Size is relative.
Good news out of the Nestlé Japan camp: due to popular demand they have revised their line of “mini” sized bars to be about 17 percent larger. The changes went into effect on 13 September and affect the mini-sized Regular, Adult Sweetness, Adult Sweetness Rich Green Tea, and new Graham Cracker flavors.
▼ Boy band J01 will be serving as ambassadors from the monumental change.
Also, as a part of the changes bags of mini-sized KitKats will contain one less bar, but Nestlé assures us that it is still a net positive. For example, one mini original KitKat used to weigh 9.9 grams (0.35 ounces) but now weigh 11.6 grams (0.41 ounces). Crunching the numbers, that means that the previous 15-bar bag of 9.9-gram bars weighed 148.5 grams (5.24 ounces), but the new 14-bar bag of 11.6-gram bars works out to 162.4 grams (5.73 ounces) for a net increase of about nine percent.
So as we can see… wait a minute. “11.6 grams” and “14 bars?” This is all sounding really familiar.
That probably because almost exactly a year ago to the day, Nestlé reduced the size of mini KitKats from 11.6 grams for 9.9 grams, but added an extra bar to each bag.
Probably because this previous change happened so recently, it was still fresh in the minds of many netizens who called Nestle out on the flip-flop.
“But it’s just going back to normal.”
“Didn’t they reduce the size just a little while ago?”
“But is the price the same?”
“Small, big, small, big, it’s a vicious cycle.”
“They could even boast that even though it’s the same amount, it was a 15-percent decrease last year, but a 17-percent increase this year.”
“Maybe for their next update, they’ll change the dimensions just to screw with us.”
“This might lead to wrist injuries though. They should be careful.”
“Wait, wasn’t the reduction size because customers were worried about calories?”
Indeed, last year a Nestlé rep said that the shrinkage was due to feedback from customers who were worried about their calorie intake. There was no mention of calories at all in the press release for this size increase, but Nestle said that the change was simply an effort to keep up with preferences.
▼ There’s also a campaign where registering receipts from the purchase of two bags can win lucky customers a J01 gift card for 1,000 yen ($9).
There’s no word on how it will affect the price since that is largely decided by individual retailers. It’s also interesting to note the not all the flavors affected by the shrinkage last year were subject to the enlargement this year. Adult Sweetness Strawberry and Adult Sweetness Oolong Tea were among the varieties that saw a reduction but no regrowth, suggesting that perhaps Nestlé is paying careful attention to the specific concerns of each flavor’s customer base.
▼ Adult Sweetness Rich Green Tea was enlarged, whereas Adult Sweetness Green Tea was not. Interesting.
However, that’s all just speculation. Nestlé would probably do well to follow the example of takoyaki shop owner Junya Hashimoto and be completely honest about why they’re making the change, even if it is slightly embarrassing. It’s a business model that works like magic in Japan.