The confectionery brand has opened its first ever retail concept in Japan’s capital city, Tokyo.
The ‘Chocolatory’ store is located in the Seibu Department Store and sells a huge range of limited edition flavours, like purple potato, cinnamon cookie, and wasabi.
Other flavours for the market include a KitKat laced with cherry blossom and green tea extracts, European cheese, and bean cake.
“These special varieties are available only in certain regions of Japan, using ingredients and flavours linked to the local area,” says KitKat.
“KitKat Kobe Pudding, for example, has a creamy custard pudding flavour, with a hint of citrus and is only available in Kobe.”
The concept is overseen by pastry chef, Yasumasa Takagai, and markets itself as a ‘chocolate bar’.
Kit Kat isn’t the first chocolate brand that has made the transition from the supermarket to retail in the last few years.
In Australia, Swiss brand Lindt & Sprungli has seen success with its luxury chocolate cafes.
Changing of the guard
Traditionally, store concepts are implemented by retailers, but that’s changing as manufacturers increasingly target shoppers.
“Their objectives may be different,” says Norrelle Goldring, head of shopper insight and retail strategy at GfK.
“For some it’s about providing a flagship experience. For others it’s about understanding their shoppers better.”
Similar concepts in the last year include a pop up by Magnum at Sydney Westfield.
The Unilever-owned, chocolate coated ice cream opened a six week Australian pop up store in July.
Kit Kat is owned by Nestle SA, which also owns Nespresso, Nescafe, Vittel, and Maggi.
Coffee machine leader Nespresso has also begun opening “coffee havens” in Sydney and Melbourne.