This is Lotte’s most popular item but aren’t you wondering why this dessert is sold only in winter?
Yukimi refers to watching the snow fall and yukimi daifuku is a twist on the “tsukimi daifuku” (moon-viewing daifuku). Daifuku is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans.
When Lotte first produced this in 1980, the ice cream was covered in marshmallow which didn’t work well as the marshmallow remained hard. Lotte then changed the coating to mochi, a sticky rice cake.
A mini version of Yukimi Daifuku is available all year round but the popular standard size is available only from September to April.
Standard (2 Pack)
Mini (9 Pack)
Why is this only sold in autumn and winter?
First is Lotte’s marketing strategy
After summer, most ice cream manufacturers relax as they believe the peak sale season is over and that’s how Lotte made a mark of their presence in the market.
Second is strict quality control
Mochi hardens if left in the open for too long. So starch and other ingredients were used to prevent the mochi from hardening. Another issue was that mochi softens easily when the weather is too hot. This isn’t an issue with the mini ones but the standard size takes a longer time to eat resulting in a change in the taste and texture of mochi.
To ensure that the same taste lasts in the mouth, sale in summer was stopped for the standard size, making it available only in autumn and winter. Only the mini is now available throughout the year.
Of course, like any other product, the packaging for the yukimi daifuku changes through the year. For the new year “fuku” was printed larger as it means “good luck.”
Further, there are plenty of limited editions and flavors.
Like kinako (roasted soybean flour)
Sweet potato (fried & candied with sesame)
Don’t forget to try these as they don’t cost much and are uniquely Japanese! Head to any convenience store or supermarket on your trip to Japan!