Ritual and packaging

Reading Time: 2 minutes

My friend Junko occasionally sends me foodstuffs from Japan and in this package was some Japanese Kit-Kat bars.


Kit-Kat Japanese packaging

This got me thinking. When I used to work in the oil industry, life didn’t get much better than finding a Kit-Kat in the biscuit barrel.

Kit Kat old school

Opening the two piece wrapper with a gummed paper band around the foil wrapper was a ritual that allowed you to tell a lot about a person from the way they unwrapped the bar. I even knew a couple of people who would carefully unpack the bar, refold the packaging and leave it on the table to disappoint someone else.

The foil could be wrapped around a plug fuse to make temporary fuse at a pinch.

Kit-Kat new

Of course; this valuable test of character and impromptu DIY tool got iced by baby milk Leviathan Nestle, replaced by a soulless body bag as package. This is not only a cost-cutting | productivity move but subtly changes consumer behaviour discouraging saving some of the bar for later – which has got to help with impulse sales and hang the increased incidence of obesity.

Kit-Kat Japanese packaging

So I started to think about what the Japanese packaging told me about the consumer behaviour – a kind of reverse-engineered anthropology. Packaging and presentation is much more important in many Asian cultures compared to the UK, but I still found these facinating.

The design works really hard to sell the consumer on an experience.

Japanese Kit-Kat packaging

The packages open at the end rather like a cigarette pack with two sets of bars individually packed. So they are likely to be eaten over time, or shared.

Secondly, they are much more of a gourmet experience based on the packaging and different flavourings offered.