Content - Lindt and Nestlé launch Japan-flavored sweets

  • October 05, 2018

Lindt and Nestlé launch Japan-flavored sweets

Tokyo (SCCIJ) – The two Swiss food giants Lindt and Nestlé have recently launched independently from each other new products in Japan with specific Japan flavors. Lindt created Matcha Lindor balls as its first-ever chocolate retail product with a Japanese touch, whereas Nestlé launched a KitKat bar with the taste of a sake-based plum liquor. Both Swiss companies are using a formula which many foreign retailers in Japan have followed successfully – generate consumer interest by launching new products regularly and adapt their products to the local taste.

First Lindor Matcha balls

Limited Lindor edition

The Matcha Lindor balls are offered as a limited edition until March 2019 and are only sold in seven Asian countries and Australia despite being produced in a Lindt factory in Italy. Released in early September, this product is offered in Japan in all Lindt Chocolate Cafés and the Lindt web shop. In Western markets, the taste of matcha is not well-known whereas Japanese and Asian consumers are familiar with such sweets. “Hence, it is easier to sell such chocolates in Asia,” Japan Lindt Representative Director André Zimmermann told the SCCIJ. 

The Lindor balls are coated in white chocolate and contain a soft cream flavored with green tea powder. According to a tasting done by the website, “unlike a lot of matcha chocolates, which can be overwhelmed by the flavor of white chocolate, the green tea element is well-pronounced throughout, rounding itself off nicely in the final aftertaste”. In the Lindt Japan web shop, a pack of 10 Lindor Matcha balls is sold for 993 yen (tax included). 

Lindt Japan had earlier gained some experience with matcha as an ingredient. First from April to June 2016, it offered a White Chocolate Matcha Iced Drink. This chocolate drink flavored with matcha powder had whipped cream, shavings of white chocolate and crunchy green tea biscuit pieces as toppings. It was available as a take-out beverage and in some Lindt Chocolate Cafés. “This matcha drink is very popular and has become part of our seasonal drink offerings”, Zimmermann said.

KITKAT Umeshu Tsuru-Ume

KITKAT Umeshu Tsuru-Ume

Another sake-based KitKat

The other Swiss food giant, Nestlé, has released another sake-based KitKat to their range, this time featuring the flavor of umeshu, the traditional Japanese plum liquor. As a follow-up to its previous premium sake KitKat, the company teamed up with the Wakayama-based sake brewery Heiwa Shuzou founded in 1625 to provide sake-based plum-flavored alcohol for the collaboration.  

Umeshu, or plum wine, is an extremely popular drink in Japan, and is usually made with shochu, a distilled spirit, a Japanese vodka. By using sake instead of shochu in their umeshu, Heiwa Shuzo’s special plum sake combines two of the country’s most beloved traditional tipples, making it a curious blend that Nestlé is now promoting. 

The nationwide release of their luxury Ume Sake KitKat was kicked off by the opening of a special limited-time-only ‘KitKat bar’ produced by former soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata . The CRAFT SAKE WEEK @ KITKAT BAR, located in the CITAN hostel in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district, gave visitors another early taste of the plum-wine Ume Sake KitKat. The collaboration partner for this new KitKat bar was chosen by Nakata who since retirement has become something of a sake connoisseur. 


Text: Martin Fritz for SCCIJ; Top photo: Lindt Japan, Middle Photo: Nestlé Japan

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