Nestlé’s iconic brand KitKat has been chosen to launch its first UK ever direct-to-consumer (D2C) offering with the introduction of a ‘Chocolatory’ experience.
The KitKat Chocolatory range brings luxury, handcrafted KitKats to the UK including an option for shoppers to visit an online store and ‘create their own break’ by choosing from four types of chocolate and 14 ingredients to build their own, eight-finger KitKat.
They can then personalise the packaging and have it handmade to order and delivered right to their door. The ‘luxury handcrafted’ version will sell for up to £14 ($17) a bar.
At the heart of the D2C offering is the eight-finger ‘Create Your Break’ option which offers almost 1,500 different flavor combinations from four different chocolate varieties; milk, dark, white and ruby, and a host of diverse ingredients including shortbread pieces, salted caramel chunks, honeycomb and rose petals.
The range also boasts six special edition flavors including ‘Zingtastic Gin and Tonic’ and ‘Springtime in Japan’ while a further eight ‘Best of British’ KitKat fingers inspired by popular British flavors such as Dandelion and Burdock, Marmalade, Cherry Bakewell and Eton Mess are exclusive to John Lewis & Partners.
While the new KitKat Chocolatory products have been developed by expert confectioners in-house at Nestlé in York, Cheryl Allen, head of the KitKat brand in the UK, told ConfectioneryNews that the fingers are hand-made by specialist chocolatiers from a separate site in Yorkshire.
“It’s a very different operation,” she said, “It’s really important we deliver the best experience from day one.”
She said that the move into D2C required a whole new business model, with teams of people working to deliver new packaging, digital content and the infrastructure required for the Chocolatory experience.
“KitKat has been around for over 80 years, and this is its biggest change since we introduced the Chunky version 20 years ago. Its success is based on its ability to move with the consumer and this is a prefect opportunity to help people think again about the brand,” said Allen.
The Chocolatory experience is an idea Nestlé launched in Japan two years ago for KitKat, producing small quantities with more than 300 flavors of the snack, aimed specifically at the country’s gifting culture.
KitKat Chocolatory launches online at kitkatchocolatory.co.uk while products will be available in 30 John Lewis & Partners shops and York’s Chocolate Story – a visitor attraction in the heart of York – in the run-up to Christmas.
Stefano Agostini, CEO for Nestlé UK & Ireland, said: “All across our business we are investing in our brands to develop the innovation that people are looking for. The introduction of KitKat Chocolatory is all about the demand for more luxury, premium confectionery and the opportunity to personalise a product which is a trend that continues to grow and grow.
“Add to that the possibility to have a handmade KitKat delivered straight to your door and this is a very new and exciting development for both Nestlé in the UK and our famous KitKat brand.”
KitKat was invented in York in 1935 when the first four-finger bar was introduced as the ‘Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp’ before the name ‘KitKat’ was adopted a couple of years later.
Rabia Khan, head of KitKat Chocolatory in the UK & Ireland said: “This has been a huge team effort within Nestlé to change the way we do things and make our very first direct-to-consumer confectionery offer a reality in the UK. I am so proud of the results and hope that people enjoy these products as much as we do.”