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Japan Has Taken The Classic Kit Kat To Levels We Could Not Understand

  • 19
  • 05
  • 2016

Kit Kat – that crunchy, chocolate-covered wafer that everyone loves. Personally, I don’t think I have ever met anyone who is not a fan of Kit Kat. Step inside Japan and you will see that the relationship with the much loved chocolate bar goes far beyond the Kit Kat experience found elsewhere in the world.

Today, if you visit Japan it would be hard to avoid seeing Kit Kats everywhere. They are sold in most convenience stores. And the posters, signs, and advertisements for Kit Kat are everywhere. There are even luxury Kit Kat café’s and specialty stores.

To Japanese people, chocolate is considered a very sweet treat, only eaten in small amounts and on special occasions, making Kit Kats a luxury item.

Interestingly, the word Kit Kat sounds almost identical to the popular Japanese phrase “kitto katsu” which means “you will surely win.” This relationship occurred by accident and it may be the main reason that the chocolate has become so popular. It is now given as a good luck gift during exam period or before significant life milestones. More than 600,000 students receive the bar annually.


Among the 300 different flavors of Kit Kat, such as butter, matcha, sweet potato, wasabi, and adzuki bean, many of them are actually region specific and advertise the unique specialty and flavors of the region, as well as being packaged in a wrapper which promotes tourism for the local area. It has also made the Japanese Kit Kat popular among Chinese and European tourists who are looking for an individual souvenir.

Kit Kat has also moved beyond the traditional chocolate bar, and is now included in specialty croissants, which are often sold out. Japan also created the Kit Kat train ticket, which was seen last year in the Sanriku Railway in support of the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. There is also an online store where you can customize your chocolate bar with photographs and special messages, often common at weddings.

In 2010, the top selling Kit Kat flavor was Soy Sauce, which sounds far from appealing to most people; however, for a country known for its strange flavors, that is just one of many.


Photo Credits: Gnoparus, Powerbee-Photo

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