REVIEW: A Cola With More Fiber Than Most Fiber One Products

Fiber One products used to enthrall me. I mean, not the products themselves, but the attempts to cram fiber into them. The boxes used to proudly show off how much of your daily fiber you’re getting per serving. For a lot of them, mainly the snack bars, it was 20 percent. But with others it fluctuates.

There’s 35 percent, 40 percent, 43 percent, and 28 percent.

Whenever I saw a new Fiber One product, I hoped that somehow the food scientists at General Mills could cram 50 to 100 percent of our daily fiber into a snack bar or something, but they couldn’t deliver. I guess they can only do so much with chicory root extract and soluble corn fiber without it tasting like it has chicory root extract and soluble corn fiber.

Now, I’m sure some of you are going to point out that you can get 65 percent of your daily recommended amount from eating a serving of Fiber One’s Original Bran Breakfast Cereal. But that’s not something I want to eat.

Thankfully, I found a product that’s better tasting than a bowl of Fiber One bran cereal AND gives me more fiber per serving — Kirin Mets Tokuho Cola. Yes, it’s a Japanese cola that many of you will not be able to get your hands on, but it’s such a fascinating product that I had to write about it.

It has 25 grams of fiber per 16-ounce bottle, which comes out to 89% of the daily recommended amount, and that’s possible because the second ingredient listed is dietary fiber. “Tokuho” is a label that can be put on food and drinks in Japan that have health benefits, and those health claims must be scientifically proven though testing and trials before it can be approved by the Japanese government to receive the “Tokuho” label.

As for the fiber-dense cola, its flavor reminds me of cola gummies, but sugar free and with a noticeable artificial sweetener aftertaste, thanks to the aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium. It’s better tasting than a bowl of bran, but slightly less satisfying to my taste buds than a Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi.

I’ve purchased this Kirin Mets Tokuho Cola three times so far ($2.50) from a grocery store chain here that imports products from Japan, and it would’ve been more, if not for the fact that it sold out a couple of times. I guess I keep wanting to buy it because it tickles me that it has almost an entire day’s worth of fiber. As for gastrointestinal problems for drinking something with so much fiber, it wasn’t an issue because I didn’t chug the whole thing in one sitting. (Nope, not going to try it. Don’t ask.)

Would I buy a diet cola from Pepsi or Coke that has 89% of my daily fiber? If it tasted like Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, I would. Would you, if you’re a diet cola drinker?

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 480 ml
Purchased at: Times Supermarket
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 25 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar (including 1 gram of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Red Bull Blue Edition Ocean Blast Energy Drink (Japan)

Red Bull Blue Edition Ocean Blast Energy Drink Can

Blue Edition?

I know Red Bull is supposed to give you wings, but I think Red Bull Japan was a different kind of high when it named this energy drink. You see, this Red Bull Ocean Blast is lychee flavored, and nothing about the fruit brings blue to mind.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, it looks like a strawberry covered with outies, and under that red skin is a white, sweet, and slightly floral flesh that I will rip off with abandon because it’s delicious. Under the flesh is a dark brown seed that annoys me when they’re too big because that almost always means less of that succulent fruit flesh.

Note that of all the colors I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I didn’t mention blue. So it’s a bit confusing that this is the Blue Edition. Look, I get it. The blue relates to the Ocean Blast name. But Red Bull has a long history of pairing whatever Edition color with a fruit that’s actually that color. Here in the US, Watermelon is the Red Edition, Tropical is the Yellow Edition, and Blueberry is the Blue Edition. In Japan, the Purple Edition is grape, the Ruby Edition is mangosteen, and the White Edition is white peach.

Well, at least the color of the beverage itself reminds me of what’s under a lychee’s skin.

Red Bull Blue Edition Ocean Blast Energy Drink Glass with Cloudy Liquid

Odd naming aside, this Red Bull has flown up to the top of my favorite Red Bull flavor list. Although, I might be a bit bias because lychee is my favorite fruit in the whole wide world. Opening the can brought out an aroma that’s similar to what rises from a freshly peeled lychee. Its flavor wavers between a sweet lychee and a slightly tart overripe one. I guess it’s hard to fully hide the flavors of the underlying Red Bull. The aftertaste that lingers in my mouth is like what flavors remain in my mouth after eating lychee. From beginning to end, it’s a wonderful experience, if you’re into the fruit as much as I am.

While I love this flavor, it might be awhile before I’m able to drink it again since it’s only available in Japan at the moment. If you happen to see it at a Japanese grocer in the US, I’d definitely recommend picking it up. If you want to buy it from one of the many online Japanese snack shops based in Japan, expect to pay a lot for quick shipping or to wait a lot if you decide to get it shipped via the cheapest option (I waited two months for mine, and I’m closer to Japan than 99 percent of y’all).

But I want more people to try this and I want to drink it regularly. So this is my plea to the powers that be to bring a lychee-flavored Red Bull to the States. I don’t care what color or season Edition it becomes. Even if it’s the Brown Edition, just make it happen.

Purchased Price: $5.99 (plus shipping)
Size: 250 ml can
Purchased at: NapaJapan
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 45 kcal, 0 grams of fat, 0.14 grams of sodium, 10.7 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and 32 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Apple (Japan)

Coca Cola Apple  Japan

While we’re able to rot our teeth here in the States with Coca-Cola Cinnamon, those in Japan have been able to rot their teeth with Coca-Cola Apple. The fruity-flavored cola follows Coca-Cola Peach, which came out in Japan earlier this year.

Oooh, what would a Coca-Cola Cinnamon and Coca-Cola Apple mix taste like?

My friend Melissa picked up this bottle for me during her trip to Japan because I begged her to. She also tried it once she got back to her hotel and iMessaged me that she couldn’t taste any apple.

When I finally got the bottle of Coca-Cola Apple (and a bag of roasted chicken Lay’s she bought for me during her 2018 trip to France), I was expecting my taste buds to experience what hers did.

When I twisted off the cap and took a whiff, I could easily detect apple under the cola aroma. Then I took a sip. To be honest, I didn’t get any apple flavor with that first one. So after taking a second sip, I let the carbonated beverage sit in my mouth and swished it around like it was Coca-Listerine.

I imagine those of you in the dental field are screaming “NO” at your screen. But it was worth it because now I could notice the fruit with every sip. (I don’t know why that worked.) It tastes like a combination of Coca-Cola with more than a splash of apple juice. It’s mild, and I didn’t get it at first, so I can understand how my dear wonderful, smart, and beautiful friend who bought me this bottle and is probably reading this review, wasn’t able to notice it.

Now, I don’t know if this contains apple juice because I can’t read the ingredients list, despite many years of C’s in Japanese language classes. But it sure tastes like it does, which makes this cola quite pleasing to me.

But if you want to obtain an apple-flavored Coca-Cola the expensive way ($12-$15), you can do so by picking it up via eBay or from an online Japanese snack seller, like NapaJapan or J-List. Or you can pick it up the super expensive way, by flying to Japan.

Coca-Cola Apple is definitely not worth getting via the super expensive route, but, because it tastes like it has apple juice, it might be possible to recreate it at home, if you can figure out the right Coke-to-juice ratio. I think it’s an experiment worth trying.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 500 ml bottle
Purchased at: Somewhere in Japan
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 46 kcal, 0 grams of protein, 11.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of salt.

REVIEW: Pepsi Pineapple (Japan)

Pepsi Pineapple  Japan

If you’re looking for a review of the U.S. version, click here

What is Pepsi Pineapple?

The newest Pepsi flavor in Japan, if you’re reading this in summer/fall 2019. If you’re reading this after that, it is a Pepsi flavor that will never come to the U.S. unless a PepsiCo bigwig reads this review and is moved by my words so much that he or she convinces the powers that be to sell a pineapple-flavored Pepsi in the U.S.

How is it?

It’s good enough that, if a bigwig at PepsiCo is reading this review, he or she should persuade everyone there to offer a pineapple Pepsi in the U.S. next summer.

Now I say it’s good enough, but it’s not “Oh, my God! Find your passports and fly to Japan to buy them all” good. It’s pleasant enough that, if you’re willing to spend roughly $10-$15 and wait 3-5 weeks for a bottle to be shipped to you from Japan via some of the slowest forms of parcel transportation, then I’d say spend the money and wait.

The fruity flavor at the beginning of every sip is a bit too faint for my liking. The cola prevents it from shining. But the tropical fruit pops mostly in the aftertaste, which is not ideal. But it’s prominent and better than having no pineapple flavor at all. It’s a sugary, somewhat natural pineapple flavor that kind of makes me forget about it being not so noticeable at the beginning of each sip.

Is there anything else you need to know?

As I’ve said many times on this blog and in conversation ice breakers, I wish Pepsi in the U.S. was creative with cola flavors. I know we had mango, berry, and lime varieties earlier this year, but two of those have been done before. The creativity Pepsi expends in new varieties is about the same as what Hollywood expends nowadays with all these reboots.

After typing that, I realize the possible bigwig at PepsiCo reading this might’ve been insulted.

Also, I could go for a lychee Pepsi, Japan. I’d spend good money and wait ten days for one. (Ten days being how long it takes for products shipped from Japan to end up on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean).


Although I’m not entirely pleased with it, Pineapple Pepsi is one of the better Pepsi flavors I’ve had from Japan since I started spending money on obtaining them over a decade ago. Some U.S. Japanese grocers might bring this in, so if you happen to see it in one of those stores, I’d recommend picking it up.

Purchased Price: $12.99
Size: 490 ml
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 47kcal, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 11.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.03 grams of salt.

REVIEW: Mountain Dew Violet (Japan)

Mountain Dew Violet  Japan

I love Mtn Dew Pitch Black, but I’ve had a difficult time finding it ever since it last reared it purple head back in 2016 as part of the brand’s DEWcision campaign where it was pitted against Mtn Dew Baja Blast to find out which flavor would become a permanent member in the lineup.

SPOILER ALERT: Pitch Black won, but it seems Baja Blast is the real winner because it has come back again and again in bottles and cans, while Pitch Black appears to have crept back into the vault inside Mtn Dew Mtn.

Pitch Black is still on the Mtn Dew website and when I asked on Twitter if anyone else has seen it, almost all of those who replied also haven’t seen it. Oh, you say you can easily find Pitch Black near you? Well, lucky you, you purple-Dew drinking punk! I don’t have that high fructose corn syrup sweetened luxury. Even PepsiCo’s product finder says I’m screwed.

But earlier this year, Mountain Dew Japan rolled out the grape-flavored Mountain Dew Violet that I hoped would be like my beloved Pitch Black. But I am not so desperate to find that out by flying to Japan to pick up a can. However, I’m curious enough about it that, when asked by a friend if I wanted one she purchased while on a recent vacation, I made the strenuous effort to venture outside of the house for the first time in a week or so, exposing myself to a battering of the sun’s burning rays on my pale skin, to pick it up from her.

Mountain Dew Violet  Japan Glass

Although much longer than the last time I’ve been out in the sun, it’s been a while since my last sip of Pitch Black, but some memories of it came rushing back with my first sip of Mountain Dew Violet. But, to be honest, I don’t taste any Mtn Dew citrus. I also don’t get the sour bite that 2005s reformulated Pitch Black II had.

The grape is so pronounced that I imagine some folks might confuse this with straight up grape soda. It tastes as if someone, and I’m not pointing fingers at Mr. Melon because he has the body type to do so, squeezed the life out of Alexander the Grape and into a can.

As someone who likes grape soda, it tastes fine. But I Dew wish it had more of a Dew flavor. I also wish I could find Pitch Black, PepsiCo.

Thanks to my dear friend Stefanie for transporting this can from Japan to my hands.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 350 ml can
Purchased at: Received from friend
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 20 kcal, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.09 grams of sodium.