The company’s first new Japanese factory in more than two decades, which will start production next month, is a response to the”the increasing domestic and international demand,” a Nestlé spokesperson told CNNMoney on Wednesday.
The sudden popularity of the green tea-flavored KitKat, which debuted in 2004, paved the way for Nestlé to try more bold flavors like grilled potato and French salt. And over the last decade, they’ve continued adding new flavors — now offering more than 300 different flavor varieties including cherry blossom and blueberry cheesecake.
KitKats are the top-selling chocolate variety offered by Nestlé in Japan — and sales of the chocolate-coated wafers have doubled since 2010.
Their popularity may be in part due to the name — KitKat sounds similar to the Japanese phrase “kito kato”, which means “surely win,” according to CNN Money. The translation has made it a popular good luck present that kids often get before tests.