Sunday, September 10, 2006
When you're sick, lots of food that has limited appeal starts to seem like the answer to your dreams. Chief among my food wish list when I'm ill are saltine crackers. Unfortunately, I wasn't in any mood to bike or hike off to a supermarket so I decided to scrounge around at the local convenience store called QQ ("99"). This is the type of store that carries smaller packages of things for a cheaper price, some "store brand" items like 99 yen low fat milk, and the occasional import from a country that produces items at companies paying relatively low wages.
My cracker needs were answered by a huge package of "premium" crackers from the Phillipines with the odd name of "Magic Flakes". I'm not sure why they're magic but they are very good, thin, crispy crackers. They're made by a company called Universal Robina which is well-known in the Phillipines and attempting to expand into other Asian markets. Since QQ seems to carry imports you don't tend to see in bigger markets, I'm guessing they're not having the best of luck getting their brands onto shelves in Japan.
I was thinking about how my immediate reaction upon seeing new brands in stores if they aren't produced by a well-known producer is to suspect the product is of dubious quality. It just goes to show how we learn to trust a product more if the company advertises enough to make us feel comfortable with it.