"Nestle Debuts Natural Ruby Chocolate in KitKat-Crazed Japan"

It'll likely be well received. Japan ha a near obsession with KitKats.

Indeed, they've toyed with all manner of unique flavors for their KitKats. According to this article, wasabi and melon flavors , among others, have made their presence in the bars, so a pink, fruity chocolate like ruby would be an ideal fit for the Japanese market.

That may be why it is debuting here, rather than in the US, where consumers are very passionate about KitKats and may be less receptive to anyone messing with the tried-and-true favorite. If wasabi-flavored KitKats can work, wasabi-flavored bars are probably a shoe-in. The mass market in the US may not welcome neither. Time will tell, and I'm sure the ruby KitKats will find their way here eventually.

A delayed US debut may be a marketing strategy: Get a buzz going overseas about a new version of one of America's favorite candy bars that someone else has and they don't. Time will tell.

Comments (10)
No. 1-10
Keith_Ayoob
Keith_Ayoob

Interesting that they added raspberry puree. I'd have liked to taste just the ruby without the added flavorings, at least first. With this version in Tokyo, it might be harder to tell how much of the flavor profile is provided from the ruby chocolate, and how much is from the raspberries. Maybe they needed it for color, as I'm not sure it would be such a bright red.

DiscoverChoc
DiscoverChoc

Editor

@Keith_Ayoob

One of the reasons the Ruby launch was in Shanghai is because the Chinese have a lot shorter history of eating chocolate and have less connection to traditional chocolate flavor profiles.

If you read the articles there are other cultural reasons for the success of KitKat in Japan and the fact that sales are increasing overall in Japan while they are decreasing in the UK. This line from the Telegraph article sums that up, "KitKat is regarded as a premium confectionery brand in Japan – as reflected in its KitKat Chocolatory stores." If B-C's customers can make these sorts of associations with Ruby (as well), then there is a bright (pink) future for Ruby.

Cosplay anyone?

Keith_Ayoob
Keith_Ayoob

I wonder if this chocolate will find favor in "people who don't like chocolate". @DiscoverChoc, you're right about Japan -- they have different flavor preferences throughout their cuisine. They've preferred the anise hints of crude stevia extract over neutral sweeteners, as they go so well with foods like those pickled vegetables. With the ruby, I agree about repeat purchases -- initial curiosity can give way quickly.

DiscoverChoc
DiscoverChoc

Editor

And this in The Telegraph (UK):

DiscoverChoc
DiscoverChoc

Editor

This in Forbes on the launch:

"Kit Kat has been a tremendous success in Japan, partly because the name when pronounced in Japanese, sounds like "Kitto Katsu (きっと勝つ)" which translates as "you (he, she) will surely win." The company, through clever marketing, convinced Japanese consumers that Kit Kats were auspicious gifts to give to those applying for college or seeking jobs."

Sehgalbalpreet
Sehgalbalpreet

Good to see the ruby for retail stores.

DiscoverChoc
DiscoverChoc

Editor

@Keith_Ayoob @Choclater53

The Ruby KitKat is currently only available in Japan, which is home to a flavor mashup catalog - wasabi, yes - but also matcha, sake red bean, toasted white chocolate, and many more, some of which are only available regionally.

I was one of about 20 invited guests to the Ruby launch last September and I received tasting samples of Ruby KitKats prior to the launch on 1/18. I am not a huge candy bar fan (except for a very few childhood favorites around Halloween), and I am not a real fan of plain KitKats. But I am a huge fan of Japanese KitKats because of the fun flavors.

The Ruby KitKat is an inspired first product introduction, especially given the packaging, which appears to be inspired by glamor makeup (over on Instagram, someone responded to the photo wondering why I was posting about lipsticks).

The price is an astonishing ¥450 (about $4) per piece. I have no doubt the first purchase will be an easy one. We'll have to see about repeat purchase patterns. But Japan is the place to make this work and I can see it being a huge hit. Someone will incorporate it into some popular cosplay scenario and sales will skyrocket and be sustainable -- and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Choclater53
Choclater53

Interesting.Different countries have different tastes in foods so why not kitkats.Apart from Japan has it been debuted elsewhere in the world?I mean kitkats in different flavours?