Sure, you’ve heard of Americanizing Asian foods — how else would we have the delicious California roll? But what about giving your favorite American snacks an Asian twist? Well, there are several items that you see in a stroll through the grocery store that you may not recognize after their cultural conversions. The Bulletin reports that Asians overseas are craving snack foods that are well-loved by Americans. Due to their increasingly on-the-go lifestyle that creates a need for quick, travel-easy snacks, Asians are buying up Oreos and potato chips in droves. So hold on to your meal tickets because even though you might think you know milk’s favorite cookie and all-American Lay’s, these bite sized favorites may not be so appealing in with their new “Asian-ized” twists, as our favorite at-home companies look for business abroad.
The Bulletin’s Candice Choi writes, “The challenge for snack makers is that people in other countries have different tastes. Consider the Oreo, which Kraft Foods Inc. introduced in China in 1996. Sales of the vanilla cream-filled chocolate cookie sandwich were respectable there, but the Chinese didn’t completely take to it.” So Kraft Foods decided to change the Oreo up a bit, giving it an Asian infusion of culture to tweak the taste.
Kraft worked with scientists to determine the cookies basic foundational balance of crunch, sweetness and texture. “Executives learned through research that the Chinese don’t like their treats as big or as sweet as Americans do,” Choi writes. “So the company rejiggered the recipe to create a cookie that was a tad smaller and a touch less sweet.” The company now sells other Oreos that replace American cream-filling with flavors like raspberry, blueberry, mango and orange inside the new wafer. You might even see green tea flavored cookies in a grocery overseas. “After noticing sales of Oreos were lagging in China during the summer, Kraft added a green tea ice cream flavor,” she continues. “The cookie combined a popular local flavor with the cooling imagery of ice cream.”
The results? According to Choi, Kraft’s cookie presence continues to grow around 60 percent annually. Nothing to take likely in market with one of the largest populations and consumers who find themselves gaining different tastes.
Are you sold on “Asian-ized” American Oreos? Or are you sticking to the classic? After all, it’s milk’s favorite, anyway.
Photo: Kraft Foods China website