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Nostalgic Journey Through Japanese Snacks
Have you ever wandered into a Dagashi store? These treasure troves are a gateway to old-school Japanese snacks, popular from the 90s to the early...
Mixing the Unmixable - Cream Soda and Milk
Mixing the Unmixable: My Unexpected Journey with Banana Cream Soda and Milk If you had told me a month ago that I'd be raving about...
From Japan to the Bay Area: Story Behind Shonen Soda
Ryan Hashimoto's journey from Tokyo to the Bay Area is somewhat weird. At 7, when Ryan first stepped into the U.S., it was the beginning...
Soda Manufacturing Process
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Soda Manufacturing Process

My first step in Shonen was to find a beverage development company. Basically, the beverage “architect” helped us with flavor formulations, product consulting, ingredient sourcing, etc. Since I had absolutely no idea about the beverage industry, they were the people that assisted me with literally everything.

After working with the beverage development company for almost a year and half, we finally got our first three Shonen flavors: Banana Crème, Elderberry Crème, and Orange Crème. In terms of the flavor formulations, we basically had to tell them what kind of flavors we wanted and we worked up from there. For example, they will send you three types of Banana Crème and you have to tell them what you liked about each one and your favorite one. This process took such a long time because we’ve tried some flavors that we just couldn’t figure out and had to give up. No matter how many times we worked on it, it just did not turn out to be the “one”.

Flavor formulation is by far the most crucial and difficult part of starting a beverage company. If people don’t like the flavor, it’s basically over. Although it was a difficult process, it was the most fun for a soda lover like me because you get to try hundreds of flavor variations and work on it. It felt like working in a science lab and figuring out what’s best.

beverage development
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Recent Posts

Nostalgic Journey Through Japanese Snacks
Have you ever wandered into a Dagashi store? These treasure troves are a gateway to old-school Japanese snacks, popular from the 90s to the early...
Mixing the Unmixable - Cream Soda and Milk
Mixing the Unmixable: My Unexpected Journey with Banana Cream Soda and Milk If you had told me a month ago that I'd be raving about...
From Japan to the Bay Area: Story Behind Shonen Soda
Ryan Hashimoto's journey from Tokyo to the Bay Area is somewhat weird. At 7, when Ryan first stepped into the U.S., it was the beginning...