An outlet in a Hong Kong MTR station
|Kanji||優の良品 / 味一番|
Aji Ichiban (Chinese: 優之良品, Japanese: 優の良品 / 味一番) is one of the largest snack food franchises in Hong Kong, established in 1993 by Lai Chan Yuk Hing and Lai Hin Tai, which was the president and managing director, respectively. Despite having a hiragana syllabary in its name, Aji Ichiban is not a Japanese franchise. There are over 90 international locations in varying international destinations.
Items sold vary by location and encompass a wide range of flavors from both East Asian, Japanese and American cuisines, including beef jerky, dried apricots, Skittles, chocolates, nonpareils, spicy dried fish, plum tablets, chili olives, fried and shredded squid, shrimp crackers, hot dog and hamburger shaped gummy candies, wasabi peas, etc. In addition to providing products based on gustatory appeal, many Aji Ichiban shops carry items that have ties to traditional Eastern remedies. The stores have small bowls of samples for most of the snack items - mainly dried fruit and seafood preparations - so that customers can taste the snacks before they buy them. The snacks are purchased by taking a bag and filling it up with food from the various stations, according to the cost. It is then weighed and you pay accordingly.
Aji Ichiban has long history of being criticized for misleading the country of origin with the Japanese Kanji labels. In fact, none of their products are manufactured in Japan. The brand Name 優の良品 (pronounce as Yuu no Ryouhin in Japanese) has different literal interpretation definition to its official English translation, Aji Ichiban.
In the United States, Aji Ichiban USA was founded in 2000 as an exclusive franchise, with several stores located throughout the United States. Many Chinese political leaders paid visits to these locations. However, as of 2013, most of the locations have been closed.
- San Jose/Cupertino - Closed
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Chinatown - Closed
- Chicago - Open
- Honolulu - Closed
- Rockville - Closed
- Boston - Closed
- New York City
- Philadelphia - Closed
- Richardson - Closed
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