While doing the usual grocery Halloween candy shopping at No Frills, I spotted a small selection of Hello Panda Biscuits, made by Japanese confectioners Meiji. I don’t often get out to the local Asian grocery stores like T&T since we don’t have a car, so I’m always happy to see such products sold in regular stores.
The biscuit packs were available in three flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, and Milk (Meiji also makes flavors like Double Chocolate and Matcha Green Tea) and they cost CA$1.39 per box. I considered getting these for Halloween treats, but was unsure whether they’d be any good, so I only purchased two packs, Strawberry and Milk, to try ourselves.
The boxes are an elongated hexagonal shape:
The biscuits are packaged in a foil pouch inside. Each biscuit has one of a variety of panda drawings printed on top.
We tried Strawberry first. The packet I opened contained about 16–17 bite-sized biscuits (I think…we ate them pretty fast, haha!). Each biscuit is fairly small and is irregularly cushion-shaped, like a fat pebble.
I didn’t offer one to my toddler, since these are hard and smooth on the outside, and the perfect size to accidentally become lodged in a child’s throat. I’m really glad I didn’t pick these up as Halloween treats for the mostly aged 3–6 trick-or-treating kids in my building!
Here’s one biscuit next to a small binder clip for scale. The binder clip is just under 2cm (0.8″) wide.
Each biscuit has a light, crunchy texture. It’s not too sweet, which is an excellent combination with the strawberry cream filling inside. The strawberry flavor taste just like that: flavoring. If you’ve had Strawberry Pocky, the cream in this is similar-tasting, but it’s softer.
The ingredients may vary depending on the place of manufacture; some are made in Japan, but my particular box appears to be imported from a company in Tahiti and made in Singapore.
Wheat flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, sugar, lactose, whole milk powder, malt extract, amino acid, soya lecithin, ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, strawberry powder, salt, natural color beet red E-162, artificial strawberry flavour, citric acid. (Contains milk, soya, lactose and wheat.)
To steal a line from Coffee Crisp, Hello Panda biscuits make a nice light snack! It’s really easy to inhale all of these in one sitting, since they’re so light and not too sweet. I don’t think they’re particularly addictive, though, so I won’t be repurchasing them very much, apart from picking up a box of the chocolate flavor just to try it.
The Meiji Hello Panda I reviewed comes in a 57.5 g package and retails for around US$1.09 / CA$1.39.
Meiji Seika was founded in 1916 in Tokyo, Japan. Since 2009, it has been part of Meiji Holdings Co., the world’s fourth largest confectionery company.