Kit Kat Cake

Android Kit Kat (4.4) and Google’s Love Affair with Sweets

September 3, 2013 - Written By Cory McNutt

Google has always had a love affair with sweets when it comes to naming its Android Operating Systems – Cupcake, Donut, ‰clair, Froyo (short for Frozen Yogurt), Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and now Kit Kat! Yes, there was a Honeycomb thrown in, but that was for tablets, so it doesn’t count.

This comes as a complete surprise for at least two reasons:

First on the list is that everybody from the Vatican to the nerdist of nerds thought the next Android OS would be called Key Lime Pie (KLP), heck, we even have pictures of it for heaven sake! To top it off with whipped cream, that is my favorite dessert of all time.

Kit Kat Cake

Secondly, Google has always named their OSs with generic names, like Jelly Bean, not like Jelly Belly Jelly Bean, just Jelly Bean. This one might be called, Chocolate Bar, not a brand name like Kit Kat – holy peanut butter cup, Batman, what is going on here in Google town, USA? You might be asking yourself, how much will this advertising endeavor cost Google; and the answer would be $0, nothing, nix, zero, and zilch. John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, told the BBC:

This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal. Instead, the idea was to do something fun and unexpected.

He further explains their reasoning:

We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie. One of the snacks that we keep in our kitchen for late-night coding are Kit Kats. And someone said: ‘Hey, why don’t we call the release KitKat?

We didn’t even know which company controlled the name, and we thought that [the choice] would be difficult. But then we thought well why not, and we decided to reach out to the Nestle folks.

Executives from both firms met in a secret meeting at the MWC at Barcelona in February and finalized the deal. Packaging had to be done in advance over the past two months and secrecy was “paramount” to Google, Nestle executive Mr. Bula explained, but the two companies were able to keep it a secret. Most Google employees will not know about it until they show up at work and see the Kit Kat figure standing on the lawn.

Kit Kat Statue

For their part, Nestle plans on delivering over 50 million Kit Kat bars featuring the Android mascot in 19 markets, including the U.S., UK, Brazil, India, Japan, and Russia.  Watch the entertaining video of Kit Kat 4.4: