THE world’s first KitKat boutique has opened in Tokyo.
The York-born chocolate bar has becomes so popular in Japan that it is now a cult product.
KitKat, launched in Rowntree’s York factory in 1935 as Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp before becoming KitKat Chocolate Crisp in 1937, became Japan’s favourite chocolate in 2012.
Nestlé, which nowadays makes KitKats at factories around the world, including York, says its popularity is boosted in Japan by the launch of hundreds of unusual and innovative special edition flavours to meet Japanese consumers’ experimental tastes and sense of style.
“Many KitKat flavours, created to reflect regional specialities, are only available in specific regions in Japan,” said spokesman James Maxton.
“KitKat fans in Japan have been able to choose from varieties including Purple Potato, Cinnamon Cookie, European Cheese, Bean Cake and Wasabi - unwrapping sticks of pale green, delicate pink and lilac chocolate that look and taste very different from those anywhere else in the world.
“These special varieties are available only in certain regions of Japan, using ingredients and flavours linked to the local area. “KitKat Kobe Pudding, for example, has a creamy custard pudding flavour, with a hint of citrus and is only available in Kobe.”
He said the KitKat “Chocolatory” store would be located within the Seibu department store in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district and stock exclusive varieties of the chocolate bar – Sublime Bitter, Special Sakura Green Tea and Special Chilli - created in collaboration with Japanese chocolatier Takagi.
Stewart Dryburgh, KitKat’s Global Brand Manager, said: “KitKat is close to being a cult product in Japan, and it is a very special market for us. I’m thrilled that this shop will allow us to showcase new KitKat premium products.”