NEW DELHI (CNNMoney) — Japan loves weirdly flavored KitKat bars so much that the country is getting a brand new factory just to make them.
Nestlé, which manufactures the hugely popular wafer chocolates, said the factory will begin operations in August.
It will be Nestlé’s first new factory in Japan in 26 years, a company spokeswoman told CNNMoney on Wednesday, adding that it is being built to satisfy “the increasing domestic and international demand.”
Japan has been at the forefront of the flavored KitKat revolution ever since the Green Tea version was introduced there in 2004.
There are now more than 300 different varieties, including the pungent Japanese mustard wasabi, Sakura cherry blossoms and even KitKat sushi.
KitKat is Japan’s top selling chocolate brand and its sales have grown by 50% since 2010, the spokeswoman said.
Besides the quirky flavors, the chocolate’s popularity in Japan can also be partly attributed to its name — KitKat sounds similar to the Japanese phrase “kito kato,” which translates to “surely win.”
It has thus become a common gift for students about to take tough exams, or even for other special occasions.
KitKat Chocolatory boutiques around the country also sell “premium artisan” KitKat varieties created by renowned Japanese pastry chef Y. Takagi, whose limited edition flavors are among the hundreds available. A seventh boutique opened on Monday in Ginza, Tokyo’s main shopping district.