Nobody does KitKats quite like Japan. Here, they come in all sorts of unique varieties like sakura, sake, and cough drop, and they’re even sold in post offices, where they’re packaged in decorative boxes perfect for sending to relatives and friends.
Commonly available in multi-packs, Japanese KitKats are so small you could easily eat half a dozen of them in one sitting. However, recently it’s come to light that they’ve now gotten even smaller, after a tweet from Twitter user @narumikeiya alerted everyone to the news.
▼ From the outside, the “renewed” standard KitKat (pictured at the bottom of the image below) doesn’t appear to be any smaller than its forebear.
However, @narumikeiya’s photos of the actual chocolates show a noticeable difference in size.
Weighing each chocolate reveals that the original weighs in at 12 grams.
The renewed version weighs in at 10 grams. That’s a difference of two whole grams, which equates to 17 percent less chocolate.
KitKat fans were sad to see their beloved chocolate had shrunk, leaving comments like:
“Whoa, that’s almost a fifth of the chocolate gone in one hit!”
“This is heartbreaking!”
“I swear lots of sweets in Japan are shrinking these days.”
“A sad sign of Japan’s economic state.”
“I wonder how tiny KitKats will be in the future?”
“Looks like they had to choose between raising the price or reducing the amount.”
@narumikeiya says the tweet they posted online wasn’t pointing the finger at KitKat or Nestle for the change — as a lover of KitKats, @narumikeiya sees this as a reflection of a wider social problem, tweeting:
“First of all, consumption must increase and the market must be activated. Close the gap between rich and poor and raise wages for workers. Stabilize employment by making irregular employment regular. Reduce the burden on low-income earners. Whenever disposable income increases, consumption will increase. If each and every citizen has the economic power to withstand price increases, companies will naturally stop shrinkflation.”
It’s a sentiment many online agreed with, and as people debated the reasons for shrinkflation and raised concerns about its knock-on effects, a representative from Nestlé was later quoted as saying:
“For some time, many consumers have said they are concerned about calories and want to hold back on their sugar intake. From September 2020, we adjusted the recipe to switch part of the sugar to soy milk okara (lees) powder etc., and changed each serving to be bite-sized so that people concerned about calories can easily enjoy it. In the case of the standard ‘KitKat Mini’, the weight was reduced from 11.6 grams to 9.9 grams.”
Nestlé Japan actually sent out a press release with details of the renewed KitKat on Sept 1, where the weight change was published, showing the original KitKat mini would decrease from 11.6 to 9.9 grams, while other mini flavors would decrease from 11.3 to 9.7 grams, with the change coming into effect from Sept 14.
The affected range (left to right, from top): Original, Otona no Amasa (“Adult Sweetness”), Otona no Amasa Matcha, Otona no Amasa Koi (“strong”) matcha, Otona no Amasa Strawberry, and Otona no Amasa Hojicha.
The new commercial for the renewed KitKats highlights the fact that they now contain 10 percent less sugar.
Nestlé’s representative said the company is aware of complaints from consumers due to the smaller size but they maintain that the change was implemented in response to consumer feedback that “the conventional product size may be too large.” A consumer survey was conducted before the release of the renewed KitKat, where “the product size was also highly evaluated.”
While Nestlé is yet to reveal whether or not they’ll be taking the knife to Japan’s huge roster of regional and seasonal KitKat flavors in future, we’ll be stocking up on them over winter… just in case.
Sources: Otakomu, PR Times, Twitter/@narumikeiya via Hachima Kiko
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