Wasabi, strawberry cheesecake, green tea, dark chocolate, sweet potato. What do these flavors have in common? They’re all KitKat varieties exclusive to Japan. But how did the crispy, break-associated candy get so popular overseas?
As Abroadin Japan explains, Nestlé saw huge sales of KitKats every January—the exact time Japanese student take their university entrance exams which are sort of like the SATs but even more stressful. It turns out KitKat sounds a lot like the kitto katsu which translates roughly to “to surely win,” a sort of good luck phrase students would say to one another before these exams.
Now Kit Kats in Japan come with space on the back to write messages of encouragement to their intended recipients, and they’re made in enough flavors to satisfy any stressed out tastebuds, the most recent iteration of which is saké.
Unlike other many other booze-themed chocolates, saké Kit Kats actually contain alcohol, although hardly enough (0.8 percent) to have you singing Def Leppard on top of the bar.