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How the humble KitKat conquered Japan with ever-changing flavors. Anyone for sushi KitKat?

How the humble KitKat conquered Japan with ever-changing flavors. Anyone for sushi KitKat?

Two years ago, KitKat’s marketing manager in Japan won an internal corporate award. His prize: a golden trophy shaped like one of the iconic chocolate bars.

Today, the manager, Ryoji Maki, doesn’t remember why he won the award. But he’s immensely proud of what it inspired.

“That’s how I came up with creating a gold leaf-covered KitKat,” he said. Before long, the chocolate wafer bars were on sale in Tokyo for about $18. “They were like an edible golden trophy.”

Maki’s creation joined a long, and ever growing, list of distinctive, fun or just plain weird KitKats found only in Japan. The country is a KitKat-lover’s paradise, with so many unique varieties — an estimated...

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