Japanese Kit Kats: Your Ultimate Guide to Japan's Favorite Chocolate

06 June 2021 by Charlie

Japanese Kit Kats are an international phenomenon. They have become a part of pop culture and are loved by many around the world, but what is it about these simple candy bars that have made them so popular? This blog post will explore the history, flavours, and popularity of Japanese Kit Kats to help you understand why they continue to be so popular around the world. 

Japanese kit kats come in flavours that are not available anywhere else in the world - and they're always absolutely delicious. The first section of this blog post will discuss why there's such an obsession with these small pieces of candy over here in Japan. Then we'll talk about where to buy them and what makes Japanese Kit Kats so different from other countries' versions (and better!) 

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The History of Japanese Kit Kats


The Kit Kat brand dates back to 1911, when Rowntree's, a confectionery manufacturer located in York, registered the words Kit-Cat and Kit Kat as trademarks. The names were not immediately adopted, and Kit Kat first emerged in the 1920s, when Rowntree's introduced the Kit-Cat brand of boxed chocolates. The Kit Kat Club was named after Christopher Catling, who used to conduct a literary and political club at his pie store in London in the seventeenth century. 

As for the Japanese version of Kit Kats, there's an obsession with these small pieces of candy over here in Japan. It started back in 2007 when Nestle released their 'Kit Kat Chocolatory' line - which was a premium line featuring seasonal flavours like green tea and matcha - that soon became available from high-end department stores. The Japanesee Kitkat however stands for Kiss In Time, Kiss Any Time. 

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The Kit Kat's we know today was first introduced in 1935, and the original flavours available included milk chocolate with coconut filling. The Japanese version of this flavour is called “nama no hanabira” (literal translation: "fresh flowers"). Other flavours that are popular amongst westerners include green tea, strawberry cheesecake and coffee milkshake. Japanese Kit Kats can be broken down into three categories: traditional Japanese varieties that a Westerner would find familiar; international variants like banana pudding or red velvet cake; and Japanese-specific creations such as soy sauce flavour or wasabi peas." 

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The Cultural Impact of Japanese Kit Kats

In 2007, Nestlé Japan won an award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for their advertising the Japanese Kit Kat is a simple and not overly complicated candy bar. They are made up of only four ingredients, which consist of wheat flour, sugar syrup (or honey), cocoa powder, and margarine. The Japanese company developed the recipe for these small wafers in 1935 with an intention to create something that was easy to eat on the go as well as appealing enough to make children want it again and again. 

As they continued to sell their product around Japan in the following years; they started marketing them under different flavours such as strawberry or green tea flavours - each one hoping that people would buy more than just one flavour because there were many options available.

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Kit Kats' marketing in Japan is thought to have profited from an accidental false cognate with "Kitto Katsu," a Japanese word that means "You will Certainly Win." According to certain market research, the brand is highly linked to good luck charms, particularly among students before examinations. Japanese Kit Kats are a delicious, popular Japanese chocolate treat. In 1937 during World War II, Rowntree’s wanted to create something that would help people feel better about their lives and show them happier times when things were difficult in the country. They created a sweet bar with layers of wafer and chocolate - one for each.

Japanese Kit Kat Flavors and Varieties

What most Western countries don’t understand about Japanese culture is how much-enriched nutrition Japanese Kit Kats provide. They offer a wide range of flavours, some of which can be found in other countries around the world and others that are unique to Japan only. Japanese companies have started marketing them as a healthy snack because they contain four ingredients and no preservatives or additives, making it one of the most natural snacks on the market today - even though kit kats still come with sugar! When Kit Kat Orange, the first flavour variety, was debuted in the United Kingdom in 1996, it ushered in a new era for the conventional chocolate bar. 

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Following its success, many flavors of Japanese kit kats were introduced, including mint and caramel, and in 1999, Kit Kat Chunky was introduced, which was well appreciated by foreign customers. Since then, there have been several variations on the basic Kit Kat. In the 1980s, vending machines in the United Kingdom marketed a Kit Kat with five shorter fingers. In 2014, the Japanese Bake 'N Tasty Mini Kit Kats Custard Pudding Flavor debuted. Before eating, the bar must be cooked in an oven, and the surface sugar caramelizes in the process. 

Kit Kat Rubies, a new premium and giftable variation of Kit Kat, was introduced in Malaysia in 2015. Given all these circumstances, The Kit Kat became a highly popular product in Japan, and there are several varieties. The three most common flavours are milk chocolate (called "white"), dark chocolate ("black") and strawberry-flavoured white chocolate. There are also blueberry, banana, green tea and other seasonal variations that can be found on Japanese stores shelves during their respective seasons. 

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Some of these new flavour introductions have proven to be quite successful for the company as shown by its annual special limited editions such as Matcha Green Tea or Wasabi Ginger Flavors which were introduced last year around March – April 2018. Kit Kats sold in Canada do not contain artificial colours; instead, they feature natural cocoa butter giving them an off-white colour rather than pure milk chocolate brown. 

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Japanese Kit Kats are a Japanese wafer biscuit covered in chocolate, created by confectioner Rowntree's and now produced globally by Nestlé. The original flavour is milk chocolate although since its inception other flavours have been introduced such as strawberry white or dark chocolate. Japanese Kit Kats come in many different shapes and sizes with some flavours even shaped like pandas! They can usually be found for sale at any grocery store - typically the most common size sold is four fingers (or two-piece packs). 

Japanese companies have started marketing them as healthy snack because they contain four ingredients and no preservatives or additives, making it one of the most natural snacks on the market today - even though kit kats still come with sugar. Unless otherwise noted, the following components are given in decreasing weight order: milk chocolate ( sugar, milk components, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, whey powder, lactose, soy lecithin, polyglycerol polyricinoleate, natural flavour), wheat flour, sugar, modified palm oil, cocoa, sodium bicarbonate, soy lecithin, yeast, and natural flavour), wheat flour, sugar, modified palm oil, cocoa, sodium bicarbonate. 

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Some Japanese Kit Kats are also made with soybeans since they cannot get enough from wheat. This is the reason why some of them will have a slightly different taste - and texture - than their Western counterparts. 

Where To Find Japanese Kit Kats

The Japanese variety is usually imported to Singapore because there aren't any factories here that make them on a mass scale, but they can be found at select supermarkets in Japan. They're available all year round as opposed to the locally marketed seasonal ones which come out only during the winter months. Now, the Japanese Kit Kat is one of the most popular flavours in Japan. 

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It's made with a unique blend of soy milk and matcha tea, which gives it an earthy flavour that stands out when compared to other varieties. As you can see from the photo on the left, there are many variations available for both dark-green and light-green ones but they all taste pretty much similar - sweet and tart like grass jelly! 

Japanese Kit Kats are loved by people around Asia due to their gentle sweetness levels as well as their distinctive shapes. It has been reported that there are over 400 different kinds produced every year so keep your eyes peeled at supermarkets because you never know what you might find!). There is also Hojicha flavour- as in roasted green tea. One of the most popular flavours in Japan. There are many variations available for both dark-green and light-green ones but they all taste pretty much similar - sweet and tart like grass jelly!

Japanese Kit Kats Around the World

Kit Kats are made in Japan at Nestlé's plants in Himeji and Kasumigaura. Nestlé sources the majority of its cacao beans from West Africa, while the milk chocolate used in Kit Kats is prepared from whole milk powder. 

Kats are available in approximately 300 different flavours in Japan, each made specifically for specific towns, regions, and seasons. Matcha Green Tea, Japan Sake, Ruby Chocolate, Hojicha, Adzuki (red bean), Beni Imo (purple sweet potato), brown sugar syrup, and soy sauce.

To begin your journey through traditional and modern Japanese flavours, you can get Japanese Kit Kats now at JapanHaul! Many of the flavors you can find online are only available in certain parts of Japan and were intended to imitate regional delicacies such as hojicha (roasted green tea) from Kyoto's famed teahouse Kyuemon Ito, Ogura toast (red bean sandwich) from Tokai, and yahataya isogoro (a fiery, bitter pepper from Shinshu). 

The Kit Kat is not only a delicious chocolate snack but also an exquisite souvenir! Japanese Kit Kats are one of the most popular candy products in Japan. Let us know in the comments what your favourite KitKat is!


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