Japan’s Matcha-Flavored Kit Kats, Headed for Europe

Illustration of a bitten chocolate bar

In a Japan Times article, Swiss food & beverage behemoth, Nestlé has announced that it will be launching its iconic matcha Kit Kats in Europe in response to customer’s expressing their desire to gain access to the elusive sweet delight, which is currently only available through Amazon.

Before its acquisition, the popular wafer-based treat was first produced in the U.K. during the 1930’s by Rowntree; now an established generator of gelatinous candies, under the Nestlé name.

Kit Kats were introduced to Japan in 1973 and managed to carve out a niche for itself with its unique and unconventional variations such as ‘sake’ and ‘matcha’, hitting the stands soon after in 2004. (See its evolution in the NYT article)

If I were to give you a traveller’s tip, should you decide to explore the incredible country that is Japan, I would tell you-no demand that you try all things Matcha.

Matcha, being the Japanese term for green tea, has currently been incorporated into classic, beloved desserts and beverages across Japan, from Starbucks frappuchinos, to ice-cream and chocolates.

Japan’s carefully upheld tradition of exchanging gifts to show gratitude, known as ‘omiyage’- souvenir, made it possible for Kit Kats to serve a purpose in society, transcending the age barrier and therefore didn’t just cater to young children.

You may not have heard of matcha Kit Kats before your voyage to the land of the rising sun, but once you come across it, its creamy and distinct flavor will be forever ingrained in your memory.

It’s only a matter of time before they arrive in the U.S. seeing as the use of matcha in contemporary gastronomy has become an everyday occurrence; Matcha hot chocolate, matcha pancakes and even matcha bubble tea, to name a few.

This is a strategic move that is sure to gain the approval of the masses and in turn, boost sales across Europe. According to Nestlé’s 2018 annual report, Western Europe saw 1.9% organic growth with its reported net sales, increasing by 2.5%.

It will be interesting to note the effect, positive or negative, this launch will have on 2019’s results.

By Lavanya Nair