In 2016, Kumamoto, on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, was devastated by a series of earthquakes which were so severe they damaged parts of the region’s historic 400-year-old castle. With a large number of local residents displaced and living in temporary housing after the disaster, Nestlé Japan was quick to lend a hand, joining forces with Kumamon, the region’s red-cheeked, black bear mascot, to boost morale and raise funds towards reconstruction in the area.
The collaboration was an extension of Nestlé’s “Kitto Zutto Project” (“Sure to Continue Project”), which began supporting people in disaster-affected regions after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Following the disaster in Kumamoto, Nestlé came up with the idea for a Kumamon-branded “Kumamoto Tea” flavor KitKat, using local ingredients to help farmers, and last year they expanded the project with a yogurt-flavored KitKat to help a dairy damaged by a typhoon in Iwate Prefecture.
Now they’re back with Kumamon at the helm for another KitKat release in aid of Kumamoto Prefecture, and this time the chocolate comes filled with the flavor of Ikinari Dango.
Kumamoto is famous for these palm-sized steamed sweet dumplings, which usually contain a big round chunk of sweet potato, covered in a red bean jam and wrapped in a thin layer of dough made from rice flour. The new limited-edition KitKats promise to deliver the same flavor of ikinari dango inside their famous chocolate-covered wafer bars.
There are four different package designs to collect, with 10 yen from the sale of each 11-piece pack going towards reconstruction in Kyushu’s Kumamoto region.
▼ Coy Kumamon
▼ “Itadakimasu!” (“Thanks for the food!”) Kumamon
▼ Hungry Kumamon
▼ Happy Kumamon
The same images of the black bear mascot appear on the individually wrapped bars inside each pack, with the addition of an adorable version showing him with his hands in the air, getting everyone excited for the new treat.
In 2016, it was estimated that it would take around 20 years and 60 billion yen to fully restore Kumamoto Castle, so purchasing the new limited-edition KitKats is one way for us all to pitch in and help with the reconstruction efforts.
The Ikinari Dango KitKats are available at stores nationwide at a recommended retail price of 540 yen.
Source: PR Times
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