As an ex-pat, I read a lot of ex-pat literature, websites, blogs and magazines. One of my favorite ex-pat articles came from the Vancouver Sun, in November of 2012 (http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/11/18/pregnant-or-just-an-expat/). It’s a blog from an ex-pat woman living in Germany, who writes about things in Germany and how they are different from her native Canada. One of the things she wrote really got to me recently:
As I was reading it, I realized that I, too, had a craving for Froot Loops. I would sometimes buy them when I lived in China when I was homesick, but they were very expensive in the ex-pat supermarket that would import them from the United States. Every so often, I would splurge and allow myself those fruity little O’s. Usually the entire box would be gone in 2 days!
So, as I was reading this article, I began to crave Froot Loops. I had seen them in a few of the grocery stores here in Singapore, so I knew they were readily available. So, I went out to Fair Price and bought a box of Froot Loops. The first thing I noticed was that the box was different. It had the 4 main languages of Singapore on it. “Cool,” I thought, “Kellogg’s makes them specifically for Singapore.” It also said “natural colors and flavors” and “different look, same great taste.” These are often warning signs that it’s NOT the same great taste and they’re trying to sell an inferior product under a superior brand name. I bought it anyway….how different can it be?
The Froot Loops outside of the United States are not as sweet, they also don’t have any artificial flavors or colors. In fact, they don’t have as many, or as bright, colors as those in the US (red and blue are missing). They are more “light” and “airy” than American Froot Loops as well, and they absorb the milk more quickly. The major thing is the taste. I expect my Froot Loops to pop! I want that fruit taste to fill my mouth and I want the hard O’s to become jagged on my tongue and scrape my upper palate! These are the Froot Loops I want! I have never come in contact with these “non-American” Froot Loops before because I lived in countries where they didn’t sell Froot Loops, except in ex-pat stores, where they were brought in from the US. In Spain, I bought them from Taste of America, in Pozuelo near my school. In China, I bought them from Summit, in Suzhou. Both stores imported them directly from the US, so they got the delicious US product. Apparently, Kellogg’s changes their formula for the foreign markets. Singapore, and apparently Germany, get a different product than the US does. In my opinion, they get a more healthy, yet inferior, product.
I know the health benefits of the “foreign” Froot Loops are ten times that of the “American” Froot Loops, but it’s not the same. The explanation for the differences can be found here: http://h-morningstar.com/froot-loops-us-vs-eu/. I don’t think I’ll be buying anymore Fruit Loops in Singapore. I’ll wait until I go back to the States so I can have my artificially flavored and colored, bright, sugary, fruity O’s!