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経営難の銚子電鉄 副業「まずい棒」、予想外の大ヒット

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foul
(ここでは)まずい(後出 disgusting もここでは同意)
in a bid to ~
~するために
rot
(ここでは)経営難(後出 economic woe もここでは同意)
Choshi Electric Railway Co.
銚子電気鉄道株式会社
make light of ~
~を冗談にする
cross
(ここでは)突破する
milestone
節目
retail
小売りされる
~ cylinder
(ここでは)~本
breakthrough
突破口
self-deprecating
自虐的な
Corn potage, left, and cheese flavored "foul-flavored sticks" are seen on sale in a Choshi Electric Railway Co. store in Chiba Prefecture, on June 3. (Mainichi)

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."

[本文‐170 words]

週刊英語学習紙 毎日ウィークリー6月29日号

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