Japan’s obsession with strangely-flavored Kit Kat bars


April 24, 2017

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Interesting Things

In Japan, Kit Kat bars are more than a tasty treat, they’re a national obsession. They’re even produced in special flavors and designed as “luxury” Kit Kit bars. The $5 candies were thought up by pastry chef Yasumasa Takagi, CBS reports.

“In general,” chef Takagi said, “the Japanese prefer mild flavors, rather than aggressive flavors that hit you over the head.”

Cedric Lacroix is the managing director of chocolate and confectionery at Nestle Japan, and he says Kit Kat is “very, very big.”

“We consume up to five million Kit Kats a day in Japan,” he said.

Kitto katto, the Japanese pronunciation of the chocolate bars, sounds like “kitto katsu” in Japanese, which translates to “You surely will win!” The similarity could make the candy a sort of good luck charm.

“Absolutely, absolutely,” said Lacroix of the pronunciation. “It became part of the company mission to play this lucky charm. So Kit Kat’s mission in Japan is really to encourage people.”

Some flavors in Japan include what Americans might consider strange variations, including purple sweet potato Kit Kat, apple Kit Kat, wasabi Kit Kat and sake Kit Kat.

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