Have you noticed how some products are called one name in the US, but they're known by some other name in another part of the world? Or how about seeing other cool varieties of a particular US product overseas? Why the discrepancies?
Global trade these days has already allowed countries to import and export various items in any category. Thanks to trade liberalization policies, the exchange of goods has never been more dynamic than today. Take food items, for instance. All over the world, we can now taste proudly locally made products from all over the world. So it's not uncommon now to see milk from New Zealand, cereals from South America, salt from the Himalayas and other uniquely foreign-made food items in your local grocery store or supermarket.
The same is true with any other kind of fast-moving consumer goods or FMCGs. Personal care products like toiletries and make-up have also been sold globally. We can already see that with consumer electronic products and other luxury items.
So how come there are still some items that are not readily available in the US? Given that it's a huge market, have you wondered why certain foreign-made items or food stuff are not yet in the US? We're wondering about that, too!
So here's a sample of those kinds of products that we hopefully could also see in the US markets, soon. Take this quiz and test your knowledge -- and whet your appetite!
The bidet is a plumbing phenomenon in many parts of the world where people like washing their genitalia after doing the number 1 or 2. It's like a small spigot that spouts water aimed directly at the crucial parts, when you're sitting on the toilet throne. Get it?
Anyone who passes by Japan makes it a point to buy these different flavors of the typical Kit Kat. It comes in green tea there! The possibilities are endless!
In a typical McDonald's, KFC, Wendy's and other international fast food franchise you can think of, be sure that there's a dish there accompanied by rice. Rice meals in fast food are popular all over the Asian markets.
The Spanish breath freshener called Smints is also made by the company which made the Chupa Chups lollipops. Have you tried them?
It's no secret that tropical regions produce the sweetest kind of mangoes on this planet. Head over to Asia for that!
The simple American version of Oreo is not that simple in some parts of the world. There's even a three-deck version somewhere in Europe!
If you don't put authentic cheese curds atop the french fries in a poutine dish, Canadians will know it! Be good with the brown gravy, too!
This Sony Aibo is a robot dog, obviously, available in Japan. It's equipped with artificial intelligence ... so it might be a bit creepy for some.
Coca-Cola with lemon is a unique product of the Coca-Cola company not available in the US market. However, it can be found in different countries in Asia, South America, Africa and even in Australia. Go figure...
Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs with toys inside of them are banned in the US, and there's even a law against it. However, a similar product called Kinder Joy is already available, made by the same Italian maker. Go figure.
Some countries in Europe and Asia already have these so-called bullet trains. They're super high-speed travel!
Grills on windows of many Asian houses are common to see. The open lawn or no fence-no gate concept is not acceptable in this region, in general.
Americans like their stove-top kettle, but the rest of the high-voltage world relies on electric kettles for boiling water needs. It's also faster to boil water in this manner.
British and Spanish bread manufacturers have special contraptions that produce crustless bread. Some people like it that way...
Churros are fried pastry-dough thingies, usually sprinkled with sugar or sugar powder, and dipped in thick chocolate sauce. It's popular in Spain, Portugal, and basically any country that these two former colonizers colonized such as Peru, Colombia, Philippines and others.
In some parts of the world, doorknobs are not used because their round shape is not really an ideal shape for holding. A door handle or a lever type is often in its place, which is a common doorknob option outside the US.
You can find this dual-flush toilet system all over Australia and New Zealand. The two buttons each have a different amount of water pressure used when pushed. Very green living!
The Swedish have a unique way of packaging food. They apparently put them in tubes! Astronauts might like that ...
This gooey Cadbury Creme Egg product is made by the British company that had some issues on the American market, although it has some passionate fans here. But this egg thing is readily available outside the country.
Nestlé Coffee Crisp candy bar is actually made of wafers with some coffee flavorings inside it. Canadian expats had to create a petition to have this product exported to the US. Way to go!
Game meat is a typical option for supermarket shoppers in parts of the world where hunting game is fairly common. It's not "exoticized."
The British-made Jaffa cakes are actually small rounded cake material but of a biscuit shape and size. It's really yummy.
In France, it's easier to spot scented sugar for sale in shops. They have vanilla scented ones to boot!
Clothes dryer rack contraptions are popularly used in many countries that don't prefer the washing machine-dryer option. It might be slower to dry clothes this way, but it's also cost efficient, and lessens carbon footprints.
In Europe and many other regions, be careful when crossing the street. Right-hand drive cars look at pedestrians in a different way, unlike in the left-hand drive default of the US.
A small pail full of water, with a small dipper floating on it, is found in many African and Asian toilets. It's for washing the body parts involved in doing the number 1 or 2.
Love hotels are small budget-type of accommodation that can be used for short-time sexual activities. The concept also exists in various parts of South America and Asia, where the rooms are even jazzed up for fantasy play. A romp in The Matrix room or the Star Trek room, anyone?
Norway has a champagne soda that comes in a can. Hey, who said partying with the bubblies should be so high-end?
Magnum is an ice cream treat line made in Europe. While the brand has already reached the US, this particular chocolate brownie has already taken off in other parts of the world first.
Australia and South Africa have been enjoying this Cadbury Flake from the UK. The choco bar comes in thinly folded shapes, kinda weird.
A sausage roll is a made up of a sausage of some kind, wrapped with bread pastry around it but leaving the ends open so as to see the ends of the sausage peeking out. This has been around in Europe for a long time, and the world is slowly catching up to this foodie phenom.
The Middle East, South Africa, Australia and European markets love their Nestle Smarties candies. It's made in the UK.
Japanese toilet seats seem like something that's so sci-fi. Yep, some have temperature controls!
The durian is one heck of a smelly fruit! That's why even if Southeast Asians love eating it (with Coke, apparently), it's prohibited to bring it officially as hand carry items on airplanes, inside taxis, and hotel rooms. It's smelly like hell, but it's also yummy, go figure.
When Burger King tried to get their brand in Australia, that name was unfortunately already taken. So the guy who got the franchise named it after him, and called their version Hungry Jack's. Smart, mate!
Lay's ketchup chips are apparently a hit in Canada. Let's see if it crosses over other parts of their border...
The Olay brand of Procter and Gamble are known by different names in various parts of the world. The Olaz kind is still the name used in Germany, even if it's already Olay in the US.
These barbecued treats grilled on the sidewalks make up the general concept of street food, especially in Asia. You can grill anything in this part of the world and barbecue them on sticks, like octopus in Hong Kong, chicken blood in the Philippines, tornado potato in South Korea, or mini-sausages in Thailand -- the skewered options are endless!
Technically speaking, the British Mars choco maker has a Milky Way bar, but it's parallel to the Three Musketeers in the US. Meanwhile, the US Milky Way bar is parallel to the Mars bar in the UK. Confusing sweets!
The ingenious butter grater indeed grates butter like it would with cheese. The Japanese sure know what's lacking in our kitchens!