The 2019 Tokyo Banana and Kit Kat Collaboration Is Here: Two of Japan's Most Popular Souvenirs Join Forces

Kit Kat and Tokyo Banana are two of Japan's most iconic and popular souvenirs, and for good reason: they're delicious, adorable, and great to share with family and friends. In fact, Tokyo Banana is the top-selling souvenir from Tokyo, while Kit Kat is Japan's bestselling chocolate. Since 2017, the two brands have released an annual collaboration: first classic milk chocolate, and then white chocolate in 2018. Both were huge hits, so if you're curious about 2019's version, read on to find out what this year's flavor and theme is!


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Tokyo Banana x Kit Kat 2019 Theme

When the Tokyo Banana x Kit Kat collaboration first launched in 2017, long queues of customers bought around 350,000 boxes in the first week. The white chocolate 2018 version also was a hit, so this year's edition has been keenly awaited by fans of Japanese sweets! 

This year's Tokyo Banana x Kit Kat collaboration's theme is "cheering on those giving it their all". With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics soon approaching, this year's Tokyo Banana Kit Kats are decorated with a celebratory gold color that's sure to encourage anyone who receives one!

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2019 Tokyo Banana x Kit Kat Flavor

The 2019 Tokyo Banana x Kit Kat flavor is caramel banana. The original Tokyo Banana cake is a soft, banana flavored sponge cake with a creamy banana filling. For this collaboration, caramel powder has been worked through banana flavored white chocolate, adding an aromatic caramel touch to the classic Tokyo Banana flavor. This flavor combination also creates a gold color that's perfect for the Olympic theme of this year's collaboration!

Kit Kat's Special Meaning in Japan

In Japan, Kit Kats are a classic gift of support. This comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the snack, "Kitto Katto". The chocolate first became popular as a good luck charm for students taking entrance exams in the Kyushu area because the name sounds like the local pronunciation of the phrase, "sure to succeed!"

This local custom caught on by word of mouth around Japan in the early 2000s, and today, Kit Kats have a special place in many exam taker's hearts. In fact, surveys have shown that 1 in 3 students buy Kit Kats before exams, and 1 in 5 bring them to the exam itself as a good luck charm. They're also a common gift from family, friends, and teachers to show their support for those working hard to achieve their dreams.

With the Olympics approaching, Kit Kat has drawn upon this local custom and added a little Olympic spirit with this year's gold packaging. Whether you want to support someone giving it their all in sports, school, or chasing another kind of goal, this would be the perfect gift from Tokyo.

Are you curious to try the new Kit Kat and Tokyo Banana collab for yourself? If you're in Tokyo, you can pick up a box for yourself first at Tokyo Okashi Land at Tokyo Station, and then elsewhere in the country in the new year.

If you're looking for more thoughtful souvenirs from Japan, check out our roundup of winners from the 2018 OMOTENASHI Selection. We guarantee you'll find something that catches your eye!

If you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you'd really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram!

Kanto Feature

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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About the author

Rebecca is an Australian translator and writer based in Kyoto. In her downtime she likes train travel, karaoke, and horror movies.
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