「かっぱえびせん」 (Kappaebisen)


【 かっぱえびえせん (kappaebisen) 】”Shrimp chips” produced by Calbee.

There are lots of long-selling snacks that have been around for decades and have been a favorite amongst Japanese kids and adults all around. Let’s see if you’ve tried any of them or if there are localized versions in your country!

First off is かっぱえびせん, the long-time favorite サクサク shrimp chip!

かっぱえびせん Fun Facts:

1. It was introduced in 1964, the year of the first Tokyo Olympics, and is still sold today.

2. For the ingredients, they use whole shrimp (from head to tail), not only one type but four, so it is packed with calcium (who would have known!).

3. It’s roasted, not fried, which is why it’s サクサク light and crispy.

4. The product and name were inspired from「かっぱ天国」(Kappatengoku) which was a hugely popular manga in the 1950s. Calbee asked the manga artist to draw a character for them, they came out with「かっぱあられ」rice crackers,「かっぱえびせん」was last of the series, and the name was passed down to the current version of the snack. (The かっぱ in the manga also became the official character for 黄桜 Kizakura, a Japanese sake company. The mythical creature has inspired many.)

5. カルビー Calbee is now headquartered in Tokyo, and it has gone through name changes, but the company started in Hiroshima.

6. You can visit the かっぱえびせん factory in 廿日市 Hatsukaichi (Hiroshima) and 宇都宮Utsunomiya (Tochigi).

To inspire a road trip to the factory, here’s the かっぱえびせん promo video:

Another fact is that, although the packaging has gone through a series of design changes over the years, the かっぱえびせん logo hasn’t changed since 1964! You can see how the packaging evolved over the years and learn more on their corporate website.

Resources: Calbee かっぱえびせん Website