All About Japan

New Japanese Kit Kats Starring Sakura Mochi

Food & Drink Sweets

Every spring, people in Japan prepare for an annual event that marks the arrival of spring, the cherry blossom viewing season. As always, the season comes with a slew of sakura-themed goods and beverages, and this year Nestle Japan is joining the celebration by bringing out a new cherry blossom Kit Kat and re-releasing a favorite.

The variety enjoying a re-release is the Sakura Japanese Sake KitKat. Containing 0.07 percent alcohol, these Kit Kats have sake blended into their white chocolate coating, with a sakura-leaf cream filling inside the wafers. The two intense Japanese flavors strike a well-crafted balance and were a hit amongst our staff when we tried them in March 2019.

The new variety for 2020 is Sakura Mochi, which takes its flavor profile from the popular traditional Japanese sweet of the same name. Sakura Mochi consists of red bean paste and pink-colored glutinous mochi rice, all wrapped up in a pickled sakura leaf, and the new Kit Kat replicates the sweet by using real sakura leaf powder extract and sweet bean powder within the chocolate coating and wafers.

Traditional Sakura Mochi is shaped differently according to whether you’re in the western Kansai region around Osaka or in the Kanto region around Tokyo, and the image on the new Kit Kat packaging displays the sweet in the Tokyo style.

Sakura Mochi is traditionally eaten during the sakura season and on Girls’ Day on 3 March, making this a particularly ideal treat for springtime celebrations. Another celebration coming up on the calendar for Nestle is Easter on 12 April, and this year they’re attempting to popularise the Western holiday as another occasion for special chocolate with a Banana-flavored Easter Egg Paint release. The packaging on the new Easter Kit Kats is designed to be colored in.

The Easter Kit Kats were released on 17 February for a limited time, and the sakura varieties will go on sale for a limited time from 2 March. All three packs will be available at stores around the country for 500 yen (US$4.46).

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