Whether it’s due to trademark, franchising laws or just cultural preference, famous world brands are often marketed quite differently across countries. A franchise operation like McDonald's highlights this perfectly: only in Bahrain can you tuck into a McArabia. Or try the Chicken Maharaja Mac in India, the Teriyaki McBurger in Japan or Croque McDo in Belgium.
There are plenty of other worldwide examples, and we thought it would be fun to see what some of Australia’s most popular and iconic brands are called in other countries.
Your potato chip might be a Lays in disguise
Frito-Lay pretty much has the world potato chip market wrapped up. Smith's potato chips are disguised as Walkers crisps in England, Lay's chips in the US, Frenchitas in Argentina, Tapuchips in Israel, Sabritas in Mexico and Poca in Vietnam. Colours are all a mix up, though – a blue packet of chips can be anything from plain in Australia, to cheese and onion in the UK, salt and vinegar in Canada and "xtra flamin' hot" in Mexico.
Throughout the world, most countries appear to prefer their potato chips plain cut. The famous crinkle-cut we expect from our Smith's chips are oddly missing elsewhere. Incidentally, in the UAE, exactly the same chips are distributed under two brand, Walkers and Lay's. We can only imagine the impassioned arguments that result from that.
Paddle Pop gets pimped
The humble delight known as a Paddle Pop began in Australia in 1953 and has spread worldwide. But all is not as it first appears.
In Thailand, colourful “pellets” burst out of the top of a Calippo-style paper tube, and in India the comfortingly boring ice confectionery we know as a Paddle Pop is marketed as “the most fun and exciting frozen treat ever”. Naturally, with this kind of reputation to live up to, the product looks nothing like the original Australian version. Depending on your flavour choice, we’re talking a tower of orange and pink or stripes of green, yellow, and pink with “exciting popping candy” sprinkles.
Good news is, Streets has released the Indian version of the Paddle Pop in Australia, so off you go!
Best Foods vs Hellmann's
Now here’s a tricky one. Best Foods and Hellmann’s are exactly the same mayo. You can buy either brand in Australia, but only one or the other everywhere else in the world. Throughout Asia and New Zealand, it’s Best Foods; throughout Europe, Canada, South Africa and the Middle East it’s Hellmann’s.
Not sure why Australia gets to buy both, perhaps it’s to start arguments over which brand is better, even though they’re exactly the same mayo. Despite this fact, Best Foods is generally priced cheaper than Hellmann’s. Little insider tip for you there…
Milky Way – 3 Musketeers – Mars bar Bermuda triangle
The light and fluffy chocolate bar that many Aussie kids will be familiar with is not quite so familiar in the USA. Over there it’s disguised as a 3 Musketeers bar. Both are a chocolate-covered, whipped nougat treat. Both are manufactured by the Mars confectionery company. But apparently only the Aussie version is out of this world.
To further confuse things, there is still a Milky Way bar in America, but it’s actually what we know as a Mars bar. The Milky Way bar launched first in America in 1922, but in 1932 after a massive bust up with his dad, Frank C Mars, Forrest Mars took the Milky Way recipe and launched it as the Mars bar from a factory in Slough, England.
The important take away here is to be very careful when selecting a chocolate bar overseas.
Our Rice Bubbles are American Rice Krispies. Easiest recipe swap ever.
Smarties are not always smarties
What the Americans call ‘Smarties’ are not our beloved colourful candy-coated chocolate buttons. American Smarties are what the Canadians call Rockets; fizzy, pastel-coloured, tablet-shaped lollies with not a whiff of chocolate in sight. In other words, what we know as Fruit Tingles. Bonus fun fact: in the UK, a Rocket is an “ice lolly” (ice block in our lingo).