In the 1930s Taichiro Morinaga was trying to create a new kind of sweet, inspired by chewing gum, for the market in Japan. However, in Japan it is considered impolite to take food out of your mouth, so with great ingenuity he created a sweet that you can swallow but with the texture of chewing gum.
...And so Chewlets was born in 1931. The first flavor was caramel. It was different from other sweets in many ways, but what really made it unique was its texture. The creamy, chewy texture was like nothing else in Japan. This new sweet was a hit so more flavors were soon added with a natural strawberry as the next addition. In 1975, after many years of hard work perfecting his recipe, Mr. Morinaga re-launched Chewlets to Japan as the wonderful sweet that we know today as HI-CHEW. True to being different and with amazing real fruit flavors HI-CHEW has gone from strength to strength so to date 165 flavors have been developed and we have become the most popular chewy sweet in Japan!