Through the relentless effort of various communities and institutions, Kumamoto, Japan continues to recover from the devastation it has suffered brought by the earthquake that struck the region in 2016. Nestlé lets us lend a helping hand to these efforts by creating Kit Kat flavors specifically for Kumamoto!
On the same year of the Kumamoto earthquake, Nestlé released the Kumamoto Tea Kit Kat as part of their “Big Little” series. It uses green tea sourced from Kumamoto as one of its main ingredients. Kumamon, the mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, can be seen on the packaging holding a cup of green tea.
The 35g bag containing round and bite-sized chocolate was sold at 140 yen (including tax). For every bag, 10 yen was alloted for Kumamoto. A total of 7.5 million yen in 2016 and 1.3 million yen in 2017 was donated to Kumamoto through the Japanese Red Cross Society from the sales of the Kumamoto Tea Kit Kat.
This 2018, Nestlé brings us another Kumamoto specialty through the Ikinari Dango Kit Kat!
Ikinari dango are steamed buns with bean jam and sweet potato filling. It is a local delicacy that combines the rich and sweet flavor of sweet potato and sweet bean jam wrapped around in a soft yet firm dough that has a touch of saltiness. The word “ikinari” comes from a Kumamoto slang word that translates to “sudden,” representing the ease by which this snack is prepared. The sweet dumpling is popularly offered to visiting guests and makes for a perfect souvenir, too!
The ikinari dango also made an appearance in the 45th episode of the animated adaptation of Mine Yoshizaki’s manga series Keroro Gunso or Sgt. Frog.
The Ikinari Dango Kit Kat uses sweet potato powder sourced from Kumamoto to represent the gentle taste of Kumamoto’s ikinari dango. It comes in a pack of 11 individually wrapped Kit Kat. The outer packaging shows an image of ikinari dango together with Kumamon who comes in four different expressions, such as happy and hungry Kumamon. The individual foil pack has the same designs plus an additional expression showing a delighted Kumamon with both of his hands raised.
Similar to the Kumamoto Tea Kit Kat, for every bag of Ikinari Dango Kit Kat sold, 10 yen will be donated to support Kumamoto’s agriculture through the Nippon Foundation. Each 11-piece pack of Ikinari Dango Kit Kat is sold at 500 yen (excluding tax) in supermarkets nationwide.
After the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, Nestlé has been supporting areas affected by natural disasters through their Kitto Zutto Project (Japanese only). Part of it was the establishment of the “Sanriku Railway Kit Dreams” baseball team to bring hope to affected regions through sports. The team held games in Kumamoto in 2016 and 2017 to support the region’s school baseball.
Aside from the Kitto Zutto Project, Nestlé has supported Kumamoto by providing food supplies right after the earthquake. Through the Nippon Foundation, Nestlé also provided funds for emergency assistance and support activities, housing, and the reconstruction of Kumamoto Castle, and support for social welfare activities for the areas affected by the Kumamoto earthquake.
Grab a pack of the Ikinari Dango Kit Kat! Not only will you be tasting one of Kumamoto’s delicacies, you will also be supporting the recovery efforts for the region.