KITKAT Snax which is a Japan-exclusive medley of KITKAT chocolate, salted almonds and cheese-flavoured soybeans, was launched earlier this year and announced alongside the ‘Chocolate Almond Milk Stout Inspired by KITKAT’, brewed using the same cacao powder used to make KITKAT.
The parallel marketing of both products appeared to indicate that KITKAT Snax was targeting the alcohol-consuming adult demographic - with social media comments even calling the new snack ‘very adult’ - but Nestle Japan has clarified that this is not so.
“[First of all, we want to state] that Nestlé Japan has not actually launched an alcoholic drink. The original craft beer, Chocolate Almond Milk Stout Inspired by KITKAT, was produced in collaboration with DD4D Brewing – but this was only for the campaign to celebrate the release of KITKAT Snax,” the Nestle Japan media relations team told FoodNavigator-Asia via an email statement.
“This original craft beer is not available for general sale, [and] was only to be won via a Twitter campaign in Japan which offered a set of the beer and KITKAT Snax, and only a very limited number of special sets were sold on the DD4D Brewing site.
“[Although] KITKAT Snax is meant to be enjoyed as an ‘otsumami’ (Japanese term for snacks to be enjoyed with alcohol), [our targets are not just] adult Japanese who drink alcohol [but also] families, children and the general snacking community, whether or not they consume alcohol.”
KITKAT Snax is expected to especially appeal to consumers looking for snacks with a combination of salty and sweet flavours given the mix of snacks available within the pack.
“[We developed this] combination of three ingredients that allow [consumers to simultaneously] enjoy the sweetness of KITKAT chocolate, and the saltiness of the almonds and soybeans so as to best enjoy it as an otsumami, [as] we think this would be the best combination,” Nestle Japan added.
“[That said], we think that it goes well with various drink menus such as alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine, [but also when matched with] non-alcoholic beverages such as juice, [so it is a snack that can be enjoyed by all age groups who like this flavour combination].”
Nestle Japan also said that one of the reasons for launching KITKAT Snax during this time is to facilitate a ‘new way’ for consumers to drink at home during isolations caused by COVID-19.
“There are now more opportunities to drink at home, and many new ways to enjoy drinking such as with friends whilst online - KITKAT Snax [wants to] add even more enjoyment to these occasions,” said the firm.
“KITKAT Snax will remain a Japan-exclusive product, and we have no plans at all to offer these products in overseas markets soon or in the future.”
The snack is retailing at JPY198 (US$1.85) for a 39.5g pack, and is currently available in convenience stores nationwide.