Monday, February 22, 2021

Puccho, is that you? - Puchao


Puchao

Lookie what I found at Walmart! Puchao, or really, Puccho, just repackaged and rebranded for international audiences. Over the years Hi-Chew has gotten far easier to get in the states, with various flavors available at places like Walmart, 7-Eleven, and Five Below. I guess Puccho realized they have a similar enough product, so why not make it look similar and target the same audience? 

But, will it taste the same? Or did they reformulate? 

Unlike the normal stick-version I pick up in the Asian grocery store, this is a variety pack with 4 different flavors at once. Now I have never had a flavor of Puccho that I did not like, so I have never regretted a stick-style purchase, but I do enjoy having variety and the ability to mix and match flavors easily. Like Starbursts, and other fruity candies, but these flavors don't seem too mix-worthy.

We have classics, like grape and strawberry, alongside mango, and the more wild-card flavor, melon. Which seems to be a cantaloupe, according to the images and color scheme. Which is an interesting choice for the American market. We tend to favor watermelon more than anything else, but for me, this is a fun change of pace. 

 
Unwrapped, the individual candies look a bit more vibrantly colored than what I am used to. Puccho tends to be very pale, and yogurt-y, and while these colors aren't exactly neon, they are brighter than any flavor of Puccho I've ever photographed. Especially the melon.   

 


Melon: Takes a bit of chewing to get started, but once it does it has a creamy yogurt and authentic cantaloupe flavor. It's sweet, and pretty darn accurate. I'm really impressed and 100% into it, but I do think it's a bit of a wildcard flavor and some people, melon-haters, might not be into it. 

Strawberry: Bright and fruity. It tastes a lot like Brach's strawberry fruit snacks, but in a chewier and slightly creamier form. It doesn't taste as spot on as the melon ones, but it's still really delicious and enjoyable.  

Mango: I'm not a huge mango fan, but even so, this is pretty good. It's juicy, bright, tropical, and reminds me of Trader Joe's Mango! Mango! gummies (before they were reformulated.)

Grape: A deliciously juicy, dark, concord grape flavor with plenty of bouncy chew. I hate fake grape flavoring, because it reminds me of children's medicine, but this? This tastes wonderfully jammy. Honestly, it's probably my favorite flavor in the bag and reminds me of the purple Kasugai grape gummies I love. If you normally hate grape candy, this might be able to convert you. (That and pretty much any Japanese candy's take on grape. They seriously do it so much better than we do!)    


Flavor-wise, and texture-wise, these are great. I feel like they might have slightly more gummy mix-ins than what I am used to, and the colors are slightly more intense, but this "Puchao" is certainly the same quality as "Puccho." Bouncy, elastic, chew with tons of bright fruity flavor. 

Now that these are widely available, in Walmarts pretty much everywhere, it should be easier than ever to give Puccho/Puchao a try. I highly recommend them, and hope to see more flavor varieties in the future! 

Fans of these would also like: Hi-Chew Sweets and Sours, Moguchuu, Now & Laters, or Pumpkin Donut or Apple Crisp Laffy Taffy
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