When you travel abroad, you might find yourself with a hankering for the flavors of home. If so, you may head to the grocery store for a piece of candy, some chips or a bottle of soda – and you won’t be able to find what you’re craving. Well, as it turns out, lots of familiar brands have different packaging or even different names in other countries. Read on to see how to find your faves when you’re an ocean away.
PepsiCo owns Lay’s, and the beverage giant purchased another chip company in 1989: Walkers. The British brand had a loyal following in the United Kingdom, so its new owners didn’t change the name. Instead, they just gave it a new logo, one you might recognize from your American bags of chips.
The citrusy soda called Surge hit American shelves in 1997, but that wasn’t the first time this recipe appeared in grocery stores. Across the pond, it debuted in Norway in 1996, albeit with a slightly different name: Urge. This iteration made its way to Denmark and Sweden, but got discontinued in those two countries in 2001. You can still get it in the States and Norway, though.
Its real name is Kentucky Fried Chicken, but most people refer to the fast-food joint by its initials: KFC. In other languages, though, KFC isn’t the right acronym. In Quebec, Canada, for example, the eatery is called Poulet Frit Kentucky, abbreviated to PFK on the restaurant’s French-speaking outposts.
37. Dr. Oetker
You might pick up Dr. Oetker-brand products if you’ve got a day of baking ahead – it makes edible decorations, baking powder and pre-made cake mixes, among other products. And while everyone can enjoy sweets, not everyone can easily pronounce “Dr. Oetker” in their native tongue. That’s why the brand had to ditch its original name in Italy; there, they’re called Cameo products.
At home, you’d run into a convenience store, walk over the cooler and barely look as you grabbed a bottle of Pepsi – it’s easy to recognize the branding. In Japan, though, finding your soda of choice would require you to pay closer attention. The small Pepsi logo gives it away, but the words “Japan Cola Zero” almost throw you off the scent.
In the United States, you call it Budweiser. But if you want the same thing in most parts of Europe, you’d reach for a Bud. It gets slightly confusing when you find out that there is also a Budweiser available on the old continent, but it’s not the same recipe as you’d get at home. That beer is sold as Czechvar in the states. The reason for all of these different names? Two companies – Budweiser Budvar and Anheuser-Busch InBev – have fought for years over their right to the name Budweiser.
34. Good Humor
No matter where you are in the world, you can probably find Good Humor ice cream – under a different name, of course. In the U.K., it’s called Walls, while it goes by Kwality Walls in Asia. Bolivia has the same recipe under the name Breslers, Mexico calls it Holanda, and you can find it in the Phlippines, where it’s known as Selecta.
33. Campbell’s soup
Campbell’s classic soup cans used to line the shelves of U.K. grocery stores, just as they do in the States. But in 2006 Premier Foods took control of the iconic brand’s British dealings. Within a year, the red-and-white cans disappeared, and they were replaced by Batchelors brand soups. Inside the cans, though, the recipes are exactly the same as Campbell’s.
32. Dove chocolate
Dove chocolate goes by Galaxy in the U.K., and the reason is one we’ve heard before. The brand’s parent company, Mars, purchased Galaxy in the mid-1980s. However, the latter label was already well known and beloved by the Brits, so Mars execs decided to keep the name. They just switched up the branding so that it was somewhat similar to Dove’s and called it a day.
31. Kraft Mac & Cheese
Kraft Mac & Cheese – the one in the blue box – is must-have in many an American pantry. But it didn’t always have its current name. The macaroni meal-in-a-box was once internationally known as Kraft Dinner. It still carries that name in Canada, while Brits call it Cheesy Pasta nowadays.
Let’s say you’ve become a fan of Magners Irish hard cider while living in the states. If you travel to Ireland and want to sample the same beverage at its source, you’ll need to know its name on the Emerald Isle. There, it’s called Bulmers after Henry Percival Bulmer, the cidermaker who first brewed the beverage in the late 1800s.
29. Diet Coke
To Americans, the inclusion of the word “diet” in the name Diet Coke means something. Specifically, it means that the soda contained within the can has low or no calories. In other countries, though, that descriptor doesn’t carry the same connotations. So many countries refer to the silver-canned soda as Coca-Cola Light.
28. Milky Way
You can’t find a Milky Way bar outside of the States – at least, not one that has the same filling as what you’re used to. If you’re abroad and craving this cloud-like chocolatey treat, reach for a Mars bar instead. Its nougat center is slightly lighter than that of the Milky Way, and it has the same sweet caramel layer to go with it.
27. Three Musketeers
With that being said, you might be a bit confused if you’re searching for a Milky Way bar in Europe because you will see them on shelves there. But the candy bar inside of the familiar packaging is not the same as an American Milky Way. Instead, the Euro version is actually just a Three Musketeers bar. So, to recap, if you’re traveling and craving a Milky Way, you should get a Mars Bar. But if you fancy a Three Musketeers, you should get a Milky Way.
When Americans opt to have a frozen pizza for dinner, most of them reach for a pie from DiGiorno. Canadians can get the same tasty bake-at-home entree, but they won’t find it under the same brand name. Instead, the same pizzas are marketed as Delissio north of the border.
The yogurt we know as Dannon has a different name everywhere else in the world. As it turns out, the brand was founded in France, and the real moniker is Danone. However, they dropped the E and added an extra N when they brought their products to the U.S. to ensure that American consumers could pronounce the name properly.
24. Hot dogs
In the U.S., if you want to cook some hot dogs, you’d head to the refrigerated section of your grocery store. There you’d find your links of choice in a plastic, vacuum-sealed package. But if you wanted to do the same in the Netherlands, well, you wouldn’t find your franks in the fridge. They sell them in cans there, which is a pretty strange thought for American grillmasters.
The chocolate-and-caramel-topped cookie bar that you call Twix is, for the most part, called Twix overseas, too, but that hasn’t always been the case. The candy was called Raider in Germany and across Europe, but the brand changed it to Twix in 1991 for the sake of consistency. Still, they will sometimes issue anniversary editions of the bars with the old Raider packaging, so you might happen to see one on a journey across the pond.
Parts of the U.S. see Hellmann’s mayonnaise on their shelves, while others get the same recipe jarred with a similarly colored label but called Best Foods. The same goes for shelves overseas. You can get Hellmann’s across Europe, Latin America, the U.K., the Middle East, Canada and in South Africa too. Meanwhile, Best Foods is the name-of-choice in Australia, Asia and New Zealand.
Grab a Coke in the U.S., and you’ll pick up a can with a pretty clean and simple design. You can find the nutritional info on there too, but it’s not the most prominent design feature on the container. That’s what makes this Mexican can of Coca-Cola so surprising – it makes it very clear that the soda inside has excess sugar and calories.
20. Lay’s (part two)
We’ve already seen Lay’s chips on this list, but that was a branding discussion. Now we want to talk about flavors. In the U.S., a yellow bag of Lay’s would contain the brand’s classic salted potato chips. But in Thailand, a similarly hued sack contains egg-flavored chips – would you try them?
19. Sour Patch Kids
How often do you analyze the shape of your candy? We don’t do it often, but we might start when we travel internationally. Otherwise, how will we notice when the outline of a classic sweet changes from country to country? Here, one eagle-eyed Redditor compared the outline of American Sour Patch Kids, in the left column, and the Australian version in the right.
18. American-style pizza
There’s not one variety of pizza that counts as an “American-style” pie. But travel overseas to Germany, and you’ll find at least one recipe deemed to be a U.S. staple. This one has Tex-Mex-inspired toppings and – get this – a hotdog-filled crust. As one Redditor put it, “The most surprising thing is that I haven’t seen this in America. Yet.”
Those chewy, square-shaped candies that you know as Starburst didn’t always have the same name. They were invented in the U.K. in 1960 and given the name Opal Fruits. Seven years later, they made their way across the pond, where marketers changed the candy’s moniker to Starburst. By the late 1990s, the company decided to unite the brand under a single name – and, as you may have guessed, they chose Starburst.
16. Lipton Tea
Grab a box of Lipton in the States, and you’ll get a pretty basic-looking cube full of teabags. But buy yourself the same item in Japan, and you’ll get a beautifully designed package. Bonus points if you purchase all three varieties: if you line them up side by side by side, they have one continuous scene across their fronts.
15. Frosted Flakes
The first version of this cereal hit American shelves in the 1950s, and then it was known as Sugar Frosted Flakes. Within 30 years, though, manufacturers made the moniker a bit less sweet, calling it Frosted Flakes instead. Overseas, though, the same breakfast staple is known by an even shorter name: Frosties.
14. Kraft Mac & Cheese (part two)
We’ve already mentioned the fact that Kraft Mac & Cheese is called Kraft Dinner in Canada. But the design on the box is different in each country, too. Specifically, you should take a look at the utensil holding the cheesy noodles: in the U.S. version, it’s a spoon, while the Canadian iteration features a fork.
If you’re buying Pringles in the States, you’re getting a tube full of crunchy, curved chips. But if you travel to Asia and pop into a grocery store, you’ll find more than just Pringles-brand snacks. There it also has its own line of instant noodle cups with chip-inspired flavors, such as sour cream and onion yakisoba.
When you crack open an American bag of Ruffles, you don’t expect any surprises or, say, packets of chip dip hidden inside. But if you grab a bag of them in Mexico, they may come with a little satchel full of salsa, as this Redditor found when they purchased a bag of the queso-flavored bites.
11. Cocoa Krispies
Kellogg’s makes a chocolate-coated rice puff cereal, and they give the same recipe a slew of different names across the globe. Americans will know the breakfast food as Cocoa Krispies, while Brits and Danes call it Coco Pops. In Spain, Germany and Portugal, they pour bowls of Choco Krispies. There are different mascots to be found too: the U.S. containers feature elvish characters Snap, Crackle and Pop, while Coco the Monkey bedecks boxes everywhere else.
10. Solo cups
No American party would be complete without the iconic red Solo cups. These durable, celebration-ready cups have made their way overseas, but at least in the Netherlands, they carry a different name. Funnily enough, they’re branded simply as American Cups in the low country.
9. Coca-Cola (part two)
Not all Cokes are created equally. Those who drink Coca-Cola from Mexico swear it tastes better than the American version. The explanation for that could be down to the sweeteners used. The Mexican recipe contains real cane sugar, while the U.S. blend features high fructose corn syrup.
8. Rice Krispies
We’ve already mentioned Cocoa Krispies have a different name overseas, so it makes sense that plain Rice Krispies go by more than one moniker too. In Australia and New Zealand, the same rice-puff cereal is branded Rice Bubbles. Both versions feature the cereal’s iconic mascots: Snap, Crackle and Pop.
7. Classic Lay’s
In the U.S. the flavor deemed “Classic” by Lay’s is your basic potato chip. The thinly sliced, crunchy potatoes are salted, and that’s it. Now, if you’re in China and want the same chip, it’s pretty easy to locate the right flavor: the bag says, “American Classic Flavor.”
If you’re an American, then you think of Smarties as those fizzy candies in the twisty, plastic tubes. Canadians call those same sweets “Rockets.” And there and in the rest of the world, Smarties are a completely different treat: bite-sized chocolates in a colorful shell, which look pretty similar to M&Ms.
When you picture an Oreo, you probably see a pair of chocolate wafers with a creme filling between them. If you trek to Asia, though, you can find that tasty combination in a different form. Specifically, they sell Oreo sticks, which you can dip into milk – and even use as the most delicious kind of drinking straw.
4. Kit Kat
Imagine someone asks for a piece of your Kit Kat bar. What color is the candy you picture? Chances are, you see the wafer fingers covered in chocolate: white, milk or dark. That is, unless you live in Japan, where Nestlé has released more than 200 different Kit Kat flavors, and some of them are off the wall. Would you like to try a green tea, cherry blossom, sake or even a soy sauce Kit Kat? Then it’s time to head to Asia.
3. Burger King
When Burger King tried to expand into the Australian market, it ran into a snag: another company trademarked the name before it could. So its then-parent company, Pillsbury’s, gave its Australian franchisee a list of names of its own products from which he could choose a new name for the Down Under contingent of burger joints. The man, Jack Cowin, chose to name the restaurant after a Pillsbury pancake mix, fittingly called Hungry Jack’s.
2. Cool Ranch Doritos
Frito-Lay debuted a new flavor of Doritos called Cool Ranch in 1986, and it took off in popularity among American snackers. But the company knew that ranch dressing wasn’t as big of a thing overseas. So when they brought the new variety to Europe and the U.K., they called the chips Cool American and Cool Original, respectively.
1. Sour Patch Kids
Heading to France any time soon? If you’re there and have a hankering for Sour Patch Kids, you’re in for a hilarious surprise. Apparently, the mouth-puckering sweets are called Very Bad Kids there. If you dislike sour candies, then you may just agree with that alternative moniker.