“I’ve made over 50 different flavors, but I’ve made many, many more prototypes,” Takagi shared. “We have products that [make people] go ‘wow’ or ‘hmm.'”
Takagi creates new flavors right from the kitchen of his Kit Kat store. Making a prototype involves pouring the flavor into the mold, placing cut wafers above it and putting another layer on top.
It’s unclear how many Kit Kat flavors are currently on sale in Japan. Some flavors are also specific to certain regions, such as melon in Hokkaido and purple sweet potato in Kyushu.
Regardless, Kit Kat, under Nestlé, has become the top product in the Japanese chocolate market. It overtook Meiji in 2012 through multiple innovations and “emotion marketing,” according to Confectionery News.
“There are many customers who are anxiously waiting for the next new flavor and wonder, ‘What will it be, what will it be?’ Many people say, ‘We want to buy it right away,'” Yuji Takeuchi, marketing manager for Nestlé Japan, told Great Big Story.
Chef Takagi added, “Ultimately, I wanted to make people happy, moved and surprised. Unless there’s a wide variety of Kit Kats, it’s not possible for a wide range of people to be happy.”
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