Confectionery giant Nestlé is building a second factory in western Japanese city of Himeji that will produce deluxe Kit Kats.
It is the first Kit Kat factory to be built in 26 years and reflects how popular flavours such as green tea, wasabi and sake have been with locals and visiting tourists.
Sales in Japan have rocketed by 50% since 2010, and the trend looks set to continue, with the country already the second-largest consumer of Kit Kats in the world.
The unfamiliar varieties, which now include Kit Kats with chocolate cake and custard fillings, can sell for up to 10 times the price of ordinary Kit Kat bars. Nestlé plans to start operating from the site in August.
Nestlé’s Kit Kat Chocolatory, based underground near Tokyo Station, is a thriving tourist hub, selling seasonal flavours including raspberry and grapefruit and purple yam.
The literal translation of ‘kitto katsu’ is ‘sure win’, which has helped Kit Kat embed itself into Japanese culture – for example, it is a popular good luck gift ahead of examinations and interviews.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization and Ministry of the Environment, tourists are spending record amounts on confectionery. In 2016, US$1.2bn was spent on sweet treats.
Image credit: David Pursehouse (Flickr)