Nestlé to build Japanese factory for wasabi and sake-flavoured KitKats

Swiss confectionary colossus Nestle is to build a factory in the western city of Himeji, Japan, to make exotic flavours of KitKats.

Japan is the second largest consumer of KitKats in the world, and prefers flavours ranging from ginger and green tea (pictured) to wasabi and sake.

It will be the firm’s second factory in the country and the first dedicated to the new flavours.

The BBC says KitKat sales have grown by 50% in Japan since 2010 and that spending on confectionary has tripled to $1.2bn over the past four years.

Nestlé has recently reopened a flagship KitKat shop in Ginza, Tokyo’s main shopping district, and the company has a popular KitKat Chocolatory in an underground mall connected to Tokyo Station.

Seasonal KitKat flavours like grapefruit and raspberry can cost almost as much as 3,500 yen ($31) per box.

Bloomberg notes that KitKat’s popularity in Japan may stem from the product’s name sounding similar to "kitto katsu", translated as "sure win" in Japanese, making the snack a popular gift for pupils about to sit exams. KitKats packets in Japan can contain phrases like "Do Your Best!" and "Believe in Yourself!" during exam season.

Green Tea Kitkats in Japan (Wikimedia Commons/Maya-Anaïs Yataghène)

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