yen (about 0.1 USD) in Japan, that the product is especially popular with children.
Amazingly, *the price of 10 yen has never changed since the Tonkatsu Sauce flavor debuted in 1979.
Even now, the puffed corn snack is one of the top-selling Dagashi series, widely loved by children and adults alike, which is why some call it The King of Dagashi.
Umaibo is admittedly one of the best and tastiest Dagashi snacks. It is so satisfying for its price, and I have loved it since I was small.
* Due to increasing costs, Yaokin first raised its price to 12 yen on April 2022.
Umaibo Flavors Guide
According to the official site of Yaokin, as of today (5/6/2023), Umaibo is available in 15 regular flavors.
Many of the flavors are unique, unlike any other in the world, and some deliciously recreate the taste of traditional Japanese food, as shown in the list below.
15 Regular Flavors
- Tonkatsu Sauce (とんかつソース: Pork Cutlet Sauce) (Release Year: July 1979).
- Salami (サラミ) (July 1979).
- Cheese (チーズ) (1980).
- Teriyaki Burger (テリヤキバーガー) (1980).
- Corn Potage (コーンポタージュ) (1992).
- Yasai Salad (やさいサラダ: Vegetable Salad) (1980).
- Mentai (めんたい) (1982).
- Takoyaki (たこ焼: Octopus Balls) (1987).
- Ebi Mayonnaise (エビマヨネーズ: Shrimp Mayonnaise) (2001).
- Gyutan Shio (牛タン塩: Salted Beef Tongue) (2007).
- Natto (なっとう) (2012).
- Sugar Rusk (シュガーラスク) (2013).
- Yakitori (やきとり: Grilled Chicken) (2015).
- Nori Shio (のり塩: Seaweed & Salt) (2020).
- Chocolate (チョコレート) (1982) (summertime-limited).
3 Premium Flavors
In addition to the regular flavors, Umaibo has another three flavors in its Premium line priced at 20 yen (about 0.2 USD).
- Mozzarella Cheese & Camembert Cheese (モッツァレラチーズ&カマンベールチーズ)
- Mentaiko (明太子)
- Wafu Steak (和風ステーキ)
Top 10 Most Popular Flavors with Photos
Lastly, based on the survey conducted in 2017, answered by 1,381 males and females aged between 20 and 69, the top 10 most popular Umaibo flavors at the time are as follows.
#10: Pizza (ピザ)
Umaibo Pizza was a delicious stick featuring a tomato and cheese flavor.
#9: Yasai Salad (やさいサラダ)
Umaibo Yasai Salad might be somewhat different than what you expect. It is a savory and tasty puff loaded with umami from vegetables, such as potato, cabbage, and garlic.
#8: Chocolate (チョコレート)
Umaibo Chocolate is a bit small-sized compared to other sticks, as this puffcorn has a coating of milk chocolate.
#7: Teriyaki Burger (テリヤキバーガー)
Umaibo Teriyaki Burger has the perfect balance between sweet and savory, accented with the fruitiness of tomato.
#6: Tonkatsu Sauce (とんかつソース)
Umaibo Tonkatsu Sauce is a savory puff tasting like a fruity Tonkatsu sauce that stimulates the appetite.
#5: Takoyaki (たこ焼)
The flavor of Umaibo Takoyaki emulates Takoyaki sauce. But this corn puff is sweet and savory rather than spicy.
#4: Salami (サラミ)
Umaibo Salami is very fragrant and flavorful, just like actual salami.
#3: Mentai (めんたい)
Umaibo Mentai is a unique and addictive puffcorn featuring a Mentaiko-like savoriness.
#2: Cheese (チーズ)
Umaibo Cheese is very fragrant and packed with plenty of deliciousness.
#1: Corn Potage (コーンポタージュ)
Umaibo Corn Potage smells and tastes just like corn potage soup. This stick is so good that it never lets snack lovers down.