One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new country is to visit its grocery stores. It’s the furthest thing from a majestic tourist site, yet I love going because I feel like I’m really getting a taste of the local culture. I love seeing what kinds of cookies, snacks, and packaged foods they eat. It’s also fascinating to see the local produce, especially if it’s very different from what I can get where I live. When I lived in Japan for a summer, I would spend countless hours perusing the aisles of the supermarket. I was often tickled at how things were adapted to fit the local culture.
One thing that makes browsing Chinese supermarkets especially fun is the added dimension of the English words on the packaging. It could be a funny brand name, or just a translation that went awry. Sometimes you wonder, “how in the WORLD did they come up with this one?”
Bryan and I had a field day with our cameras this one afternoon while we were shopping for some drinking water at a local market. Check out some of our favorites.
Can you believe it? Lays chips with braised pork belly and mustard greens flavor (mei gan kou rou). The Stax with Kiwi is kind of weird too, because it’s still salty!
Pringles also had their fair share of interesting flavors. Aromatic crispy chicken or seaweed anyone?
Product names that never would have made it past the marketing department in the US
Read the fine print.
Is old aged soybean actually older? Or is it for older people?
Mmm . . . red blood cells anyone?
One all-beef patty special sauce lettuce cheese tomatoes on a Scallion Pancake Bun!
Likelihood of Confusion
Under US trademark law, there is this standard called the “likelihood of confusion” standard. Essentially, in order to prove trademark infringement, you have to demonstrate that there is a likelihood of confusion between the infringing mark and your own trademark.
And finally, some translated signs in Shanghai.
Hope you enjoyed our fun little series. Up next – Beijing!
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