7 International Names for American Products

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While available around the world, American products aren't always called by their red-white-and-blue names. Companies have to adapt to various languages and cultures, and what works stateside doesn't always translate. Here are seven American goods with unfamiliar international names.

1. Hungry Jack's (Burger King in Australia)

In 1971, Jack Cowin bought the Australian franchise for Burger King from Pillsbury Company (which owned the chain at the time). But because the name was already registered, he used the name Hungry Jack—originally an American pancake mix—instead. In 1999, Burger King began opening restaurants under its own name in Australia, but they combined with Hungry Jack's in 2003.

2. Doritos Cool American (Doritos Cool Ranch in Europe)

One of the most popular Doritos flavors in the United States is Cool Ranch. However, in many parts of Europe, the flavor is known as "Cool American" because Europeans often call Ranch sauce "American" sauce. Very cool, indeed.

3. Coca-Cola Light (Diet Coke in Europe)

Diet Coke is called "Coca-Cola Light" throughout Europe. The soft drink is exactly the same as its American counterpart, but the word “light” is associated more with lower-calorie items in Europe than "diet."

4. T.K. Maxx (T.J. Maxx in Ireland)

The American department store T.J. Maxx is known as "T.K. Maxx" in Ireland and throughout the United Kingdom. Its parent company, TJX Companies, re-named it so Irish and British customers wouldn't confuse the store with the established retailer T.J. Hughes, which is quite popular in the UK.

5. Kraft Dinner (Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in Canada)

In Canada, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is known as "Kraft Dinner" or simply "KD." Kraft introduced the product as Kraft Dinner in both Canada and the United States in 1937. However, in the late '50s, Kraft added the words "macaroni & cheese" to its packaging of Kraft Dinner when the term gained more prominence. It wasn't until the '70s that Kraft Canada started using bilingual labeling (French and English) on all of its packaging. As a result, Canadian Kraft products included the words "Kraft Dinner" in a bigger and bolder font on one side of the box with "Díner Kraft" on the other side. The words "macaroni & cheese" were in a smaller font, so Canadians adopted it as merely "Kraft Dinner."

6. Meister Proper (Mr. Clean in Germany)

Procter & Gamble’s Mr. Clean is a global product, so its name was translated into various languages, including "Maestro Limpio" in Mexico, "Monsieur Propre" in France, and "Meister Proper" in Germany. It’s the same product with the sailor mascot as it is in the United States.

7. Walkers Potato Crisps (Lay's Potato Chips in the UK)

Founded in 1948, Walkers quickly became the United Kingdom’s leading potato crisps snack food company. However, Pepsi acquired Walkers and re-branded it with the Lay’s logo and products in 1989. The snack food is exactly the same, but PepsiCo decided to keep the Walkers name to ensure customer brand loyalty in the United Kingdom. Walkers also has more exotic flavors than its American counterpart, including American Cheeseburger, Lamb & Mint, and South African Sweet Chutney.

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August 13, 2014 - 11:00am
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