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KitKat in Japan - Making the global local

16 August 2014

Nestlé makes a global brand local by presenting KitKat packs that double as a ticket to travel in Tohoku, Japan.

Nestlé and the Japanese railway company, Sanriku, have partnered in a campaign that allows Japanese consumers to present KitKat packs in exchange for tickets to travel. The promotion celebrates Sanriku’s anniversary and the successful railway rebuild following the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami; a project that Nestlé has supported through donations from KitKat bars.

Through promotions like these, KitKat cements its place in Japanese culture and presents itself as a brand with local involvement that consumers can feel close too, regardless of Nestlé’s multinational size. The campaign transforms the product from a disposable treat to something for consumers to carry with them and use as their ticket to the world.

The initiative builds on Nestlé’s successful 2010 campaign to connect with Japanese consumers through launching exclusive KitKat varieties featuring popular flavours from selected regions in the country. The company released 19 Japanese varieties in novel flavours such as green tea from Kyoto; blueberry and soybean from the Kanto region; and Yubari melon and baked corn from Hokkaido Island. The message from Nestlé is clear: KitKat is part of Japan and Japan is part of KitKat.

Kit Kat _Blog

Left: In 2010, Nestlé launched 19 KitKat flavours to reflect food specialities from selected regions of Japan.

Right: "Kit Kat Kippu Kat" wrappers can be used as tickets for Sanriku Railway from June 2014 to May 2015.


Catherine OConnor By Catherine O’Connor

As a senior analyst at Canadean, Catherine is responsible for the operational management of the analytical team, working across consumer packaged goods markets, overseeing research projects and content production. Catherine is particularly interested in the impact of new media on the FMCG market, how to drive growth in saturated markets, and the changes that emerging economies herald for the industry. Her analysis has appeared in a number of international publications including The Wall Street Journal.