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The Popularity of the Kit Kat Candy In Japan

By Peggy Jun 12, 2018

This post is also available in: Italian

Everyone heard the jingle “Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar?” Chances are you have. The popular candy bar produced by NestléCorporation is a super seller in Japan.

Kit Kat is said in Japanese “kitto katsu,” equaling a Japanese expression meaning “good luck.” Directly translated from English into Japanese is “you will surely win.” Kit Kats are popular among all ages in Japan. In fact, there are more than 200 flavors of the candy in Japan; all within 15 years. Of course, they are still creating new ones. So, we can all enjoy more choices soon.

Why Is It Popular?

It is believed that the company’s marketing is working off the “good luck” motto that coincidentally comes from the translation “kitto katsu.” School age children are especially buying into the idea before school and college exams and getting Kit Kat good luck charms to help them during those stressful periods.

In the United States, it is a simple grocery store candy. To Japanese, it is a fancy confectionary. It is a gift that many people buy for friends or special occasions.


Unlike other countries, NestléJapan has introduced varieties that would be considered surprising to other people. Different cities and regions in Japan also have special flavors only sold there. Of course, standard flavors include strawberry and green tea which can be purchased throughout the country. However, you can find unique flavors like: maccha milk, cherry blossom, blueberry cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, azuki bean, brandy and orange, choco banana, anko and macha tea, apricot, strawberry fromage, fruit parfait, yubari melon, pumpkin, soybean, soy sauce, apple, double berry, mango, strawberry milk, baked potato, nasu kogen milk and many more.

The variety of flavor options at the convenience stores changes periodically in accordance with the seasonal specialty that changes every two or three weeks. If the demand is high, Nestle Japan will produce KitKats with that flavor again for a longer period of time.

Speaking of new products, there is actually a new Kit Kat that will hit the market in September 2018. It is called “Umeshu,” a taste of Japanese plum wine mixed with white chocolate. If you like the flavor, this will be a great chance to purchase and try. It will sell for ¥700 and will be sold in souvenir stores throughout Japan.

Source: Nestlé

Sushi Candy

Initially an April Fools’ Day joke in 2016, the sushi Kit Kat bars became a reality back in February 2017. Unfortunately, they weren’t available for sale and were limited to just 500 sets. These sets were given to customers who spent ¥3,000 or more at the Kit Kat Ginza store during a certain time.

Now the tuna-, sea urchin- and egg-flavored chocolate bars are making a limited-time comeback to celebrate the opening of Nestlé’s new specialty store at Itami Osaka International Airport.

The Kit Kats come in three flavors, all inspired by classic sushi types: tuna, sea urchin and egg respectively. The tuna edition is made of raspberry flavor topping on puffed white chocolate rice, the sea urchin flavor uses Hokkaido Melon and mascarpone cheese Kit Kats wrapped in seaweed, and lastly the egg sushi is a pumpkin pudding-flavored topping with puffed white chocolate-covered rice.

The sets are limited to 570 this time and will be available to customers who, once again, spend over ¥3,000. The promotion was set to run from April 18 to May 6. If you missed it, don’t worry, I’m sure they will continue to produce the sushi sets in the future as people are continually requesting them.

Source: Nestlé

Gifts (Omiyage)

Due to the variety of Kit Kats not seen or sold anywhere else in the world, this is a highly requested gift for foreigners. My family loves the new specialty varieties that come out each time. They have a request list that they ask me to buy as they are only available in Japan. If you are traveling, this is a great option to bring back to your home country. It is light and packs easily in your luggage. It will surely be a crowd pleaser.

If you have a chance, take a break and enjoy this simple confectionary. The choices of flavors will surprise you. Happy eating!


Peggy/United States