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A Taste Of Japanese Culture: The Story Of Häagen-Dazs GREEN TEA

A Taste Of Japanese Culture: The Story Of Häagen-Dazs GREEN TEA

  • 2020/07/01

A Taste Of Japanese Culture: The Story Of Häagen-Dazs GREEN TEA

  Häagen-Dazs is an ice cream brand loved by people all around the world. GREEN TEA was their first Japan-exclusive flavor. Why was matcha chosen as the flavor for this ice cream? The story reveals the connection of this product to the Japanese tea ceremony, as well as Häagen-Dazs' pursuit of quality.


 GREEN TEA: An Exclusive Flavor First Released in Japan

 Häagen-Dazs is an ice cream brand loved worldwide. The matcha-inspired GREEN TEA flavor was the company's first ice cream specifically made for the Japanese market.


When Häagen-Dazs originally released the flavor in 1996, the company was taking a considerable risk. Unlike today, green tea desserts were not as widespreadeven in countries like Japan.


Seven years of research and development went into creating an ice cream that captured the nuanced flavors of powdered green tea and appealed to a broad range of consumers. The result was a final product that allows everyone to fully enjoy the fragrant yet subtle flavor of matcha green tea.


The GREEN TEA flavor was an instant hit, becoming the best-selling mini cup ice cream released by Häagen-Dazs. Following the success in Japan, the flavor was released in Singapore, and later across various markets around the world.


That being said, Japan is still the only country where you can enjoy the authentic Japanese matcha flavor in their GREEN TEA ice cream. After reading about Häagen-Dazs Japan's commitment to this flavor, you'll surely want to try some for yourself.


A "Häagen-Dazs Moment" Unique to Japan



We interviewed Hiroki Komatsu and Tetsuya Kitamura for the story behind the successful development of the GREEN TEA ice cream.


――Why did you choose matcha as the Japan-exclusive flavor?

 Mr. Komatsu: We wanted to create a flavor that was elegant and represented Japanese culture. To us, matcha green tea was the perfect fit.

 ――So you chose matcha green tea because of its connection to Japanese culture and tradition.

 Mr. Komatsu: Yes. Matcha embodies the Japanese tradition of tea ceremonies, whose essence lies in simplicity and tranquility. It's also seen as a symbol of elegance among the Japanese.


 Mr. Kitamura: The feeling of awe you experience when tasting real matcha at a tea ceremony doesn't just come from its flavor. When you walk into the tea room, you are first greeted by a hanging scroll and the flowers. You are then served seasonal wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets), and it is only at the end that you get to drink a bowl of tea. Matcha green tea gives such a powerful impression because the host has paid attention to every detail in serving you. We wanted to recreate this whole experience in our ice cream.


Mr. Komatsu: For example, we asked Häagen-Dazs fans to help us test our flavors and tell us if they experienced a "Häagen-Dazs moment."


A "Häagen-Dazs moment" should be a feeling of joy when tasting our ice cream. We wanted to go beyond creating a delicious flavor. Our goal was to help people experience something special.

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