Nestlé Japan to release sake-flavored Kit Kats this February

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RocketNews 24 (by Oona McGee):

Now you can enjoy a break with a Kit Kat and a shot of Japanese rice wine all rolled into one.

Japan is well-known for its huge variety of Kit Kats, with flavors ranging from wasabi to soybean and purple sweet potato to red bean sandwich. While most are developed as regional souvenirs, representing delicacies of the area, there’s one particular variety that says “Japan” like no other, and appears at the top of the must-buy souvenir list for many foreign visitors: the Green Tea Kit Kat.

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Nestlé Japan says the exclusive variety remains a popular choice with foreign tourists, with sales for 2015 up by 20 percent over the previous year. The product’s huge popularity encouraged the company to develop another Japan-exclusive flavour, this time based on the country’s well-known traditional brew, nihonshuu, or sake as it’s known internationally.

▼ Aimed at the foreign tourist market, the packaging features a beautiful pink sakura cherry blossom design, along with an image of the well-known liquor.

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The new Kit Kats contain sake powder which has been kneaded into the white chocolate-encased wafers, giving the chocolates all the flavor and aroma of a top-quality rice wine, while providing a light and refreshing aftertaste. Available from 1 February this year, the new variety will come in three-pack boxes for 150 yen (US$1.24) at convenience stores, while the specially designed nine-piece box will be available for 700 yen from souvenir stores around the country.

▼ The nine-piece packs feature a beautiful package in the shape of an Isshobin, 1.8-litre bottle.

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If you’re in Japan and would like to try a sample, Nestlé Japan will be featuring the sake Kit Kats at a booth at the upcoming event, which will  be held from February 5-14 at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo.

Nestle Japan releases Easter Kit Kats in Japan, in 13 types of packaging designs for the ultimate Easter Basket

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RocketNews 24:

Kit Kats in Japan are well-known for their creative designs and flavors, including limited releases for annual events and holidays such as Christmas, Halloween and even the cherry blossom viewing season.

Until now, there was one special holiday that always went unnoticed: Easter. This year, Nestle Japan are releasing their first ever Easter range, with a clever play on words that ties the religious festival to the month of April, the start of the Japanese school and business year.

According to Nestle, Easter is an ii sutaato, which means “good start” in Japanese. And with these gorgeous apple pie and carrot flavored chocolates on the market, it looks like it’s going to be a very good start indeed.

On sale from March 16 for 540 yen (US$4.45), the mini Kit Kats come in a pack of 12 and feature cute bunny packaging.

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For the first time in the company’s 42-year history in Japan, bunnies will appear on the chocolates. There will be 13 different designs in total, although it’s not guaranteed that all of them will be in one pack, which means we may have to indulge in a spot of bunny hunting to collect them all…

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To top it all off, one in every 30 chocolates will feature this special Lucky Easter design. Unfortunately the only prize for finding this is the actual chocolate itself. When it’s this cute though, we’re not complaining!

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We can’t wait to get our hands on these limited edition Kit Kats when they’re released today in Japan. Here’s hoping they give us an ii start to spring!

First Kit Kat Chocolaterie shop with cafe opens in Kyoto

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RocketNews 24:

Chocolate lovers around Japan were understandably thrilled when the Kit Kat Chocolatery, the world’s first Kit Kat specialty store, opened in the Seibu Ikebukuro Department Store about a year ago. Of course, we were pretty excited too, and when we visited the shop on opening day, we could see from the crowd that plenty of people felt the same way.

After a year, it seems the Kit Kat Chocolatery has been a success so far, as they’ve just opened their fourth shop in Japan, this time in Kyoto. And what’s even better, this Kit Kat Chocolatery comes with a cafe attached! Plus, they’ve released some new Chocolatery products as well, so we thought we’d share the news with all our sweets-loving readers!

Kit Kat shop pic

As we’ve previously reported, the Kit Kat Chocolatery features items produced by renowned pastry chef  Yasumasa Takagi, and his special creations exclusively for the Chocolatery were certain to attract attention, particularly as Kit Kats have always been popular in Japan. But just how successful has the Kit Kat Chocolatery been since its launch a year ago?

Well, according to Nestle Japan’s recent press release, the two Chocolatery shops in Tokyo (the Seibu Ikebukuro and Daimaru Tokyo stores) and the third shop in Nagoya (the Matsuzakaya Nagoya store) so far have welcomed over 400,000 customers and generated roughly 900 million yen (approx. US$7.6 million) in sales. No wonder they decided to open a fourth shop! And the historic city of Kyoto, which attracts a huge number of tourists from both within Japan and abroad, certainly seems an excellent choice of location.

As a matter of fact, Kit Kat actually already has ties with Kyoto, as one of its products, the “Kit Kat Matcha Green Tea for Grown-ups (Kit Kat Otonano Amasa Matcha),” has been designated a “PR Partner” by the Prefecture of Kyoto for promoting the Uji Matcha green tea, which Kyoto is known for.

▼Here’s an image of what the new shop in Kyoto looks like. It just recently opened on January 28 on the B1 floor of the Daimaru Kyoto Department Store.shop_daimarukyoto03

Now, as we’ve already mentioned, this is the first Chocolatery shop with an eat-in cafe, and their menu definitely sounds tempting. On offer at the cafe are: the “Kit Kat Sablé” and “Kit Kat Sablé Matcha Flavor” cookies, both baked with rich dough containing crushed Kit Kat crumbs (350 yen [US$2.96] a piece); the “Kit Kat Parfait” consisting of chocolate flavored soft serve ice cream made with chef Takagi’s original chocolate topped with Kit Kats (600 yen [$5.08]); the “Café Affogato (Affogato al Caffè) Chocolat” made with NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Espresso poured over chef Takagi’s original soft serve chocolate ice cream (300 yen [$2.54]); and the “Café Mélange,” a beverage consisting of NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®’s Lungo regular blend coffee topped with whipped cream (350 yen [$2.96]). Goodness, just introducing the menu makes us seriously crave sweets and coffee! And if you just want something simpler, they also have regular NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®’s line of Lungo coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino, Tea Latte and Uji Matcha Green Tea Latte available for approximately $2 to $3.

And now, let’s take a look at the new Chocolatery items that have just recently been released.

● The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Kyoto Assort” (1,350 yen [$11.43]/12 pieces)16144189087_4ce9ddb61b_zThis package containing 3 pieces each of the “Strawberry Maple,” “Plum,” “Matcha Greent Tea and Kinako Soy Bean Powder” and “Ginger” flavors, comes in an original package decorated with an illustration of Kyoto’s famous five-story pagoda and is available only at the Kyoto Daimaru Store.

● The “Kit Kat x DISH Special Collaboration Kit Kat with CD” (Special Kyoto Package Version)” (600 yen [$5.08])KK 4These Kit Kats come with a CD of the tie-in song “Kit” featured in the short musical film “Your Story” which stars the four-man rock band DISH. The box has a blank space on the bottom where you can write a personalized message if you’re giving it to someone as a present. The package pictured above is a special edition box sold only at the Kyoto Daimaru store, but a regular version will be available at all Chocolatery shops from February 2.

● The “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Plum (Ume)” (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)16330077725_22d2d2e4ce_zThe slightly sour flavor of plum makes a refreshing combination with the sweetness of chocolate in these KitKats. They’re currently available only at the Kyoto Daimaru store but will be sold at the rest of the Chocolatery shops too from February 2.

●The “Kit Kat Sublime White” (300 yen [$2.54]/piece)KK 3These Kit Kats made with quality white couverture chocolate are rich, yet not too sweet. They’re now available at all Chocolatery shops, but only 300 are sold each day, and each customer is limited to a purchase of three pieces.

And for your reference and enjoyment, here’s a recap of the other choco-licious items available at the Chocolatery shops:

▼The ever popular “Kit Kat Sublime Bitter” made with bitter couverture chocolate containing 66% cacao (300 yen [$2.54]/piece)KK 5 sublime_R

▼The ”Kit Kat Sublime Raspberry,” which also contains couverture chocolate with 66% cacao combined with the refreshing flavor of raspberry (300 yen [$2.54]/piece)KK 6 sublime raspberry_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Ginger,” made using cream containing ginger powder (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces) KK 7 special Ginger_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Cream Cheese,” which contains powdered cheese in between the wafers (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)KK 8 Cream Cheese_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Matcha Green Tea and Kinako Soy Bean Powder,” which uses quality Uji Matcha green tea (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)KK 9 Matcha Kinako_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Strawberry Maple“, made from white chocolate containing strawberries, with a touch of maple flavoring added (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces) KK 10 Strawberry Maple_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Special Orange Cocktail” with a refreshing orange flavor (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces, 1,200 yen [$10.19]/12 pieces, available only in Tokyo)KK 11 Orange Cocktail_R

Well, the folks at Nestle Japan must have a ball thinking up special Kit Kat flavors to drive chocolate lovers mad with craving. Not that we’re complaining, as long as they continue coming up with delectable looking treats for us! We can never have too many choices of chocolates, after all, can we?

 

[Details for Kit Kat Chocolatery Daimaru Kyoto Shop]
Business Hours: 10am to 8pm
(Closed when Daimaru Kyoto is closed)
Address: 79 Shijo Street Takakura Nishiiri Tachiurinishimachi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi
                  Daimaru Kyoto Department Store B1 Floor
Access: 1 min from Hankyu Kyoto Line Karasuma Station
                2 min walk from Karasuma Subway Line Shijo Station
Tel: +81-75-211-8111

Nestlé using a robot Ccpable of responding to emotions to sell Nescafé in Japan

 

FoodBeast:

 

What better way to sell a machine than with a machine? Nestlé Japan is set to begin selling Nescafé Dolce Gusto single-cup machines and Gold Blend coffee using Pepper, a humanoid robot capable of responding to human emotions. Yep, the inevitable future featuring robots has finally arrived.

The first of its kind, the robot will be able to read and respond to emotions to sell the products. The robot is equipped with voice- and emotio-recognition technology, as well as being able to read people’s facial expressions and tone of voice. Pepper takes all these factors into account and analyzes how its customer is feeling. The robot also moves pretty fluidly. Scary, actually.

Nestlé is planning to have a robot in 1,000 stores nationwide by the end of 2015. So basically a semi-sentient robot legion.

Great.

 

Link

Kit Kat aims to bring train travelers back to Tōhoku with ticket biscuit

 

Kit Kat aims to bring train travelers back to Tōhoku with ticket biscuit

RocketNews 24:

 

Japan probably has the world’s largest and most bizarre selection of Kit Kat flavours on offer, but this latest release is about more than just tickling your tastebuds. Nestle Japan is offering a specially-packaged version of their classic biscuit to help recovery in areas destroyed by the devastating tsunami of March 2011.

On June 16 Nestle Japan will release the ‘Kit Kat Mini Kippu Kat’. In Japanesekippu‘ means ‘ticket‘, and according to Nestle PR, ‘these are the first sweets in the world that function as train tickets.’

The box containing the biscuits will serve as a rail ticket for the Sanriku Railway line in Iwate Prefecture which was damaged during the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake, losing 5.8km of line, and finally reopened this March.

Hand over the box at the ticket booth or when you alight from the train, and you can get 190 yen (US $1.90) off your fare. That’s how much it costs to travel the distance between Shimanokoshi and Tanohata stations, the last part of the track to reopen. If your fare is going to be more than 190 yen then you have to foot the difference yourself. It’s all for a good cause though, aiming to bring people back to a region that was devastated by the tsunami three years ago, so go on and treat yourself to the knowledge that you’re doing a charitable deed (yummy chocolate is just a bonus).

One box costs just 108 yen (US$1.05) and contains three plain chocolate mini kit kat bars. They’ll be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores around the Tōhoku area, and the ticket is valid until the end of May 2015.

 

Check out this link:

Kit Kat aims to bring train travelers back to Tōhoku with ticket biscuit

 

 

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Source: Tokyo Shinbun

 

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Five special edition snacks for entrance exam prep in Japan

 

RocketNews 24: 

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 6.38.26 AMExam season in Japan is brutal. Not only do college hopefuls have to study in order to get into the university of their dreams, those hoping to go to high school also have to endure a rigorous examination process as compulsory education in Japan ends with junior high. As thousands of anxious students slave away at their desks until late at night, only to wake up, go to school, then study all over again, many companies in Japan have released special edition examination season versions of popular snacks in order to ease the torture of studying, if not for a brief moment. Let’s take a look at —- new packages, flavors, and designs of these exam season snacks.

Koala no Machi

Special Edition Koala

The adorable little koalas in Lotte’s Koala no Machi chocolate snacks have some new friends in honor of entrance exam season…14 of them to be exact.

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Each koala in the “Aim for Success” special edition packaging represents a different aspect of exam season. You may be confused as to why a sleeping koala holding on to a tree branch symbolizes studying for a test, but the makers of Koala no Machi claim, “A koala doesn’t fall from the tree even when it’s sleeping,” encouraging students to eat, sleep, and breathe their exam prep. Other symbols include a koala dressed as a daruma, a traditional Japanese good luck charm, a “new student” koala, and various koalas holding signs of encouragement. The back of the package also has a picture of an Omamori, or good luck charm, which is often bought at temples to help students prepare for and pass their exam.

▼ Here you can see the Omamori on the left and four images of the actual “Aim for Success” koalas.Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 1.40.35 AM

Kameda Kaki no Tane

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A favorite bar snack among many beer enthusiasts in Japan, Kameda Kaki no Tane have been given a coffee infusion and name change in honor of exam season. The kaki of Kaki no Tane has been changed to kachi, the Japanese word for victory and the usually plain peanuts have been given a crunchy coffee coating to better help students stay focused while studying.

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The package was also changed to be able to stand straight up on a student’s desk and doesn’t fall over easily, just like the daruma good luck charm.

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Yuki Daifuku

Yukimi Daifuku

There are some snacks that are simply destined to become good luck charms for students studying for a big test. Yukimi Daifuku, with the word fuku, the Japanese word for “good fortune,” tucked right at the end, is one of those snacks. Although not intended specifically for students, the bold yellow “fuku” on the package was originally meant as a way to bring good fortune to all people in Japan. However, with their entire futures on the line, students studying for the entrance exam have adopted this delicious ice cream snack as a small way to get an edge on the competition. Yukimi Daifuku is also only available during winter time around the New Year, the same time students start to seriously study for the entrance exam, making it a natural choice for hungry studiers across Japan.

Kit Kat

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Perhaps the original good luck food for entrance exam students in Japan, Kit Kats are eaten and given as gifts by the thousands this time of year. The snack is pronounced kitto katsu in Japanese, which also means “you will surely win,” making it a favorite of superstitious test takers. This year, Nestle Japan is selling a 14 pack of mini Kit Kat bars with various good luck saying printed on them such as “Cherry blossoms bloom in your future” and helpful facts such as “Columbus discovered America in 1492″ and “100°C=373K”.

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Happy Turn

Happy Turn Cracker

Popular cracker, Happy Turn, sprinkled with secret “Happy Powder” has been turned into a good luck charm for test takers in a pink cherry blossom bag with phrases such as “You’re going to pass!” and “Happy examination episode.” Special heart-shaped crackers are also hidden in some packages, giving some lucky snackers an extra happy boost.

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When it comes down to it, no matter how many good luck snacks a test taker consumes, no additional knowledge is going to be imprinted in their brain. But at least these sweet, savory and otherwise cute snacks will serve as a morale booster for students across Japan who have been studying nonstop for months in hopes for a passing grade.

Source: Naver Matome

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Five special edition snacks for entrance exam prep in Japan