The surprise hit candy Costco shoppers can’t get enough of

While Costco fans are always raving about the store’s own house brand, one area in which Kirkland Signature kind of drops the ball is that of candy. Perhaps because it’s tough to enter a field where so many of the big players have been in the business for decades and have their own loyal fan bases — why bother competing when Costco can just sell Hershey’s, Reese’s, etc. in bulk? Price, after all, is Costco’s real advantage — and this is why Costco shoppers were so thrilled to find that the store now carries the cult favorite candy, Hi-Chew.

One Redditor recently posted a photo of their Costco shopping cart, sharing the helpful info that “You can fit 6 bags of Hi-Chews in the top of the cart” (although a commenter said “you can fit more than 6, easily”). This announcement was met with cries of incredulity and delight: “WHAT COSTCO HAS HI-CHEW?!?!? TELL ME, TELL ME NOW!!!!” It’s not that Hi-Chew was entirely unknown in the U.S. — after all, it if was unavailable, how would it have developed that cult following in the first place? It’s just that, as per another comment, “we have it bags at a local Asian-oriented grocery store called H-Mart, but it’s a bit expensive.” With this candy now available at Costco, it’s not only cheaper, but you can pick up a bag (or six) while you’re stocking up on all that other Costco stuff.

Hi-Chew 101

For those not addicted to this Japanese candy, Hi-Chew is kind of like Starburst, only, as the name might imply, slightly chewier. An early version of this candy, called Chew-lets, was created as an alternative to gum. As it dissolved in your mouth as you chewed, you wouldn’t have to spit it out like you do with gum since doing so is, as Hi-Chew’s website puts it, “let’s face it, a little rude.” Hi-Chew as we know it today dates back to 1975, and while it took a minute to catch on outside Japan, by 2016 it has become so popular in the U.S. that a Hi-Chew factory opened up in Mebane, North Carolina.

Among Hi-Chew’s biggest fans is North Carolina’s former governor, Pat McCrory. As he told the Burlington, N.C.-based Times-News, the company’s representatives brought samples of their product when they first approached him about opening a factory in his state. As McCrory said, “One bite and we were friends for life.”

Well, McCrory, along with Hi-Chew’s numerous other fans, will be pleased to know that Hi-Chews are available via Costco’s website as well as in-store, so they can now get their favorite candies (in cherry, grape, green apple, mango, and strawberry flavors) at a bargain price without ever having to leave the house. Thanks, Costco! That’s truly a lazy sugar lover’s dream come true.

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