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Dars Milk Chocolate

Dars is a popular brand of chocolate in Japan that you can find in any shop, made by Morinaga. The basic varieties available everywhere are milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate.

Dars white chocolate package

Types of Dars chocolates available

Besides the basic varities, these varieties also exist or have existed at some point: uji matcha (high-class brand of tea originating from south Kyoto), matcha milk, bitter chocolate, raspberry, affogato, crea hazelnut, queen of nuts, nuts & fruits, salt, white cacao, limited edition gianduja (type of hazelnut chocolate), limited edition cocoa crush, and Hello Kitty Strawberry Milk.

Dars chocolates are specially designed to melt at 22 degrees celsius (71.6 fahrenheit).

There also exists a Dars drink and varieties of Dars ice cream (at least pino x dars and crunchy ice cream). As part of a Dars day promotion, for a time you could purchase a $300 Dars chocolate tiara.


Company behind Dars

Dars is a product from the confectionery company Morinaga Seika, founded in 1899 and based in Tokyo. Artist Ayumi Hamasaki and olympic silver medalist figure skater Mao Asada work with Morinaga in their advertisements. Morinaga is the company responsible for introducing Valentine's Day in Japan as the day when women give men chocolate.

History of Dars chocolate

Dars came on sale in Japan in 1993 as a variation of a chocolate called "solid", which was already on sale since 1988. "Solid" had just a solid block of chocolate, but "Solid Dars" broke that up into a dozen pieces. The Japanese word "ダース" (dars) means "dozen". The "DARS" spelling was chosen as a combination of the Spanish word "DAR" (give) and the Latin word "ARS" (art / skill). Even their tagline used to be "there's 12 in the box - therefore dozen". The packaging used the English word DOZEN on the box instead of the current made-up word DARS.

You can see musician Kenji Ozawa even spelling this out in a commercial by counting the Dars box contents piece by piece.

Dars store

There was a Dars brand store in Omotesando Hills. Among other things you could purchase a chocolate tiara there for the low low price of $300. The store may pop up again, as it was a special brand promotion for Dars day 12/12 (December 12th, as "dars" means "12").

Celebrities appearing in Dars commercials

1995 - 1996 Musician Kenji Ozawa

Musician Kenji Ozawa was Morinaga's first celebrity to be used for promoting Dars chocolates. YouTube has several Dars commercials with Kenji Ozawa appearing.

Kenji Ozawa making an appearance in an early CM

1998 - 1999 Actor and singer Takeshi Kaneshiro

Takeshi Kaneshiro meets his clones in a Dars commercial

2000 - 2007 Musical duo KinKi Kids

KinKi Kids shrinks their clothes in a Dars commercial

2005 Actress Kumiko Aso

Kumiko Aso's Dars commercial

2006 Actress Eri Fukatsu

Eri Fukatsu in a Dars Commercial

2007 Singer/actress Ryoko Shinohara

Ryoko Shinohara appearing in a Dars Commercial

2008 Actors Yusuke Yamamoto and Junji Takada

Yusuke Yamamoto and Junji Takada cooperating in a Dars Commercial

2008 "Country Musume" member Mai Satoda

2009 Actress/fashion model Asami Usuda

2009 Actor Masaki Okada

2010 - 2012 Actress Aoi Miyazaki (well-known for her role in "Nana")

2013 Actress/model Haru

2014 Model/actress/singer/designer Kiko Mizuhara