Part 7: Bakeries
While grocery stores presumably have Halloween decor because of manufacturers’ creation of Halloween-themed products, local chain bakeries, where the products are made fresh and in-house, have also embraced Halloween. For instance, for the Kanazawa-based chain German Bakery, a subsidiary of the Yamazaki Bread corporation, which also runs a variety of other subsidiary bread shops, this is not really a surprise–corporate headquarters developed the Halloween-themed foods just like it develops all seasonal or new products.
German Bakery’s seasonal offerings for October 2011 included a variety of kabocha, chestnut, and sweet potato items, as well as a Vienna sausage in a croissant.
What was more surprising was the local bakeries’ participation in Halloween this year. I suppose part of it was trying to compete with the chain bakeries as much as it was exploring a new seasonal trend. Jo-An (ジョアン) Bakery is one of my favorite Kanazawa bakeries, but I felt like its Halloween products were more superficial than creative.
The kabocha puddings and Halloween corone just seemed like “slap a ghost or a pumpkin on it for instant Halloween,” which is exactly what they did on their packages of matcha and vanilla tea cookies: put a Halloween ribbon on the package instead of the usual blue one. There also wasn’t a lot of innovation with Halloween flavors or shapes in the products, and while I really do enjoy Jo-An’s goods, it just fell sort of flat for me.
Their “orange Hallo-bags” were decorated in painfully cute ghosts and jack-o-lanterns and had a variety of Halloween-colored goodies inside.
One of the food stores in the basement of M’Za had this display of cute goodie bags.
Maple House is another Kanazawa chain of patisseries, but they focused on really detailed packaging and decorations this year, particularly their ghost bags and pumpkin boxes. They also had pumpkin-flavored cookies and pastries, and this:
Will Halloween be going the way of Christmas on the cake front?
Stay tuned for the wrap up!
More “Documenting Halloween in Japan”