Character Sweets

One Piece Chopper Japanese Confectionery

The sweets are available from 711 Japan for 258 yen + tax each.

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Afternoon Tea at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, Japan

The price is 4,000 yen + tax for each person.

Origami Cranes: Nestlé Japan to Switch Out Plastic for Paper on KitKats

Laxmi Haigh wrote . . . . . . . . .

Nestlé Japan is replacing the plastic wrapping on its KitKat candy bars with paper in a bid to become one step closer to its commitment of 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025. The Japanese market’s material switch will occur across five KitKat multipack products from September 2020 and across all individual products in 2021. The switch to paper is unique to the Japanesemarket, where the popularity of KitKats continues to surpass that of other geographies.

In a playful twist, the company also proposes that the paper packaging is used to create origami cranes after use. These are a traditional Japanese messenger of thoughts and wishes. In local tradition, they can be shared with “important” people.

This is an initiative unique to the KitKat brand, which is also used as a communication tool to show feelings of gratitude and support to close family and friends, shares Nestlé Japan in a statement. The brand name KitKat sounds remarkably like the Japanese phrase kitto katus, which means “you will surely win.” Reportedly, this happy coincidence plays a large role in the popularity of the candy in the country.

In this way, KitKat is more than a simple grocery store candy bar in Japan – it’s a treat that is often gifted as a sign of good luck. Since 2000, KitKat has launched over 300 different flavors in Japan – including novel flavors such as soy sauce, banana and sweet potato. This vastly outstrips the offerings of the US and UK. However, Nestlé recently debuted its Japanese Green Tea Matcha in the UK, and the Ruby Chocolate variant hit shelves in 2018.

Although KitKat sales have been declining in the UK for the past few years, where the brand originally hails from, the Japanese market has experienced steady growth since 2011, reports The Telegraph.

Sweet sustainability

This move within the confectionery space mirrors other food and beverage segments, where companies are increasingly making the switch from plastic to paper. According to Innova Market Insights, we are entering a new era of paper-based packaging, fueled by consumers’ growing anti-plastics sentiment. Mixed material packaging, where the components cannot be separated, is on its way out, and is increasingly replaced by either 100 percent paper-based or hybrid paperboard-plastic packaging.

“Our vision is that none of our product packaging, including plastics, end up in landfill or as litter, including in seas, oceans and waterways. To achieve this, our ambition is that 100 percent of our packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2025. We have made a number of global commitments to help achieve this, including the elimination of non-recyclable plastics. We are determined to look at every option to solve these complex challenges and embrace multiple solutions that can have an impact now,” a Nestlé Japan spokesperson tells PackagingInsights.

While Nestlé Japan’s initiatives to achieve a sustainable future will begin with its leading KitKat products, it is also currently exploring opportunities to expand the scope of the new packaging to other brands and products. However, the company has not shared a timeline for this.

In a similar move across the world, Nestlé converted its YES! Snack bar’s packaging from paper to plastic, making it reportedly “the first confectionary bar on the market” to be packaged in paper using a high-speed flow wrap technology.

According to Nestlé Japan, the paper used for this innovation is different to the KitKat’s material.

Prior to this innovation, plastic films and laminates had to be used in the high-speed production of shelf-stable snacks. However, product quality and freshness throughout the bar’s shelf-life can now still be guaranteed, even when paper is used. This means there is great potential for the rest of the confectionery industry to also switch to recyclable paper packaging, Nestlé said.

In a previous bid to lessen the environmental impact of its treats, Nestlé formed a closed-loop recycling program with waste management specialist TerraCycle in the UK & Ireland for its confectionery’s flexible plastic packaging. Pouches, bags and wrappers from single bars, blocks and multipacks can now be accepted through the Confectionery Recycling Program, which takes the accumulated waste and turns it into new plastic items. However, critics note that reformulating product packaging away from plastic altogether would be a more hard-hitting move.

Source: Food Ingredients First

New Dessert: Denibrand (デニブラン) of St. Marc Cafe in Japan

The deesert is based on a Danish pastry, topped with soft-serve ice cream and caramel sauce.

The price of the dessert is 390 yen + tax.

Vegan Boba Tea Debuts in Japan

Anna Starostinetskaya wrote . . . . . . . . .

For a limited time period, beauty brand Botanist offers specialty boba teas from a stand inside its in-store café in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, Japan.

One of the two options is fully vegan and features a blue-hued pea milk tea base dotted with brown sugar tapioca balls sourced from Taiwan.

Botanist will only serve 100 cups of the specialty boba teas per day.

The beauty brand also offers a number of vegan food options at its café, including pasta dishes, waffles, and desserts.

In March, Botanist added the vegan Sakura Burger to its menu in celebration of Japan’s “Sakura” (Cherry Blossom) festival. The burger features a soy patty that is topped with vegan cheese, a pink-hued sauce colored with beets, and fresh vegetables that come sandwiched between cherry-colored buns made with sweet potatoes.

Source: Veg News