Why the Strawberry Kit-Kat Is (Finally) Coming to America

May  1, 2017

Japan’s got a dizzyingly high number of different Kit Kat flavors, from wasabi to yubari melon to Okinawan sweet potato. Among my favorites is their strawberry flavor. It’s got a pitch-perfect mouthfeel, resembling a slightly tart milkshake. Though I wouldn’t quite characterize it as impossible to obtain stateside—it’s available in markets like Mitsuwa, as well as through Amazon—I much prefer it to the milk chocolate variety you’d find in your local drugstore.

So imagine my euphoria when, last week, Hershey’s announced that it’d be releasing the strawberry Kit Kat nationwide. The release is tied to a larger campaign called “Flavors of America.” It’s a cute little gimmick: Hershey’s has created flavors for various products in its portfolio (beyond the Kit Kat) to pay tribute to six states and the foods that define them, conjuring the feeling you'd get from a summer roadtrip.

Among the offerings are Hawaiian Coconut Almond Hershey’s Kisses (“Close your eyes and feel that warm summer breeze,” the company implores); Key Lime Pie- and Orange Cream Pop-Flavored Twizzlers for Florida; Reese’s Honey Roasted-Flavored Peanut Butter Cups for Georgia, replete with a hints of "flora, amber, and molasses”; Cherry Cheesecake chocolate bars for New York; and BBQ-flavored PayDay bars for Texas, with barbecue seasoned peanuts hugging a caramel center. As for the strawberry Kit Kat, it’s meant to pay homage to Oxnard's annual California Strawberry Festival, promising to evoke “the feeling of simple fruit bliss among the strawberry fields.”

Though I'm afraid I didn’t come across this flavor at Duane Reade yesterday, here’s to hoping it tastes like its Japanese antecedent. These flavors of America are available only while supplies last, which I presume will be through the summer. Bummer. In my opinion, strawberry Kit Kats should be available year-round. Everywhere.

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


Penny H. May 27, 2017
Many years ago I found dark chocolate kit-kats in the UK and loved them. I've never been able to find them in the US but I'll keep trying.
Alice May 1, 2017
My husband tried the Texas barbeque flavored Payday bar. His comment was, "Don't ever buy this for me again!" Now he is afraid of the strawberry KitKat.
sam May 1, 2017
In the US, kit-Kat is manufactured and distributed by Hershey, but in other countries (including Japan) it's made by Nestle. I wonder if the two strawberry flavors will taste similar because the regular chocolate flavor doesn't taste the same
Whiteantlers May 1, 2017
I have a feeling they are not going to release a Philly Cheesesteak Wit' Kit Kat or a Salty Soft Pretzel with Mustard Kit Kat-but I guess that's the way life is. My favorite Kit Kats are the green tea and the dark chocolate.