Many flavors for Kit Kat in Japan (Kit Kat is a goof luck charm for examinees)

“Have a break, Have a Kit Kat!” It is needless to say what Kit Kat is if you like a chocolate. Kit Kat is a chocolate-covered wafer bar confection produced globally by Nestlé except in the United States where Kit Kat is made under license by H.B. Reese Candy Company. The bars consist of two fingers composed of three layers of wafer, separated and covered by a layer of chocolate, and the standard flavor of chocolate is milk, white, and dark. By the way, I had thought that Nestlé is the company created Kit Kat for a long time, but Rowntree’s, an English company based in York, is the one who introduced Kit Kat in 1935. Rowntree merged with Mackintosh’s to form Rowntree Mackintosh Confectionery in 1969, and it was taken over by in Nestlé in 1988.

 

Kit Kat history in Japan

“Hey! Why don’t you write about Japanese things instead of the chocolate-confection invented in the UK?” You might think so if you don’t know how popular Kit Kat is in Japan now and there are many flavors created by “Nestlé Japan”. Before writing about the flavors for Kit Kat, I’d like to write its history in Japan briefly.

It was 1977 that Rowntree Mackintosh Confectionery made a business partnership with Fujiya, a nationwide chain of confectionery stores in Japan, and they started selling Kit Kat. After Rowntree Mackintosh Confectionery was taken over by Nestlé, they established a new company called Fujiya Mackintosh. The company’s name changed several times (Fujiya Mackintosh→Nestlé Mackintosh→Nestlé Confectionery), and it merged with Nestlé Japan in 2010.

 

A good luck charm for examinees

Apparently, Nestlé Japan was in a difficult situation when they took over the business of Kit Kat since its sales in Japan had stagnated. When they were struggling, they found a strange truth that the sales of Kit Kat rapidly increase in Kyushu region in January and February. Apparently, Kit Kat sounds like “Kitto Katto” in Japanese pronunciation. “Kitto” means surely or certainly in standard Japanese, and “katto” means win or gain a victory in Kyushu dialect. In Kyushu region, Kit Kat became popular among students who take an entrance exam since it sounds like “you surely win”! (It may sound strange if I write “win an entrance exam” in English, though.) Most of entrance exams of high schools, colleges, and universities in Japan are held in February since a new term starts from April. That is why many students and their parents buy Kit Kat as a good luck charm before students take entrance exams, and it leads the sales-increasing of Kit Kat in January and February in Kyushu region.

Nestlé Japan used this idea to advertise Kit Kat to other areas in Japan, and the idea that “Kit Kat = a good luck charm for examinees” spread nationwide as Nestlé Japan wished. I took entrance exams of universities in 2007, and I still remember that a teacher at my juku (= cram school) gave a small package of Kit Kat for each student in January. He wished all his students pass an entrance exam, and he said, “You will be free from studying for the exam soon, so never give up studying until the last minute!” Kit Kat itself doesn’t have a power to help you to pass an exam, but if someone wishes you a good luck and gives Kit Kat to you, it may increase your motivation to keep trying. There’s a part you can write messages on the surface of a small package of Kit Kat or individual plastic packages.

 

Many flavors Nestlé Japan made for Kit Kat

Nestlé Japan was not satisfied with the success of increasing the sales, and they started creating new flavors limited season and area. I heard that Kit Kat is also popular among tourists from other countries. (Matcha flavored Kit Kat is the most popular for souvenirs!)

 

濃い抹茶(Thick= Strong matcha)

 

 

Premium mint

 

 

日本酒(Japanese sake)*White chocolate + sake’s aroma and flavor

 

 

青春のシトラス(Citrus)

 

こだわりのラズベリー(Raspberry)

 

北海道メロン(Hokkaido Melon)limited in Hokkaido  *Melon flavor + mascarpone cheese

 

毎日の贅沢(Luxury for everyday)

*Milk and white chocolate + toppings made from dried rose and almond nuts

 

宇治抹茶(Uji matcha)

 

のど飴 (Cough drop)

*The flavor is similar to mint and I could feel something like menthol. It’s not too bad, but I’m sure Nestlé Japan could choose other nice flavors instead of cough drop. I don’t know how the sales of this flavor was…

 

 

キャラメルプリン (Caramel pudding)

 

 

ストロベリーチーズケーキ (Strawberry cheese cake)

 

 

The total number of flavors Nestlé Japan created is about 200! (There are so many flavors that I have never tried…) The above flavors I wrote are just a part of it. Many of them were limited season and area, so it’s not easy to buy all of them, but I’d like to write down the flavors as far as I know.

Milk coffee

Strawberry

Sparkling strawberry

Kinako *Roasted powdered soy beans

Wasabi (Limited in Shizuoka)

Matcha milk

Zunda *soy bean paste (Limited in Tohoku area)

Soy sauce (Limited in Tokyo)

Miso (Limited in Tokai & Hokuriku area)

Blueberry cheese cake (Limited in Knto & Koushinetsu area)

Orange

Pineapple

Tochiotome strawberry (Limited in Tochigi) *Tochiotome is a typeBlaB of strawberry in Japan

Blueberry

Apple (Limited in Shinshu area)

Ichimi spice (Limited in Nagano) *Ichimi is powdered chili pepper

Baked cheese cake

Baked pudding

Baked sweet potato

Lemon

Lemon vinegar

Lemon cheese cake

Soymilk chocolate

Blood orange

Orange chocolate

Chocolate banana

Salt caramel

Golden citrus blend (Limited in Chugoku & Shikoku area)

Alexandra of Muscat

Roasted green tea

Yatsuhachi (Limited in Kyoto) *Yatsuhashi is Japanese confectionery

Purple sweet potato (Limited in Okinawa & Kyushu area)

Kobe pudding (Limited in Kobe)

Azuki sandwich (Limited in Tokai & Hokuriku area)

Tokyo Rum raisin (Limited in Tokyo)

Fruit parfait

Maple syrup

Hokkaido milk

Hokkaido azuki *azuki is read bean in Japanese

Oshiruko *Sweeten red bean soup

Cherry blossom

Matcha cherry blossom

White peach

Yellow peach

Yuzu kosho *Citrus pepper

Yuzu *Japanese citrus

Royal milk tea

Jasmine tea

Custard pudding

Tiramisu

Ginger ale

Plum soda

Kinako ohagi *roasted powdered soy bean and sweet red bean paste

Sweet potato (Limited in Kawagoe, Saitama)

Coke and Lemon soda

Vanilla ice cream

Passion fruit

Aloe yogurt

Vegetable juice (apple and carrot flavor)

Sour orange

Caffe latte

Japanese chestnut

Matcha azuki

Kiwi fruit

Black sugar syrup

Annin tofu *Chinese almond jelly

Daigaku imo * Candied sweet potato

Pumpkin pudding

Pumpkin cheese cake

Pumpkin

Hokkaido grilled corn

Hokkaido potato

Hagel nuts

Apple pie

Strawberry milk

Cherry (Limited in Tohoku area)

Pear (Limited in Niigata)

Energy drink

Soda pop

Calpico

Caramel Macchiato

Water melon

Cookie and cream

Caramel and vanilla

Vanilla beans

Espresso coffee

Apple vinegar

Cookie and milk

Matcha tiramisu

Chocolate and rose

Wild bitter for men

Grape (Limited in Koushin area)

Matcha and roasted powdered soy bean

Strawberry maple

Cream cheese

Wine

Mikan *Japanese orange

Amaou strawberry (Limited in Kyushu area) *Amaou is a type of strawberry in Japan

Black sugar

Black sugar with roasted powdered soy bean

Bitter almond

Cocoa

Salt and vanilla

Mango (Limited in Kyushu & Okinawa area)

Chocolate and Mango pudding

Strawberry cake

Pancake

Framboise

Triple berry

Double berry

Black tea

Brandt and Orange

Salt and milk chocolate

Matcha azuki milk

Peanut butter

Air in white

Air in matcha

Mont-blanc *Dessert made from chestnut

Hokkaido Café au lait

Mixed juice

Raspberry and passion fruit

Orange peel

Condensed milk and strawberry

Vanilla white

Hazel nut cream

Mango and passion fruit

 

Which flavor do you like to try? I hope you can find your favorite flavored Kit Kat when you come to Japan(^U^)

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