Häagen-Dazs is an American ice cream brand, established in The Bronx, New York in 1961. The founders are Reuben Mattus and Rose Mattus (née Vesel). “Häagen-Dazs” is not Danish and it doesn’t have any meaning in any language. Reuben Mattus felt that Denmark was known for its dairy products and had a positive image in the USA, so he took the word “Häagen” from Copenhagen (Danish: København), the capital of Denmark, and added “-Dazs” to make the name unique and original.
Short history of Häagen-Dazs Japan
The business has franchises throughout the United States and many other countries around the world. Häagen-Dazs entered the Japanese market in 1984, and Häagen-Dazs Japan opened the first shop in Aoyama, Tokyo in the same year. They have a factory in Gunma prefecture, and Takanashi Milk Products Co.,Ltd is undertaking the manufacturing of Häagen-Dazs ice cream in Japan. They use rich milk produced in Nemuro and Kushiro area in Hokkaido for ice cream.
There used to be ninety-five shops of Häagen-Dazs in Japan at the peak period, but the last shop, which was in Urayasu, Chiba prefecture closed in 2013. Even though they don’t have a shop in Japan now, you can buy Häagen-Dazs ice cream at convenience stores or supermarkets. (Apparently the reason Häagen-Dazs Japan closed their shops is that the name of Häagen-Dazs brand has been well known already in Japan so that they don’t need to have shops as an advertisement.)
A cup of Häagen-Dazs ice cream (110ml) costs 272 yen +8% consumption tax, but you may be able to buy the ice cream with lower price since supermarkets sometimes have some discounts for Häagen-Dazs ice cream. In general, a small cup of ice cream costs about 130 yen in Japan. Although Häagen-Dazs ice cream is almost doubled price, it is very popular among Japanese people. I think there are two reasons for that. Firstly, they don’t use emulsifier or food stabilizer, and they use high-quality ingredients such as milk, egg, etc. for their ice cream. Secondly, they make new flavors regularly. Five or six of new flavors are invented in a year as limited-editions, and every time I see an advertisement of new flavored ice cream, it always makes me want to try that. I’d like to talk about the flavors of Häagen-Dazs ice cream that I have tried.
Vanilla, strawberry, green tea, macadamia nuts, cookie&cream, crisp chip chocolate, cheesecake, etc.
クッキー&クリーム (Cookie & cream)
レアチーズケーキ (Rare cheese cake) *rare cheese cake is Japanese English, and it means unbaked cheese cake in English.
チョコレートブラウニー (Chocolate brownie)
Flavors of limited-editions
ホワイトピーチ(White peach) Sold in July 2016
バニラクッキーラズベリー (Vanilla cookies raspberry) Sold in October 2016
トリプルショコラ (Triple chocolate) Sold in February 2017
ストロベリーカスタードタルト(Strawberry custard tart) Sold in April 2017
バナナショコラータ (Banana chocolate) Sold in June 2017
キャラメルヴァニーユ(Caramel vanilla) Sold in August 2017
Fruit Festival (a pack of three flavors of Häagen-Dazs ice cream)
安納いも(Annou imo *a type of sweet potato in Japan) Sold in October 2017
パンプキン (Pumpkin) Sold in September 2017
香る珈琲バニラ(Coffee vanilla) Sold in July 2017
ソルティバタービスケット(Salty butter biscuit) Sold in August 2017
ショコラミント(Chocolate mint) Sold in May 2017
Häagen-Dazs Japan has limited-edition series of ice cream, and some of them are sold at convenience stores only.
クランチークランチ(Crunchy Crunch series) 272 yen + 8% consumption tax
ココナッツ(Coconut) Sold in May 2017
ダブルクッキー&クリーム (Double cookies & cream) Sold in March 2017
クリスピーサンド(Crispy Sandwich series) 272 yen + 8% consumption tax
Oval-shaped ice cream is coated with chocolate, caramel, condensed milk or etc., and sandwiched by thin and crispy wafer. Häagen-Dazs Japan made this series in 2001, and it is now spread to other countries.
ストロベリーフロマージュ(Strawberry fromage *fromage means cheese in French) Sold in November 2016
抹茶クリームあずき(Green tea cream azuki *azuki means red bean in Japanese) Sold in June 2017
パンプキンプディング (Pumpkin pudding) Sold in September 2017
スペシャリテ (Spécialité series) 416 yen + 8% consumption tax
抹茶のオペラ (Matcha Opéra) *limited edition
Opéra is a French cake made with layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee (or Grand Marnier) buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze.
Matcha Opéra of Häagen-Dazs has layers like the dessert, but the layers are different from the original one and they are matcha ice cream, almond sauce, almond cookie, chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce with slight golden leaf toppings.
ジャポネ(Japonais series) 334 yen + 8% consumption tax
The idea of this series was created by Häagen-Dazs Japan and 7-Eleven Japan. They use Japanese ingredients such as matcha, kinako (=roasted powdered soybeans), azuki (=red beans), black sugar syrup, etc.
ダブル抹茶~練乳黒蜜~ (Double matcha with condensed milk and black sugar syrup) Sold in July 2017
The flavors they made for Japonais series in the past are; matcha and azuki (October 2013), vanilla and kinako with black sugar syrup (June 2014), strawberry and azuki (November 2014), matcha and kinako with black sugar syrup (June 2015), Japanese chestnut and azuki (October 2015), azuki and kinako with black sugar syrup, (June 2016), sweet red bean paste and walnut with black sugar syrup (October 2016). You can buy Japonais series only at a 7-Eleven convenience store.
クリーミーコーン (Creamy cone caramel &macadamia nuts) Sold in December 2017
This is the first Häagen-Dazs ice cream in a cone, and you can buy it only at a 7-Eleven convenience store like Japonais series. It costs 325 yen + 8% consumption tax.
If you have a chance to visit Japan, why don’t you go to a convenience store and try some new flavors of Häagen-Dazs ice cream(^U^)?