The Land of the Rising Sun as Japan is famously known as is popular for a great deal of things but one thing that particularly stands out is Kit Kat in Japan. You see, Kit Kat and Japan share a very special relationship, a relationship that goes beyond its relationship with any other country.
To start with, Kit Kat has over 300 different varieties in Japan. 300! That’s an astronomical number for a chocolate. Kit Kats are basically chocolate coated wafers and to make so many variants is truly other worldly. It’s clear that Kit Kats are more than just chocolates to the Japanese populace. It has quite literally become a phenomenon.
The obsession for these heavenly bars began when Nestle decided to produce limited, seasonal and regional flavours of Kit Kat to be sold at train stations, airports and at various souvenir shops in 2000. This resulted in the explosion of Kit Kat in the Japanese market where people accepted Kit Kat with love and oh boy did they!
The first was a strawberry Kit Kat bar which garnered a lot of attention thanks to it’s bright and unusual pink strawberry colour. From baked sweet potato to soy sauce to grape, brown sugar syrup, red bean and even cola, these are some of the bizarre flavours that constitute the massive 300 and if these 300 were to stand up to Xerxes, even he would pale in comparison to these colourful delights.
The most popular of the 300 is the famed Matcha, the green tea flavour which packs a strange yet satisfying punch. This particular is not only famous in Japan but people abroad relate Kit Kat in Japan with this unique flavour as well.
The brand has been strongly correlated to lucky charms, particularly by students ahead of important exams. This along with the coincidental false cognate with “Kitto Katsu,” a phrase meaning “You will surely win” in Japanese helped propel the brand. Eventually, Nestle and the Japan Post launched a campaign in 2009 allowing people to write messages and mail the chocolate bars from across 20000 post offices.
As mentioned earlier, it’s quite simply more than a sweet treat to the Japanese as at one point it even overtook Meiji chocolates which happens to be the number one selling brand in Japan. So if you are a die hard fan of Kit Kat, you know where to go don’t you?