Hi-Chew was originally created as Chewlets in 1931 in Japan, by Taichiro Morinaga,  a caramel maker.  He was endeavouring to make a chewing gum that you could swallow safely because of the Japanese cultural taboo of removing food from one’s mouth (a taboo which much of the Western world should take good note of!).  Imagine a piece of chewing gum crossed with a Starburst and you’re practically there.