Discover the essence of Japan’s highest quality plum. Have a taste of the new Ume Sake Kit Kat!
In 2016, Nestlé first introduced Sake Kit Kat – a white chocolate Kit Kat that came in a unique bottle-shaped packaging embodying the “isshobin” or the traditional sake bottles. Then, in 2017, the Masuizumi Japan Sake Kit Kat was created in collaboration with retired soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata. It featured the Masuizumi sake brand produced by Toyama-based brewery Masudashuzo. The success of this collaboration, achieving 70% more sales than conventional Kit Kat products, led to the development of a new flavor in the Sake Kit Kat line.
With Nakata still on board, Nestlé brings in Wakayama-based brewery Heiwa Shuzou (Japanese only) to develop the new Sake Kit Kat. Heiwa Shuzou was founded in 1928. Their two main products are the Japanese Sake “Nori” Line (日本酒「紀土」), which includes different types of sake like Junmai Ginjo and Junmai Daiginjo, and the Tsurume Plum Wine Series (鶴梅の梅酒シリーズ), which uses the seasonal fruit produce of Wakayama to offer limited flavors.
Wakayama is Japan’s top producer of ume or the Japanese plum. There are many ume varieties available in the prefecture, but the Nanko ume is considered the most popular.
The Nanko ume originated in the town of Minabe, which is an ideal location for ume cultivation due to its natural features. Through his effort, local farmer Takada Sadasugu was able to develop an ume breed that bore large fruits with a crimson shade. He named this “Takada ume.” A research conducted by Minabe High School determined the Takada ume species as the best ume.
Takada ume was later renamed by taking the first characters in “Takada (高田)” and “Minabe (南部)” to form “南高,” which can be read as “Nanko,” and it came to be known as “Nanko ume” since then.
Plums are usually processed into pickled plums (umeboshi) or turned into plum wine (umeshu). Most umeshu use shochu or distilled liquor as a base, while others use sake or fermented liquor. Heiwa Shuzou’s Tsurume Plum Wine blends the rich flavor of the Nanko ume with sake. Powdered sake based on the Tsurume Plum Wine is combined with Kit Kat’s white chocolate, creating a delicate balance in the new Ume Sake Kit Kat. The aroma and refreshing aftertaste of sake are also promised with each Kit Kat.
The Ume Sake Kit Kat comes in a green box with images of ripe Nanko plums to represent freshness. In the middle of the box is an image of a sake bottle wrapped in white and sealed with a red string. It bears the characters for “ume” and “sake,” as well as the lines, “The elegant taste of sake, wrapped in the gentle sweetness of white chocolate. Enjoy the rich satisfying flavor of sake.”
Each box contains nine individual foil packs of Kit Kat which will be sold at 756 yen (tax inclusive). Prototypes of the Ume Sake Kit Kat were distributed to a limited number of 240 guests at the CRAFT SAKE WEEK held in Roppongi Hills on April 20 to 30, 2018. The Ume Sake Kit Kat will be available in stores starting September 2018.
Kit Kat brings us closer to Japan’s food culture by recreating unique flavors to represent local specialties and produce. With each new flavor, there is a story to discover and remember.