Cherry-Blossom Theme Blooms in Big Brands Across Japan

With cherry-blossom season just around the corner, a range of limited-edition sakura-themed food and entertainment options is popping up around the country

Cherry blossom
A man painting cherry blossoms
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Every year, before the cherry blossom – or sakura in Japanese – flower, a variety of outlets in Japan introduce limited-edition, sakura-themed products to mark the beginning of spring, and to boost seasonal sales.

Starbucks’ refreshing cherry-blossom Frappuccinos

The global coffee brand is renowned for its limited edition flavours so it’s no surprise to find cherry-blossom drinks on its menu at this time of year in Japan. It recently announced the launch of two new spring Frappuccinos – the “Sakura Sakuranbo Frappuccino” which translates to “Sakura Cherry Frappuccino” and the “Sakura Milk Pudding Frappuccino.”

The cherry Frappuccino is made with real cherry pulp and combined with a sakura-flavoured milk base, which has been infused with a hint of strawberry while the milk pudding Frappuccino contains real extract from cherry tree leaves.

Even customers who don’t choose one of the new Frappuccinos can add a touch of spring to their regular Starbucks’ drinks with a free “sakura topping.” The topping contains light and dark pink pieces made from roasted rice and dried cranberries, which makes your drink look like it’s been sprinkled with fallen cherry-blossom petals.

The popcorn professionals got off to the best start in the Japanese snack market by adapting to the country’s demand for limited-time-only and seasonal flavours

Sakura sake and traditional sakura dessert are KitKat flavours to enjoy this spring

This year Nestle Japan is introducing a new cherry blossom KitKat to its spring range, and also re-releasing its popular sakura edition from last year.

The variety set for re-release is the Sakura Japanese Sake KitKat. These KitKats have sake blended into their white chocolate coating, with a sakura-leaf cream filling between the wafers.

The new KitKat in 2020 is Sakuri Mochi, which is inspired by a popular traditional dessert in Japan. Sakura Mochi is a spring treat of red bean paste and pink glutinous mochi rice, wrapped up in a pickled sakura leaf. To replicate the dessert, the new KitKat contains both real sakura leaf powder extract and sweet bean powder in the chocolate and wafer.

Garrett’s Japan adds a pop of spring with limited-edition popcorn

Garrett’s gourmet popcorn brand, which was first established in Chicago before branching out to Japan, has built itself up as a popular haunt in the Harajuku area of Tokyo with long queues a permanent feature every weekend.

The popcorn professionals got off to the best start in the Japanese snack market by adapting to the country’s demand for limited-time-only and seasonal flavours.

Their sakura-themed offering this year is Berry Berry White Chocolate popcorn. It has a sweet and tart strawberry flavour and a cherry blossom-like colour, perfectly imitating the iconic and delicate spring flowers.

Experience spring indoors with an immersive “Cherry Blossom” installation

Known for its immersive installations which use technology to create responsive art, teamLab’s latest exhibit, Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Cherry Blossomsis a new, spring-themed experience on view at the teamLab Borderless digital art museum in Tokyo.

Visitors can explore a room filled with Murano glass lamps that react to their movement by emitting light that then resonates out to neighbouring lamps.

Taking its inspiration from cherry blossoms, twinkling lights in varying shades of pink fill a mirror-paved room and symbolise the delicate spring flowers. And similar to the lifespan of cherry blossoms, this immersive light experience is only available to enjoy for a few weeks.

Would you be tempted to indulge in any of the sakura-themed products or activities? Let us know which ones in the comments below.

"Otsumami" - a bite size snack:

Introducing limited-edition and seasonal products to your brand is a good way to entice new, and existing, customers into your business.

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Contributor

Written by Catherine McGuinness

Writer and Journalist with a love for all things Japan.

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