“ANY1 CHOCO” brand development interview(vol.1)

“ANY1 CHOCO” is a chocolate brand that uses dairy-free, plant-based, and gluten-free ingredients and NHP’s hydrolysis technology. To commemorate the brand’s launch and the opening of the flagship store in Singapore, we spoke to the core members involved in the project about their thoughts.

Interviewer: Shuzo Okabe

Koji Fujita
Recipe Development

In 2008, Fujita was part of the team that won second place overall and first place in the Chocolate Piece category at the international confectionery competition WPTC. In 2012, his team won first place overall in the same competition. Leveraging his experience in hotels and stores, he teaches confectionery techniques worldwide.

S: Could you tell us about your role in this project?

F: I’m responsible for developing recipes that turn materials developed using NHP’s technology into edible products. Ingredients are essential to patissiers, but it’s rare for us to be involved from ground zero, so it was a valuable experience.

S: Looking back on this experience, were there any challenges?

F: Of course, yes, but that’s to be expected and not the point of this experience. What really stuck with me was that we were taking part in something unprecedented, and I felt the need to make sure we succeeded uniquely. Moreover, since chocolate’s history began in Europe and has been the status quo for a long time, reapproaching that history and the traditional methods was exciting.

S: While developing ANY1 CHOCO’s concept, your comments on the “joy” conveyed through sweets as your fundamental motivation for being a patissier struck me.

F: It might sound exaggerated, but making sweets and bringing joy to people is my life’s purpose. The accumulation of those experiences has shaped who I am today. That’s why I want to offer people both enjoyable and healthy options.

S: Is this perspective becoming more commonplace in the patisserie industry?

F: Yes. However, realistically, many patisseries are individual shopowners. Changing the longstanding customs within this space, both in terms of ingredients and methods, is particularly difficult for larger organizations.

S: Now that ANY1 CHOCO has successfully debuted, how was your collaboration with NHP?

F: Talking with Mr. Kumazawa made me feel we can change our perspectives about food. That was the biggest takeaway for me. I’m part of this project because I’m excited about that possibility.

S: I agree. His optimistic perspective left an impression on me, too. I also want to be involved in something where I can use my experiences to change society positively.

F: In that sense, ANY1 CHOCO is just at the starting line, and I want to continue refining it, including the ingredients.

S: Finally, do you have any visions for the brand’s future you’d like to share with us?

F: I want to focus on spreading awareness about what we’ve learned. I hope this initiative becomes known to more people and eventually catalyzes some sort of change within society, including amongst some of the most prominent players in the industry.

Shuzo Okabe
Brand Strategy, Creative Direction

Head of upsetters architects, which specializes in environmental and strategic design. Representative of LED Enterprise focused on brand development. Winner of the JCD Design Award Gold Prize, Good Design Award, and iF Design Award, amongst other domestic and international awards. Currently serving as the CCO (Chief Creative Officer) of NHP Corporation, leading all creative aspects.