After widespread adoption by Japan's most anime-obsessed citizens back in '06, canned bread has exploded in popularity. That's right: bread... in a can.

Called 'Pan' in Japan, the product has proven itself to have several advantages over conventionally prepared loaves. For one, bakery bread doesn't come with the same novel ability to advertise as canned bread does. Take Clannad canned bread, for example, a brand which is based entirely on an animated show whose protagonists operate a bakery. As you can imagine, fans went wild for the stuff.

Predominantly available in vending machines throughout Japan, Pan often comes in several flavors including butter, raisin, blueberry and green tea.

But Brian Ashcroft of Kotaku reminds us that canned bread isn't a Japanese invention. In New England, the baked good has been a commonplace reserve meal for decades, often under the name B&M Brown Bread. The credit for anime-driven advertising, however, is all Japan's.