Japan’s exclusive Kitkat varieties fuel greater tourist spending

Published on : Thursday, January 4, 2018

Kitkat-JapanThe inbound tourism of Japan has been witnessing a steady growth and spending by foreign tourists.


One of the particular shopping attractions of this part of the world is actually the Kit Kat lineup of Nestle. This British-born chocolate bar has quickly emerged as a tourist  favorite owing to many only-in-Japan flavors right from the much favored green tea to sake, strawberry cheesecake and also wasabi.


Takuya Hiramatsu who is an assistant manager at Nestle Japan’s marketing and communications division mentioned that for food makers like them the total food consumption of Japan would be declining owing to its ageing population.


He then went on to add that they have produced unique, premium Kit Kat flavours to deal with this issue for over a decade.


The number of foreign visitors last year had topped 26.17 million in the 11 months through November, already surpassing 2016’s record 24.04 million as per the Japan National Tourism Organization.


The tourist spending between January and September 2017 has risen to ¥3.28 trillion up 14.7% from the same period the year before as per the Japan Tourism Agency. The agency mentioned that of all the money that is spent by inbound tourists in this period shopping accounted for the greatest share at 36.9% and this was followed by accommodation (28%), eating and drinking (20.1%) and transportation (11.2%).


Nestle Japan boasts of a golden history of offering a wide range of flavored Kit Kats that can be traced back to 2000.


In 2000, it had released strawberry as the first non-chocolate flavor.


And in 2002, it had launched a melon flavor exclusively in Hokkaido. It is a product that had helped the company the untapped potential of Kit Kat according to Hiramatsu. He therefore said that once the melon flavors were all sold in Hokkaido they discovered that other people from other parts of the world and foreign travellers came to Hokkaido just to buy their product.


This was when they finally realizedthat the regional flavors of Kit Kat in Japan have immense potential as gifts.


And since then over 300 varieties of Kit Kat have hit the shelves, ranging from custard pudding and apple to soy sauce and cough drop flavors. As many as 30 different kinds of Kit Kat are presently being sold in Japan and this included the Tokyo Banana flavor.


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