Kitto Katsu - Kit Kat more than a wafer - Wonders of Marketing
NESTLÉ KITKAT is a crisp wafer finger covered with chocolayer. Ask another the flavor of kitkat and it stops at chocolate. But not in Japan. The enormous number of flavours and the continued production of more variety and exclusive flavors means you can never get tired of eating kit kats in Japan.
Though Nestle sells kitkats in almost a 100 countries, in Japan it has its own special place. It is one of Japan’s best-selling chocolate brands and has achieved such a distinctive place in the market that many peope think that Kit Kat is a Japanese product.
Around the world Kit kat is usually a drug store or provision store candy you can buy off the shelf, but in Japan you can buy the "normal" flavours in stores but for the "exclusive ones" you have to visit on of KIt Kats "boutiques" which look like high end luxury stores, selling Kit kats. The Kit Kat, in Japan, pushes at every limit of its form: It is multicolored and multiflavored. And these are limited to "Only in Japan" status and make good souveniers to carry it home and be the popular uncle who gets varieties of unfantomable kitkats to their nieces.
The Kit Kat first came to Japan in 1973, but became a truly on-brand Japanese Kit Kat at the turn of the millennium. The marketing team of Japan kit kat decided to experiment with different flavors, packaging and advertising to cater to the Japanese audience. The first of the flavor was strawberry because why not? It was first introduced in Hokkaido coinciding during the strawberry season. Then started introducing flavours specific to the regions in which the produce grows like, Hokkaido melon, Kyoto tea, Okinawan sweet potato making them regional specialities and found only in the said region which brings in exclusivity and a rare collectable kind of feeling to these wafers, all thanks to marketing. Some general Japanese authentic flavors like sake, matcha, , Kinako and even wasabi flavored kitkats.
Do not, I repeat, Do not be put off by the sound of these flavors, because even though wasabi flavored may remind many of the tragedy of experiencing wasabi, the actual chocolate has only light after tastes and hints of wasabi and not the shocking flavor of wasabi. With this the foreign audience loves the numerous flavors of kitkats that you can never get tired of.
Another brilliant marketing strategy used was with the way Kit Kat sounds in Japanese, Kitto Katto. They used this and as it sounds similar to Kitto Katsu meaning " definite victory", the wrapers were redesigned to write messages on the back of the wrapers and give it to students, children who were about to take their exams or a match or getting an admission. .This increased the sales again in the Japanese market as a good luck charm chocolate wafer.
Next time you are in Japan look out for the number of Kitkats you can get your hands on and maybe find some exclusive sushi looking Kitkats or even a limited edition golden ticket kitkat to visit nestle's chocolate factory.