Apparently Japanese really like KitKat – and not just the chocolaty kids you know. Green tea, purple yam, Sake and Wasabi are just a few of the popular KitKat flavors that are driving Japan mad.
Think this is just a sweet anecdote? The yearning for KitKat is so powerful that Nestle is actually building its first new Japan plant in 26 years, just to meet the soaring demand.
This is not a new phenomenon. For over 40 decades, there have been over 300 flavors of KitKat in Japan, but recently new – even more exotic – ones including ginger and custard pudding have sent the country into sweet-tooth frenzy. People have apparently been driving across the country to secure the harder-to-find flavored KitKats.
Why has KitKat become so popular? Well, even before the exotic flavors swept the country, the name of the sweet itself was a crowd pleaser. It sounds a bit like ‘kitto katsu’, meaning ‘sure win’ in Japanese, so it became a popular gift for anyone about to embark on a new project or to take exams.
Now though, it’s not just Japanese who are going gaga over the sweet. Tourists are also excited about exotic KitKats – and Japanese sweets in general. According to the Ministry of the Environment, the country’s candy consumption has more than tripled over the past four years. Nestle has risen to the challenge by opening its second factory in the country. This is a specialized factory, dealing strictly with the high-end versions of the chocolate snack. How high-end? Well, currently, a Kit Kat Chocolatory in an underground shopping center boasts unique KitKats that can cost over 1,500 yen per package and boxes of seasonal flavors – that can cost 3,500 yen – that’s 10 times the price of a standard Kit Kat bag.
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