In 2013, Sanrio held a competition in Japan to come up with a food-based character. The goals were to help Sanrio designers find a muse and to create a trial period for potential new characters before spending money on corresponding merchandise. A salmon filet named Kirimichan took first place and an apathetic egg named Gudetama came in second.
The majority of Sanrio characters exhibit the cute factor and are often childlike and happy. Gudetama is not traditionally cute. Some scholars believe that Gudetama falls into the ����_�yuru-kawaii����_�_ sub-genre of the kawaii movement in Japan. He����_��s relaxed and lazy, which appeals to people in a stressful, modern society. Others feel that Gudetama exhibits the qualities of many Japanese mascots that express emotions not typically exemplified in Western mascots. Japanese mascots are often used to convey a point or to act as mediators in situations that are difficult to confront.