Regional-exclusive chocolate aims to raise funds for damaged samurai fortress.

It’s been a relatively quiet year in terms of new regional-exclusive KitKats in Japan, with Nestlé funnelling its creative energy into Graham crackers and Valentine’s Day bears.

That’s all set to change next month, though, as a new regional KitKat has just been announced, with an all-new flavour designed to take our taste buds on a trip to Kumamoto Prefecture.

Called the Kokuto Doughnut Flavour KitKat, the exclusive specialty has been created in collaboration with Fuji Bambi, a confectionery store in Kumamoto that’s famous for kokuto doughnut sticks.

▼ Fuji Bambi’s kokuto doughnut sticks are a must-eat Kumamoto sweet.

Fuji Bambi sources its kokuto (unrefined brown sugar that translates as “black sugar”) from Okinawa, which is renowned for its high-quality sugar cane production. The company is particular about where it sources all its ingredients, including flour and oil, as it’s part of their secret to creating a doughnut stick that’s less oily than regular doughnuts.

The Okinawan kokuto, which naturally contains important minerals like iron, soaks into the doughnut, creating an exquisite texture and a sweetness that spreads gently on the palate.

To transform the doughnut sticks into KitKat form, Fuji Bambi and Nestlé created a kokuto paste and blended it with white chocolate before sandwiching it in between layers of wafers to mimic the dough-and-brown-sugar combination of the kokuto doughnut sticks.

As a proud local business, Fuji Bambi has been supporting Kumamoto Castle in its recovery efforts ever since 2016, when two massive earthquakes caused extensive damage to the centuries-old fortress.

▼ A portion of sales from specially marked packs like these, featuring local mascot Kumamon, have so far generated millions of yen in donations.

Fuji Bambi’s latest venture with Nestlé will continue to support the castle, as a portion of sales from these KitKats will go towards its restoration.

It’s not the first time for a portion of KitKat sales to be donated to a good cause, as the Kit Kats below were also created to generate donations for recovery in disaster areas.

▼ Some of these releases include the 2016 Kumamoto Tea KitKat, the 2017 Yoghurt KitKat, the 2018 Ikinari Dango KitKat, and the 2018 Momiji KitKat.

The new KitKats will be sold in a nine-piece box for 864 yen (US$7.53) from 1 March at souvenir shops around Kyushu, although they’ll be mainly sold in and around Kumamoto Station.

Incidentally, all of KitKat’s regional-exclusive releases underwent a package redesign in October last year, so they’re now sold in vertical boxes. They’re also said to be slightly cheaper and the bars inside slightly larger.

So welcome to the regional-exclusive KitKat club, Kokuto Doughnut! We’re happy you’re here and we look forward to trying you, especially if it’ll help to preserve an important part of Japanese history!

Source, images: Press release
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