food

Japanese KitKats are shrinking; Nestlé says previous size may have been too large for customers

37 Comments
By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

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.

Japanese-KitKat-shrinkflation-Kit-Kat-Twitter-Nestle-Japan-chocolate-sweets-news-1-e1602944598584.jpg

However, @narumikeiya’s photos of the actual chocolates show a noticeable difference in size.

Japanese-KitKat-shrinkflation-Kit-Kat-Twitter-Nestle-Japan-chocolate-sweets-news-2-1.jpg

Weighing each chocolate reveals that the original weighs in at 12 grams.

Japanese-KitKat-shrinkflation-Kit-Kat-Twitter-Nestle-Japan-chocolate-sweets-news-3.jpg

The renewed version weighs in at 10 grams. That’s a difference of two whole grams, which equates to 17 percent less chocolate.

Japanese-KitKat-shrinkflation-Kit-Kat-Twitter-Nestle-Japan-chocolate-sweets-news-4.jpg

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.

Japanese-KitKat-shrinkflation-Kit-Kat-Twitter-Nestle-Japan-chocolate-sweets-news-1.png

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

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- New Japanese KitKats combine ruby chocolate with everyday nuts and cranberry

-- World’s first make-your-own KitKat shop is opening in Tokyo

-- Yoghurt Sake is the newest Japanese KitKat we need to get our hands on right now

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

37 Comments
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I am sure that they didn't reduce the price at all so this means is a profit issue for them and I am sure everyone will forget this soon and continue to buy.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Nobody does KitKats quite like Japan. Here, they come in all sorts of unique varieties like sakura, sake, and cough drop....

But the taste isn’t as good! Back home the normal KitKats taste much more delicious than the ones here in Japan!

8 ( +14 / -6 )

How can a 12 gram chocolate bar be considered "too large for customers"?

23 ( +24 / -1 )

previous size may have been too large for customers

My backside! It's all about profits. Nestlé et al. have plenty of form in other markets.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Not just KitKats. A long list of products. Pizza Hut just revamped their products and the famous pan pizza is gone. They use a hand tossed type for the pan, and sell a thin crust for the hand tossed. A lot of products are getting cheaper and smaller.

invalid CSRF

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Joanne...where is back home?

UK Kit-kats are very similar to Japan taste for the regular chocolate variety. Australian ones are not so good, chocolate has a higher melting point and poor texture.

Nestle are just following a trend... Pringles are now in a much smaller tube and Boursin cheese lost 25% a few years back...Both kept the same price.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"Japanese KitKats are shrinking; Nestlé says previous size may have been too large for customers"

What a flimsy justification. Just come out and say that we're getting less for the same price.

6 words to cover any and all of this baloney: "Price goes up, quality goes down".

20 ( +20 / -0 )

This is one symptom of a depressed market.

If income is good, then people are prepared to bear the cost of inflation.

Because incomes are flat or falling and have been so for the last 20+ years, people aren't prepared to accept price rises. Shrinking products are what you get when businesses are unable to pass along cost increases.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

It happens on every product, they put less quantity instead of rising the price. Have you seen the 900ml milk, huge potato chips bags with 40 grams, 7 slices cheese packages, 20% empty yogur, half empty konbini sandwiches...

And consumers, for some reason, never complain.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

And consumers, for some reason, never complain.

That's right. Like with this kit-kat thing right here where we can clearly see no one is complaining.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The obvious thing to compare this with is wages. It would be like getting 6 hours' pay for 5 hours' work.

I've not tried the Hoji-cha flavoured Kitkat but the Tsujiri Hoji-cha choc ice made by Meiji is awesome.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You are kidding me. They'd already shrunk the size. I used to get those bars with 4 long fingers. And those special flavoured ones, especially at the airports, are a rip-off.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

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.”

Out of all the lies they could have told, this one would have to rank up there with the dumbest.

I wonder what their other choices might have been?

"We forgot to recalibrate the scales"

"Grams have a different weight in Japan due to the gravitational influence of Mt Fuji"

"The chocolate evaporated in the bag due to summer heat"

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Well nobody is forcing you to buy them. I know they lost at least one customer because I will change my Santa gift and halloween treats to something else this year in my own personal boycott of Nestles.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

for mass production factories this shrink in size even if 10 grams means a huge extra profit

12 ( +12 / -0 )

a cowardice and ridiculous comment from Nestle. Only reasons to increase or maintain margins over less sales. Not only the bad economy but the shrinking number of consumers makes marketing go this way. We have a saying in marketing which is an absolute rule: never lie but certainly never say the truth.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

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.”

I assume the price was reduced by 20% as well??? I used to eat KitKat but now to keep my weight stable I just have black coffee at my coffee break. When I first came to Japan KitKat was 5 sticks stuck together in one foil wrapper like in the States, then then made 2 smaller packages with just a total of 4 sticks which is a rip off compared to other chocolate bars you can get at any convenience store. I can't imagine paying full price for that.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Please stop buying Nestle. Nestle just recently were sued for killing tonnes of fish in French river due to pollution spill. Support smaller companies who use real ingredients.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Nestlé says previous size may have been too large for company to profit from.

Fixed it.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Kit Kat's have been around a log time, but it seems to be the norm with new Japanese products. They start off big & if they become popular, they gradually get smaller & smaller. I've seen this happen on numerous occasions. So, not too surprised Kit Kat finally jumping on the bandwagon.
11 ( +11 / -0 )

 Not only the bad economy but the shrinking number of consumers makes marketing go this way.

more like acquisitions, acquisitions, acquisitions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is explained for two words:

CORPORATE & GREED

Period! This has been happening now for over 40yrs in ALL aspects of the economy, electronics made now are utter CRAP compared to when I was a kid, dittio for home appliances etc, cars, you name for the most part quality decreases & profits increase

PURE GREED nothing else

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Period! This has been happening now for over 40yrs in ALL aspects of the economy, electronics made now are utter CRAP compared to when I was a kid, dittio for home appliances etc, cars, you name for the most part quality decreases & profits increase

Sorry I have to disagree. My current iPhone5 (yes 5), is still fully functional after I think 8 years although I did change the battery once. My last Dell laptop lasted 7-8 years. We still use our Wii, WiiU and controllers at home. My refrigerator is still running after I think I purchased it in 2003 or 4, and I had a second hand Honda Stream from 2008 that I just let go last year because of the shakken (car ran fine and always started upon turning the key). I think it depends on the company so do your research and you will be well rewarded.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Japanese are so sheepish compare to westerners...

I realized they changed the kit kat formula recently in France, to make it "more tasty".

For me, original kit kat flavor is the best.

I don't want to be told wht are my favorite tastes. They lot a client for good as I could not buy the original bars.

The would lose me too if thinking I am stupid enough to pay more without any justification (no inflation). But nowadays most people don't think anymore.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Typical of corporate spin.  Essentially a substitute for putting the price up.  Companies been doing this for some time now.

Crooks.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If you want big portion size you can alway oderer online and get the American big size.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No thanks. They can keep them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

size down price same-higher profit.easy math.kitkat is just overcommercialized product,there are many better options at market...with better taste and better value.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is explained for two words:

CORPORATE & GREED

FULLY AGREE

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is explained for two words:

CORPORATE & GREED

This only works for them if you are foolish enough to buy that micro candy bar for 120 yen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do anybody even believe the excuses? if the people wanted smaller portions then it would make every sense to reduce them WHILE also reducing the price, maintaining the same price for less product is too obviously a way to make more of a profit, and a big percentage at that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Imported chocolates are much better value, thicker, sweeter. Meiji chocolate bars for example are thin enough to put in the fridge without opening the door. Try doing that with a Toblerone, Cadbury.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If customers are complaining of the size being to big, then the cost should be adjusted as it is for the larger size.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On a happy note, it appears Nestle has given the world an issue to unite around. Thanks to them for the first steps towards world harmony!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds more like a cost saving trick than catering to customer demand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gaslighting

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nestle did the same with Nescafe Gold here in Japan.

It used to be 90 gr, then 85 gr. And now it's 80 gr.

Price reduced? You wish.

That's why I stopped buying them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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