Tuesday, June 8, 2010

KitKat Aloe and Yogurt

This is the second collaboration between the Tokyo Beauty Clinic (TBC) and Nestlé Japan. The first bar was the bitter almond, which had a very tenuous link to beauty (the flavor was supposed to suit women's tastes). This bar boasts a better claim and that is that it contains collagen. Collagen is something which you see plastered on many products in Japan because consumption of it supposedly promotes skin elasticity, and as I've mentioned before, Japanese women are bonkers for skin health. The thing is, the collagen in this bar does not come from aloe or yogurt. One of the ingredients is pork gelatin. Yeah, this bar is fortified with pig connective tissue and it appears higher on the ingredient list than aloe.

Of course, being crazy about skin health doesn't seem to translate to much except a fanatical avoidance of the sun and tons of money spent on expensive face creams. I haven't really noticed much in the way of superior skin among Japanese women. Most of them still have wrinkles when they get older, develop blemishes, and wear foundation make-up to smooth out uneven skin coloration. In fact, they're very uncomfortable if they can't wear foundation make-up. Personally, I can't stand the stuff and never use it, so their desire to wear it baffles me. I'd rather be a bit blotchy on occasion than slather flesh-colored goo on my face, but I'm 45 and not so worried about my beauty anymore.

The bar smells mainly like white chocolate, but it has a mild scent which has a hint of chlorophyll. Frankly, it smells like skin lotion to a very mild extent, which is no surprise because aloe is more often used for skin treatments than foods in the West. In Japan, you can buy drinks with aloe in them, but I've never had one. They may or may not taste like this bar, but I have no point of comparison. I never saw an aloe beverage in a store and said, "hmmm, I could really go for the taste of aloe right now."

The first bite mainly reveals a lot of sweet white chocolate flavor followed by a perfumey flavor which is vaguely reminiscent of chewing on a piece of grass. It's not a terrible flavor, but, honestly, it did seem like sweetened skin cream to me with a hint of grass dipped in your favorite eau de cologne. Frankly, I couldn't detect any yogurt sourness at all though I did sense a little bit of the smooth, dairy sense of it. I'm not sure if my tongue just wasn't sensitized to it at the time that I sampled this or if the sweetness just blew away any sour yogurt tones. I could only taste the yogurt at all by the time I ate the second finger of this mini bar and I could only detect it on the sides of my tongue.

The aloe and yogurt flavors were quite weak, but they are there if you're really paying attention and after your tongue has become sufficiently saturated with the sweetness of the bar that other flavors can get through. I found this bar at 7-11 for 42 yen (46 cents). If you live in Japan and are curious about oddball flavors, it's not much of an investment for a sampling and I wouldn't say it's not worth a try. The bar is small (about the total size of 1.5 regular KitKat bar fingers), and only 69 calories. Under any other circumstances (paying more via an importer, having to track the bar down with difficulty or having to buy a big bag of the mini bars to sample it), I wouldn't say it's worthwhile unless you've ever thought your bottle of hand lotion smelled so delicious that you'd like to mix in a ton of sugar and take a swig.


Marvo said...

My mom used to put aloe on my sunburnt skin after coming back from the beach. It was soothing, but it reeked. I'm disappointed that this KitKat did not reek.

Orchid64 said...

The source of your disappointment made me able to actual eat this and keep down my lunch. If it had smelled really bad, I don't think that I could have stomached it.

Admit it though, if you had a bag of these minis, you'd want to rub them all over your body for old times sake.

Dollars to Yen said...

Ugh! I haven't seen this yet and I've been looking! I have to disagree with you on one point. I think Japanese women look much younger for their age then us Westerners. Maybe eating these Kit Kats will help us :)

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Dollars to Yen, and thank you for your comment!

I also think Japanese people look younger than Western counterparts at certain ages, but I don't think it relates to skin care. I think it mainly relates to weight and general bone structure (mainly to weight). Most Western folks become heavier as they age which makes their faces look puffy and droopy, which makes them look older. Most Japanese folks remain trim all their lives. Also, they almost universally dye their hair whereas many of us let it just go grey (I have - though it's still red in the back - the temples are very white).

Thanks for your comment!

Bean said...

I'll try to eat just about anything, but this turned my stomach a bit reading about it. I used to keep an aloe plant to smear on burns so I immediately thought of burn pain instead of food.

Maybe I could buy one and rub it on a sunburn? *heh*

C said...

Interesting product review, thanks Orchid!

You know, aloe is forever going to be a "super" health product. If you go to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods here in the States, they sell pure aloe vera juice for "regularity & detoxification." I've tried the pure stuff before, and it's beyond vile. I've also tried the Asianified aloe drinks, and I swear that they put fake pineapple flavoring in there, which makes the drink completely drinkable.

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Bean and C, and thank you for commenting!

I probably should review one of the aloe drinks some time just to see if it is better than this KitKat, but there's a huge list to review, and only so much junk one woman can eat. ;-)

Sandy said...

Thanks for posting this so quickly=) I suppose I'm not too surprised that this combination was unremarkable, after all aloe is mild tasting and unlikely to add much to the chocolate.

Here in Southeast Asia where I'm from, aloe is very often used in food and beverages, almost as often as in skincare. Usually it's in desserts and drinks - since its natural texture is like jelly and it has a mild sweetness that's quite pleasant. I actually really like it!

And as for Japanese women's skin - I think it also has to do with the fact that they avoid the sun religiously. UVA n UVB can cause up to 95% of skin aging!!=)

Sherry said...

Some of the yogurts with aloe are very nice. Guess that's what they were trying for.

Yes, generally speaking I think Japanese women look younger than their age, up to a point. Then they seem to go to bed and age 20 years over night. Western women seem to age more gradually.

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Sandy, and Sherry, and thanks for commenting!

Regarding your comment about aging, I had a coworker make a similar comment quite some time ago. She said something like, when they shine, they shine very brightly, but once they are dimmed, they're done. I think sh was referring to the tendency to be youthful and attractive and then suddenly to change seemingly overnight like you said. It's a very astute observation, and I wonder what causes it to be that way.

Anonymous said...

This kitkat actually sounds really refreshing to me. I personally love aloe vera drinks and find a chilled aloe vera beverage extremely refreshing on hot summer day!

Asian drinks on aloe vera are extremely different than American aloe vera drinks. I tried the aloe vera drink at an American health food store and it was flavorless, bitter, and tasted of medicine. However, I think if you tried an asian aloe vera drink, you would be pleasantly surprised! I love watery, refreshing desserts and drinks!

Anonymous said...

Wow I can't believe they put pork collagen in KitKat. That is so Japanese. Haha!