Marketing Halloween in Japan: Krispy Skremes

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Today’s post is about shifts in marketing: which brands continue to produce Halloween-themed goods/advertising and which don’t. Also doughnuts.

Mister Donut decided to go with fall-themed cronuts this year: crushed chestnut whip, apple-custard pie, and cherry-cream pie. Meanwhile, Krispy Kreme Japan went full-out Halloween with “Krispy Skremes,” and they are not messing around:

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts doughnuts
Via Krispy Kreme

Why the shift? I’ve noticed Mister Donuts doesn’t do the same thing every year for the big seasonal food events: they had Halloween donuts in 2012 and 2013, but not this year. I’m not sure if they didn’t sell well or if the company didn’t want to stay in a holding pattern. Also note that Mister Donuts also didn’t do sakura this year–a much bigger deal, considering the importance of sakura in Japanese food culture–but Krispy Kreme did.

The “Krispy Skreme” products this year are four kinds of doughnuts:

1. キャラメルハロウィンジャック Caramel Halloween Jack-o-Lantern
ハロウィンの人気者、ジャックランタンの顔をパンプキンチョコの上にビターチョコで描きました。さらにリッチになったキャラメルカスタード入り。A Halloween favorite, this doughnut has a jack-o-lantern face drawn in dark chocolate and is filled with rich caramel custard.

2. ベリージェリースター Berry Jelly Stars
ハロウィンの夜空にスプリンクルの星が飛んでるみたい!?4種類のベリーをミックスした甘酸っぱい秋色ジェリーにトッピングのブルーベリーで、おいしい魔法をかけました。This doughnut has star-shaped sprinkles like the stars shooting across the Halloween night sky!? The autumn-colored sweet and tart glaze is made from 4 kinds of berries and the doughnut is topped with blueberries, casting a delicious spell.

3. ムラサキイモモンブラン Purple Potato Mont Blanc
秋の味覚のハロウィンスペシャル。ムラサキイモのモンブランクリームとスイートポテトのフワフワクリームで描いた、ダブルリング。パンプキンシードとキャンディングアーモンド、ビターチョコで仕上げました。
A fall-flavored Halloween special. This doughnut is a double-ring frosted with purple-sweet-potato cream and fluffy sweet-potato cream and topped with pumpkin seeds, candied almonds, and dark chocolate.

4. スパイダーチョコカスタード Spider Chocolate Custard

定番のチョコレートカスタードがイタズラっぽく変身。ホワイトチョコで描いた「クモの巣」がハロウィンだけの特別なサプライズをプラスオン。A regular chocolate-custard doughnut with a cheeky transformation. The white-chocolate spiderweb is a Halloween-only surprise add-on.

Additionally, the special seasonal drinks are candied-chestnut (marron glace) tea lattes and floats.

For the “Krispy Skreme” doughnuts, the seasonal flavors seem to be mainly Japanese ones like marron glace and murasaki imo, while the decorations are Halloween-themed. That is, these are not pumpkin- or pumpkin-spice pastries like they would be in the US, but doughnuts that bridge the two cultures.

Thanks to @vyxle and @ramandab-daisuki for the tip!

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