I went down to Heathrow to see a friend who was passing through on her way to Japan last month. As she went off to get her flight she asked me what I’d like her to bring me when she stopped off on the way back. ‘Soyjoy,’ I said.
I bet you’ve never heard of Soyjoy. That’s because at the moment they don’t sell it in the UK, which I find pretty frustrating because it’s widely available in Japan – all the Healthy Lawson shops and pretty much all the supermarkets stock it – and you can also get it in Europe, (in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain) and in the States.
Soyjoy bars are made of ground soya and dried fruit. I know, put like that it doesn’t sound too appetizing, but trust me, they’ve seriously addictive. They’re soft with a sort of chewy/crumbly consistency, and the fruit flavors are quite subtle (as you’d expect as they don’t use any artificial flavorings) There are twelve flavors – Strawberry, Fruity tomato, Mango-coconut, Japanese hawthorn, Apple, Blueberry, Apricot, Raisin-almond, Cocoa-orange, Prune, Orange and Banana. And of course they’re healthy too – far better for you than a chocolate bar and with only 130 calories per 30 gram bar.
They’re made by Otsuka, which is a pharmaceuticals company that has come up with the idea of ‘nutraceuticals’ – ‘nutrition products to maintain and improve day-to-day well-being’. Otsuka’s best-known product is probably the unfortunately-named Pocari Sweat which is actually a sports drink. You can’t get that in the UK yet either.
I don’t know why it’s just us Brits who can’t buy Soyjoy locally. If you don’t have an accommodating friend willing to bring it back from Japan you could always get some on your next Eurostar trip – they have it at Monoprix in Paris. And If we all start asking for it the Japan Centre in Regent St might decide to stock it too.
UPDATE – As of 2014, the Japan Centre are stocking Soyjoy at their new premises on Shaftesbury Avenue. Thanks to everyone who helped make the campaign a success!