Grilled-Corn KitKats and Other Worldly Cuisine

Approved by more than 90% of shareholders who voted, Mondelez (pronounced “mon-dah-LEEZ”) has been officially chosen as the name of Kraft’s new global snack food business. Later this year, Kraft will split into two divisions, Mondelez International, Inc., which will include worldwide brands such as Oreo, Cadbury, and Nabisco, while the North American business will continue under the Kraft banner. The new name is a combination of the Latin word for world and delicious.

Kraft isn’t the only American food company ramping up its global business. An article from the Associated Press takes a look at how several brands are glocalizing their products to meet the tastes and preferences of people around the world. Have you had any of these?

  • in China: Kraft’s (soon to be Mondelez’s) Oreo wafer cookies and “regular” Oreos with green-tea, raspberry-and-blueberry, and mango-and-orange fillings. Oreos now claim a 13% share in the Chinese cookie market, making them number one.
  • in Saudi Arabia: lemon-pepper-flavored Tang
  • in Mexico: Tang in tamarind, mandarin, and hibiscus versions
  • in Spain: Kellog’s All-Bran cereal sold to be eaten in coffee instead of milk
  • in Russia: Lay’s Potato Chips in crab, caviar, and “pickled cucumber” flavors

And here are just a few of the many products listed by a blogger at Mental Floss:

  • Fanta: honeydew, lactic white grape, and toffee flavors in Taiwan; tamarind in Mexico; and melon cream in Japan
  • Lay’s Potato Chips: wasabi, poutine, and spicy curry flavors in Canada; blueberry in China; cucumber and goat cheese in Belgium; spicy chill squid in Thailand; Tzatziki in Greece and South America
  • Nestle KitKats: Japan wins the prize here with many, many flavors, including aloe vera, banana, beet, bubblegum, cheese, cucumber, ginger ale, miso, pepper, pumpkin, rose, soybean, wasabi, wine and yakimorokoshi (grilled corn)

I’m remembering a couple unique “American” snacks I’ve had: sea-weed flavored Pringles and Nestle’s red-bean and taro ice creams. How about you? What are your favorites—or not-so favorites? Or maybe it was something you saw but were afraid to try.

(“Kraft Shareholders Give ‘Mondelez’ Thumbs Up for New Snack Food Business,” The Washington Post, May 23, 2012; Candice Choi, “Crab’ Chips, Fruity Oreos? They’re Big Overseas,” Yahoo! News, May 6, 2012; Jill Harness, “8 American Snacks and Their Foreign Flavors,” Mental Floss, September 14, 2011)

[photo: “KitKat Candy from Japse,” by Dan Century, used under a Creative Commons license]


No McAloo Tiki for You!

Back in October, MainStreet came out with a list of 10 glocalized items—from American-based fast-food chains—that aren’t available in the US. Among the food that the author writes “we wish we could have” are McDonald’s McVeggie (India), Burger King’s Meat Monster (Japan), Pizza Hut’s Chunky Loaded Pizza (Malaysia), Wendy’s Rugby Combo (New Zealand), and McDonald’s Bubur Ayam McD (Malaysia)—”juicy chicken strips in mouth-watering porridge, garnished with spring onions, sliced ginger, fried shallots and diced chilies . . . just like mum’s cooking!”

(Matt Brownell, “10 Fast Food Items You Can’t Have,” MainStreet, October 11, 2011)

By the way, did you know that since late 2010 Burger King has been owned by a Brazilian investment firm? At the time of the purchase, for $3.26 billion, 3G Capital planned to increase BK’s international presence, including opening 500 new restaurants in Latin America by 2015.

(“Brazilian-Owned 3G Capital Buys Burger King,” Business Pundit, October 11, 2011)

[the photo is of a lady enjoying McDonald’s fried chicken in Thailand: “IMG_7529 by weenie dog, used under a Creative Commons license]