Kit Kat is undeniably one of Japan’s most popular chocolate bars and souvenirs, especially with a myriad of country-exclusive flavours like wasabi, sake and Okinawan purple sweet potato. But, sheathed in single-use plastic packaging, the chocolate bars come with a grisly environmental downside – until now. From September this year, Kit Kat in Japan will start replacing its plastic with paper wrapping.
Japan is the biggest market for Kit Kat. According to a New York Times article, around four million Kit Kat minis are sold in Japan each day. Even with the mini size, the thought of four million plastic wrappers accumulating in landfill or finding their way into our oceans is terrifying. Thankfully, this positive change is expected to reduce the brand’s plastic waste by around 380 tonnes per year.
That’s not all. This being Kit Kat, there’s a novel Japanese twist to the initiative. Each piece of the paper packaging will come inscribed with instructions on how to transform it into an origami crane. Besides emphasising the message of ‘reuse’, it will also help promote the ancient Japanese cultural pastime of origami. This, we think, will further increase Kit Kat’s appeal as a quintessential Japanese souvenir.
The first phase in this new packaging roll-out will cover the Kit Kat mini’s five top-selling flavours, including the original, matcha, and otona no amasa (adult-level sweetness, ie less sweet).