It’s well established that Kit Kat saves all its best material for the Japanese market. Referring to “Japanese Kit Kats” is akin to saying “Mexican Coke”—universally understood shorthand for “superior and more exciting product.” And speaking of Coke, that’s another thing that Japanese customers can enjoy in a zingy new flavor this week, while Americans cannot: Japan Today reviewed Coca-Cola Strawberry, and they have good things to say.
Reviewer Casey Baseel notes the product’s “pretty-in-pink package” and “enticing aroma” before teeing us up for full-blown envy: “It’s not syrupy or cloying in flavor, and the base cola flavor isn’t drowned out by the additional strawberry elements.” Sounds like Coke did this flavor justice, doesn’t it? Even more wrenchingly, she goes on, “Coca-Cola Strawberry is something we’d actually recommend as a refreshing option for whenever you’re feeling thirsty, not just a weird experiment to experience once and never revisit.” So… it’s awesome. A winning formula. And yet America’s soda innovations bafflingly seem to be happening on the Diet Coke side alone.
Of course, the U.S. has a large population, and debuting pretty much anything edible here can be a bit of a numbers game—you have to appeal to the broadest possible customer base with equally broad, inoffensive flavors. But assuming none of that were true, and we could have whatever artisanal small-batch varieties of any mass-market food product we wanted, just what would you like to see? I have an answer that I absolutely don’t want to hear jokes about: the “adult cream pie” at McDonald’s Japan. Yes, yes, you can all have a good laugh at the name, I won’t stop you—but after the giggles subside, just take a look at that thing! It looks delicious, and I hope they bring it to Chicago someday.