Nestle to open first Kit Kat factory in 26 years
The first new Kit Kat factory in 26 years is set to be built by Nestle in Himeji, Japan.
This is due to the demand for unusual Kit Kat flavours only available in Japan. Their popularity has exploded across the world, with European and American tourists among others travelling to Japan just to stockpile the treats.
Japan has offered more than 300 flavours of Kit Kat over the last 40 years, including traditionally Japanese flavours such as wasabi and sake, plus many types of fruit, and the newly-added ginger and custard pudding varieties. The matcha flavour is also a hit with tourists, as matcha is becoming increasingly sought-after in the West. With the rise in international popularity, the Swiss brand is building a new factory just to meet demand.
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The Japanese Kit Kats do cost substantially more than in Europe – up to 10 times as much – and are all available at the Kit Kat Chocolatory in Tokyo. Boxes of seasonal flavours are wrapped in gold paper and sold for up to 3,500 yen (around £24).
Tourism has risen enormously in Japan, and with it has come a rise in the sale of confectionary; consumption of sweets has tripled over the last four years.
Earlier this week, Nestle Japan re-opened its renovated Ginza store. Takura Hiramatsu, a spokesperson for the company, told The Independent: “We take pride in our unique flavours and I think that makes Japan special in the Kit Kat world.”
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