10 Western Snacks and Drinks Japan Made Its Own

May 6, 2024

Where else can you bite into a Kit Kat that's bursting with the taste of strawberry cheesecake, or sip a Coca-Cola that promises digestive benefits? There's only one place and that's Japan!

From Tokyo to Osaka, we discovered many of our favourite Western snacks and drinks completely transformed!

In this article, we'll explore ten of our favourite Western-origin snacks and drinks that have been reimagined in Japan. All these treats are a testament to Japan's creativity combined with its tastes and traditions.

#1 Kit Kat Chocolate

Kit Kat arrived in Japan in the early 1970s. However, it was the introduction of a matcha green tea flavour in 2004 that first made it stand out and turned it into one of the most popular Japanese snacks. Today, there are hundreds of unique flavours. This includes everything from Yoghurt Sake to Milk Tea and our favourite, Strawberry Cheesecake. Kit Kats have even become collectables and an essential part of the shopping lists of many tourists like ourselves.

Japanese Kit Kat Selection 2024

#2 Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins in Japan offers many unique ice cream flavours tailored to local tastes and preferences. Popular flavours include matcha green tea, azuki bean, and even a Christmas cake flavour during the Winter holidays. We loved discovering Baskin Robbin's macarons in convenience stores such as Family Mart. These creative sweet treats came in exciting flavours such as raspberry cream, white chocolate cream, and caramel ribbon.

Baskin Robbins Macarons


#3 Pringles Crisps

Since landing in Japan, Pringles has embraced local tastes by launching a variety of iconic Japanese flavours. These include the likes of chicken karaage, seaweed, takoyaki (octopus balls), yuzu salt, and Japanese curry. These cool flavours have not only been a hit locally but have also gained a cult following abroad.

Japanese Pringles Crisps

#4 Doritos Crisps

Doritos in Japan often feature flavours that are unheard of in the West, such as wasabi, teriyaki, and tuna mayonnaise. These bold choices reflect local culinary preferences and offer a unique twist on the familiar corn chip. We love dipping Doritos in sauces. Depending on our mood this could be anything from sweet salsa to spicy chilli ketchup.

Japanese Wasabi Pringles

#5 Cheetos Crisps

Another popular Lays brand (better known as Walkers in the UK) that can be found in Japan is Cheetos. These cheese puff crisps are addictive and come in a range of flavours. We came across Jalapeno, BBQ, and our favourite, Japanese Steak.

Cheetos Crisps Japan

#6 Fanta Drink

Japanese Fanta is much more than standard orange soda. It is about creativity, innovation and a deep understanding and respect for local tastes. The result is an eclectic mix of Fanta flavours including grape, melon soda, peach, and even Yoghurush Mellow Strawberry. These fizzy drinks cater especially to the local preference for new and seasonal products, making it a continuously evolving brand. 

Japanese Grape Fanta Drink

#7 Aero Chocolate

Nestlé’s Aero Chocolates have found their niche in Japan with limited edition flavours such as matcha latte, green tea and Sakura. The brand is particularly famous for its limited-time releases. These capitalise on Japan's love for seasonal and novel products.

Japanese Aero Chocolates

#8 Coca-Cola Plus

Coca-Cola Plus was launched in Japan with some slight twists. Firstly, it comes in a distinctive white bottle and secondly, it is marketed as a functional drink as it contains the dietary fibre, dextrin. Coca-Cola Plus appeals to more health-conscious consumers as it is sugar-free and contains zero calories. This is a great example of how some global brands have tailored their products to local consumers.

Japanese Coca-Cola Plus

#9 Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream

Häagen-Dazs ice cream may have started in the US, however, in Japan, it has set its mark. It often features luxurious, local flavours such as opera flavour, sakura cherry blossom and dark green tea. These flavours cater to Japanese tastebuds and also reflect the changing seasonal nature of the cuisine.

Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream


#10 Pepsi Drink

Pepsi in Japan is known for its daring flavour experiments. Nothing shows this more clearly than seasonal releases like Sakura in Spring and Salty Watermelon in Summer. This has the added benefit of keeping thirsty consumers engaged and excited.

Pepsi Japan

Final Word

So next time you're enjoying a standard Kit Kat or sipping an original Coca-Cola, don't forget it could be a lot different! Japan has embraced so many different types of Western snacks and drinks, making them their own.

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