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Welcome to the world of "meiji THE Chocolate." The world in which taste sensations are born from "Bean to Bar" – a process by which cocoa beans are carefully selected in order to create the perfect bar of chocolate. Each bar reflects an elegant luster, emits a sweet fragrance, and melts heavenly in your mouth. Welcome to the new world of "The Chocolate," where perfection is condensed into every bar.

to Japanese
“Absolutely Delicious!” says the world. Continuously winning international competitions. iTQi Superior Taste Award An annual competitive exhibition for food and beverage products held in Belgium. Judges include the world’s top chefs and sommeliers. International Chocolate Awards An international competitive exhibition, recognizing excellence in fine chocolate making. Renowned chocolatiers have participated, gaining attention. Recipient of TOPAWARDS ASIA The first “Asian Package Design Award“ to focus on package design exclusively from Asian countries. It aims to contribute to the development of the package design industry by attracting international recognition to its superb quality.
  • Comfort Bitter Currently unavailable
  • Velvet Milk
  • Elegant Bitter
  • Sunny Milk
  • Gianduja
  • Framboise
  • matcha
  • Vivid Milk
Enjoy the texture. Enjoy the taste. Beautiful patterns, etched onto each sheet of chocolate. Designed, to bring out the best in each cocoa bean.

〜 First Legend since 1996 〜THE SECRET STORIES OF
“meiji THE Chocolate” [vol.1]

meiji Holdings Co., Ltd.
Corporate Executive Officer
Osaka Plant Manage
Tetsuo Koyano

meiji's "Bean to Bar"
started 20 years ago.

Tetsuo Koyano is a corporate executive officer, plant manager in Osaka, and a Doctor of Agriculture. Koyano is the founder of "meiji THE Chocolate" and is the first to start "Bean to Bar" outside of specialty shops.

“Even though meiji THE Chocolate was first released in 2014, the core idea of "Bean to Bar" which places its focus on the “entire process” of chocolate creation began in the mid-1980s. At the time, nobody showed interest in focusing on the bean’s country of origin when making chocolates."

"Aim for the source!"
- the spirit that carried them
to Venezuela.

The origin of chocolate is the cocoa bean.
So, isn't it natural to focus on the country of origin to acquire high-quality cocoa beans? This question gave birth the phrase, "Aim for the source of chocolate!"

"It all began with the development of "Precious Cocoa" (*Classic, quality chocolates that were sold between xxxx to xxxx). The first country we visited was Venezuela. We worked with various farms afterward, but it was not until we visited Venezuela that "Bean to Bar" began."

To continually acquire quality
cocoa beans,
we must optimize the farms
and have a sense
of continual awareness.

Making “meiji THE Chocolate” is a joint effort between meiji and the countries that grow our beans, where we work together to "gather the highest quality cocoa beans." At meiji, we continually aim for excellence with an in-depth research of cocoa beans and being particular about the fermentation process that determines the aroma of our chocolates.

As there is an economic disparity between developed capitalist nations and developing nations along the "North-South Divide," we have continually aimed for change by improving the cocoa farms and supporting awareness. Our answer to this issue is the Meiji Cocoa Support (our support for the cocoa production countries and its farms).

"Many of the local cocoa farmhouses do not have refrigerators, and many have never even tasted chocolate before. But we felt that it was important for them to actually experience how delicious our chocolates are, and how special their cocoa beans are."

We wanted the farmers to have pride in making the world's best cocoa beans that were being delivered to Japan and to all regions of the world, says Koyano.

The reason for the word "THE" being included in the product name is to show that it is "the best" chocolate in the world. But if you asked me if we have succeeded in fully bringing out the Criollo bean's pleasant bitterness that we fell in love with, I'd have to say that there is room for improvement. "meiji THE Chocolate" is not yet perfect.

That is why we must continue to strive forward. So that one day, we may reach a point of world class perfection where our customers would shout out, "This is it!"
That is the pride of Japan. That is the pride of meiji."

〜 First Legend since 1996 〜THE SECRET STORIES OF
“meiji THE Chocolate” [vol.2]

meiji Holdings Co., Ltd.
Product Development Team
Maiko Yamashita

Expressing the “shape”
of "Bean to Bar"

Maiko Yamashita is the one responsible for the development of meiji THE Chocolate.
Maiko designed the physical shape of "meiji THE Chocolate" which has become one of its characteristic trademarks.
"In designing the shape of meiji THE Chocolate, we believed that it would be necessary to express its unparalleled taste, aroma, and texture, as well as our unique approach to selecting the country of origin. So we went through an extensive trial and error process."

Real, Affordable,
Chocolate.

"Regularly, bitter chocolate that is enjoyed for its aroma is usually thin and sharp. On the other hand, milky chocolate enjoyed for its smooth and rich taste is usually round and thick. We collected many opinions that expressed a preference of different shapes between bitter and milk. However, meiji THE Chocolate is a new type of chocolate that cannot be compared with any other. Therefore, we felt that it would be important for it to be consistent in its design for our customers to enjoy the shape and texture."

Another aspect that we considered was "affordability."
meiji THE Chocolate is exceptional in quality; however, the price is kept "reasonable." meiji has always put the consumer cost at its central focus.

"If we were to create a different shape for each taste, it would add to the manufacturing process, resulting in higher prices. This would hinder some people to enjoy meiji THE Chocolate. This is why we were in pursuit of an original shape that represented all these values.
What we finally accomplished was "diversity" that is unique to meiji THE Chocolate.

"We created a unique, original design that introduced a total of four zones. Including a dome-shaped zone that brings roundness to the flavor, a zig-zag zone that creates a strong impression in the aroma, and so on."

We want to expand
the potential of chocolates,
and change the world.

This is how meiji THE Chocolate was created.
However, our ambitions do not stop here.
"I love this shape, this flavor."
These are the voices of our customers that we want to respond to.
This case was no exception as we went through many steps of trial and error. We want to make use of this experience in the future to further expand the world of chocolates. We want to continue to deliver quality products to change Japan, and the world."

- The challenges and history of meiji - Bean to Bar of “meiji THE Chocolate”

From selecting the cocoa beans to completing the final chocolate bar. "Bean to Bar" is about consistency in its process. We will present a summary of the challenges that meiji took on.

Meiji Cocoa Support For the future chocolate

  • The journey of meiji’s "Bean to Bar" started with an extensive research of the cocoa beans from carefully selected regions (including unexplored areas) below the equator. This included gathering knowledge from the experienced agricultural workers in the cocoa plantations themselves.
  • Collecting ripe beans to fermentation. The harvesting of cocoa beans, including the best "Criollo" beans (at the verge of extinction), happens twice a year.In this process, only ripe beans are carefully handpicked.Each berry is cut with a knife and the extracted beans are then wrapped with banana leaves to prepare them for the fermentation process.The aroma that is unique to "meiji THE Chocolate" is created through this method.
  • The roasted cocoa beans are grounded, sugar is added, and is then sent off for a long kneading process. This process is called conching and is an essential process in completing "meiji THE Chocolate."
  • The tempering process, then completion. We are now at the final stage of the process - tempering. By cautiously adjusting temperatures and with careful stirring, the cocoa gives luster and finally takes on its final form as "meiji THE Chocolate." The challenges and discoveries of "Bean to Bar" continue.
  • Learn more about cocoa beans. - Cocoa Bean Trivia - Cocoa Bean Trivia 1 Cocoa Bean Trivia 2 Cocoa Bean Trivia 3 Cocoa Bean Trivia 4 Taste and aroma differ depending on its breed, origin, and fermentation method. There are three basic breeds. The "Criollo" is known for its original breed being extremely rare. The "Forastero" dominates 80% of production in the world. And the "Trinitario" originates from Trinidad of the Caribbean, which is known as the hybrid of the other two. The top 3 countries of origin for cocoa beans imported into Japan are Ghana, Ecuador, and Venezuela The carefully selected cacao beans used for “meiji THE Chocolate” bring out the natural flavor and rich aroma of chocolate, as well as the beans themselves. The cacao beans are of the highest quality, grown in Brazil and Venezuela.