What does “adult sweetness” even mean? We’ll explain.

When browsing food and drink labels in Japan, you may notice the term “adult flavor”, or “otona no aji”–remember McDonalds Japan’s Adult Cream Pie? In this content, “adult” often means it has lower sugar content or a slightly bitter flavor more commonly suited to adult taste buds.

Japanese KitKats are no exception. The “Adult Sweetness”, or “Otona no Amasa”, KitKats have most commonly been associated with dark chocolate, but a more convincing player has entered the field as of September 2023: the new Cacao 72% flavor.

To see how it stacked up to current KitKat favorites, we decided to test and compare five types in terms of taste, sugar/saccharide content, and fat/lipid content. Keep in mind that these flavor descriptions are in our KitKat tester and Japanese-language reporter Natsuki Gojo’s opinion, so take them with a grain of salt–or sugar.

▼ Our contenders were, from let to right and then top to bottom:

1. Chocolate
2. Adult Sweetness
3. Whole Wheat Biscuit In
4. Cacao 72%
5. Adult Sweetness Strong Matcha

▼ We started with the original Chocolate flavor.

▼ Chocolate: 62 calories, 3.6 grams lipids, 4.9 grams saccharides

The wafer and milk chocolate combination was familiar and delicious, and it was definitely the sweetest flavor out of the five options. You can’t go wrong with this one.

▼ Next, we tried the Adult Sweetness flavor.

▼ Adult Sweetness: 63 calories, 3.9 grams lipids, 3.8 grams saccharides

The black packaging correlated to bitterness in our minds, but it actually had a slightly sweet flavor with absolutely no bitterness. It was like the original Chocolate flavor but with less sugar.

▼ We moved onto the other Adult Sweetness option: Strong Matcha.

▼ Adult Sweetness Strong Matcha: 63 calories, 3.9 grams lipids, 4.5 grams saccharides

These are quite popular as souvenirs for tourists in Japan, so we knew they’d be good. Our first impression was of a surprisingly sweet chocolate flavor, but the aftertaste was clearly a bitter matcha. Due to that bitterness, we’d agree that it may be suited to more adult palates.

▼ Next up was the Whole Wheat Biscuit In flavor.

▼ Whole Wheat Biscuit In: 63 calories, 3.7 grams lipids, 4.5 grams saccharides

The somewhat odd name is self-explanatory; instead of wafers, it has whole wheat biscuits wrapped in a mellow and creamy chocolate. This made it have a crunchier mouthfeel than other KitKats.

▼ And finally, the newcomer: Cacao 72% KitKats.

▼ Cacao 72%: 64 calories, 4.1 grams lipids, 3.8 grams saccharides

We expected them to be ultra-bitter, but it wasn’t as strong as we expected. It was definitely a mild taste on the high-cacao-content chocolate scale. We think it would be a good option for those that don’t normally like dark chocolate.

▼ We’ve compiled a chart detailing each flavor’s sugar and fat content to sum it all up.

In our taste test, we concluded a couple of things: one, that all of the KitKat flavors are delicious, and two, that the Adult Sweetness and Cacao 72% flavors are best for people that don’t like ultra-sweet chocolate.

If you’re looking for some good Japanese KitKats but don’t have the opportunity to test them all, use our thoughts as a reference point! Don’t forget to pick up regional specialties like island lemons while you’re at it.

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