One of the things that surprise many visitors to Japan is the number and variety of vending machines you'll encounter. Not only are vending machines ubiquitous, with some urban zones literally having multiple machines at every corner, but the variety of things you'll find in a can is also astonishing.

In addition to standard offerings such as sodas, juices, iced teas and coffees, you'll also find hot beverages like ramen broth and spicy Mapo soup.

But just when you thought you had seen it all, along comes a new contender: drinkable canned whipped cream!

"Fresh whipped cream is a drink"

Yes, this is actually real whipped cream, thick and rich, really good quality whipped cream, but in a can!

Made by MGK Co., Ltd., an importer and distributor of rare Hawaiian coffee beans, their 生ホイップは飲み物 (nama hoippu wa nomimono | literally, "fresh whipped cream is a drink") series, currently available through online sales, was an instant hit when it first came out in September 2021. It trended on various social media platforms, was featured on Japanese TV and introduced in web media. The company had difficulty keeping up with demand and waiting lists grew.

The product was initially designed to be sold in the company's Hawaii Kau Coffee Shinjuku Gyoen store and eaten on the spot. However, the health ministry pointed out that dedicated factory-level facilities and a specialized dairy product business license were required to sell it online. The company stopped sales and issued an apology to its customers.

With the cooperation of K.S. Farm Kasei Ranch in Niigata Prefecture, which has a license to manufacture dairy products and ice cream, they were able to meet all the necessary requirements. They obtained a manufacturing license and resumed online sales on June 5th, 2022.

According to their website, "Fresh whipped cream is a drink" from vending machines is "coming soon."

"Fresh whipped cream is a drink" taste test

Since most of our readers live outside of Japan, when they visit the country, it won't be practical or possible to order products and have them delivered. Therefore, trying this from a vending machine might be a popular way for them to experience this unique whipped cream in a can. That’s why we wanted to review it first to let you know what you can expect.

Our order came with two flavors, plain and Hawaii Kau Coffee:

Photo by grape Japan

It has a pull tab, but unlike the usual canned beverages sold in vending machines, this pull-tab lifts off the entire top of the can.

There are two good reasons for this. First, when you defrost "Fresh whipped cream is a drink" (for two hours in the fridge, as recommended), the whipped cream will still be very rich and thick, and quite difficult to drink from a straw. It makes it much easier to stir your straw around inside to make it more liquid, and it's much easier to do this when you have the whole top open.

Photo by grape Japan

We tried both the plain and the coffee-flavored one this way and had no problem drinking it with a straw. Rich, smooth and delicious, it was a sinful experience, to say the least. We preferred the coffee version as a drink. The subtle bitterness and rich taste of coffee blended well with the whipped cream.

Photo by grape Japan

As for the second reason, in addition to drinking it as is, you can obviously use the whipped cream to top everything from fresh fruit, pancakes, etc., just like you would with normal whipped cream. However, you wouldn't be able to insert your spoon to scoop it out if you didn't have a larger opening to work with, so this is absolutely necessary.

Here is the Hawaii Kau Coffee flavor...

Photo by grape Japan

...and the plain flavor

Photo by grape Japan

As you can see, it's the real thing. It has the appearance and taste of whipped cream so you can enjoy it on your favorite desserts. One can should be enough to top several desserts, for example, if you're making pancakes, waffles, pies, parfaits or the like.

Photo by grape Japan

In case you're wondering, the plain version has 373 calories and the Hawaii Kau Coffee version has 379 calories.

You can buy plain, Hawaii Kau Coffee, chocolate, guava, Blue Hawaii and strawberry milk flavored "Fresh whipped cream is a drink" at the Hawaii Kau Coffee Shinjuku Gyoen shop and mixed fruit and caramel flavor at Fruits maison NOGATA SIX in Nakano Ward, Tokyo.

As for online sales, in addition to plain and Hawaii Kau Coffee flavors, you can also order rich chocolate flavor, and two collaboration versions, one with cosplayer 柳丸 Yanagimaru (plain flavor) and one with Vtuber 酵穣桃桜 Kojo Momozakura (a fruit-based flavor). For more details, see their online shop here.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.