Demand for novelty Kit Kat flavours in Japan is driving Nestle to open a new factory in Himeji

Alys Key
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Visitors to Tokyo are buying up special gourmet flavours (Source: Getty)

Japanese spending on novelty-flavoured Kit Kats has reached such a high level that Nestle is opening a new factory to cope with demand.

Tourists have gone mad for flavours including wasabi, custard pudding and green tea. Some premium flavour packs cost as much as 3,500 yen (£24), more than 10 times the usual cost of a Kit Kat. Tourists particularly favour matcha and sake.

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Nestle has responded to the upsurge by announcing that it will build its first Kit Kat factory in 26 years, according to Bloomberg. The second factory will be in the western city of Himeji.

Capitalising on its new gourmet-oriented consumers, Nestle will focus on the production of high-end, unusual flavours of Kit Kat in the new plant.

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The decision comes just after the reopening of the flagship Kit Kat store in Tokyo's main shopping district. There is also a premium Kit Kat Chocolatery specifically geared towards selling seasonal flavours.

Government figures suggest that visitors to Japan spent about $1.2bn (£922m) on sweet treats last year. Spending has more than tripled over the last four years.

A Nestle spokesman said: "Over the past few years, Nestlé was able to demonstrate good growth in Japan despite a challenging environment. This good performance can be explained with our strategic focus on innovation and premium, for example with Kit Kat."

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