- （ここでは）まずい（後出 disgusting もここでは同意）
- in a bid to ～
- （ここでは）経営難（後出 economic woe もここでは同意）
- Choshi Electric Railway Co.
- make light of ～
- ～ cylinder
Chiba railway tastes success with 'foul-flavored sticks'
CHOSHI, Chiba -- The awful state of a local railway operator's finances has left such a foul taste in the company's mouth that it has started to sell "disgusting flavored sticks" in a bid to stop the rot.
Based on the nationally popular snack "Umaibo," or "delicious stick," Choshi Electric Railway Co. in Chiba Prefecture has started selling its own "Mazuibo," or "foul-flavored stick," so named to make light of its economic woes. The company announced sales crossed the 1 million stick milestone in late May, just nine months after bringing the product to market.
After receiving agreement from a company that manufactures and sells the original snacks, the "foul-flavored sticks" were first sold in corn potage flavor and retail at 600 yen for a package of 15 cylinders, or 50 yen for one.
The railway has fallen on hard times due to a drop in population along its route.
The railway president says, "With this breakthrough, I want to fix our economic situation through the development of new self-deprecating products."