Reasons for the popularity of ROYCE’s “nama” chocolate: The perspective of a foreigner living in Japan

ROYCE’s nama chocolate is one of the most popular go-to souvenirs for foreign tourists. One obvious reason for that is its exquisite taste and the smooth texture that melts instantly in your mouth, but we asked Bryan Cheng, a Taiwanese living in Japan, if there are any other reasons.

—What do you think is the appeal of the three flavors of nama chocolate, “Au Lait,” “Mild Milk,” and “Matcha,” that we are introducing here? Bryan Cheng (hereinafter “BC”): They all have a strong cacao flavor and a strong taste, but not heavy at all. They all melt like snow in your mouth. “Au Lait” is perfect in all aspects from the cacao flavor to sweetness and bitterness. I like this one the most and I can eat it endlessly. “Mild Milk,” as you can tell from its name, has a nice mild taste. It has a strong cocoa flavor, but you will start feeling a slight caramel flavor as the chocolate starts melting, and it lasts until the chocolate completely melts away in your mouth. “Matcha” leaves a strong impression because the fragrant aroma of matcha will burst as soon as you put the chocolate in your mouth. Matcha’s bitterness comes out as the chocolate melts, but interestingly it also has nice sweetness.

—What kinds of chocolate are popular in your country, Taiwan? BC: In Taiwan, foods that are too sweet are less favored, so bitter ones are more popular in terms of chocolate. Our go-to manufacturers are Godiva, Meiji, Lindt, Ferrero Rocher, and so on, but I feel that ROYCE’ has been rapidly gaining recognition in the last few years. I think that’s partly because YouTubers and influencers are frequently introducing ROYCE’. Another major factor is probably the sophisticated packaging. In Taiwan, many products have gorgeous and flashy packaging designs, so I think that the simplicity of ROYCE’s packaging leaves a strong impression in contrast.

—Would it make you happy if someone gives you a ROYCE’ chocolate as a souvenir? BC: Absolutely! I have even been sharing them with my friends to tell them how good they are. ROYCE’ chocolates have a nice balance of taste and price, so I think they are perfect as a souvenir for friends, family, and those you owe a favor to.

The ROYCE’ section at the duty-free store in Narita Airport (Fa-So-La AKIHABARA in Terminal 3) From left: [Au Lait], [Mild Milk], [Matcha], and Potatochip Chocolate [Original]

[Au Lait] Nama chocolate with a gentle taste and a rich milk flavor, made with Hokkaido fresh cream. The rich milk flavor gently fills your mouth as the chocolate smoothly melts away. It has a clean aftertaste, and western liquor has also been used for adding layers to the flavor. Nama Chocolate [Au Lait] / Tax-free price ¥800 (ROYCE’)

[Mild Milk] Liquor-free nama chocolate made without western liquor. Mixing mild and rich milk chocolate with Hokkaido fresh cream, the gentle and meltingly-good tastes of milk and cacao fill your mouth. Nama Chocolate [Mild Milk] / Tax-free price ¥800 (ROYCE’)

[Matcha] Nama chocolate made with a perfect blend of white chocolate and matcha. The fusion between matcha’s bitterness and fresh cream creates a smooth and sophisticated taste. With its surface sprinkled with matcha chocolate powder, it also lets you fully enjoy the flavor of matcha. Nama Chocolate [Matcha] / Tax-free price ¥800 (ROYCE’) (Information as of April 2023)

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