Some mundane observations from a grocery store in the Azores

I have always enjoyed going to grocery stores while visiting other countries. It gets you out of the tourist district and gives you great sense of how the locals actually live. I love trying new snacks, seeing what types of food the locals eat, seeing what brands dominate, what they pay for it etc.

As I wandered the aisles of this particular store on Terceira Island in the Azores, Portugal, the first thing you are struck with is the foul stench of death. I mean fish. It’s everywhere. Observation #1, Azoreans love their fish.

At first I was disappointed that the major condiment brands represented were American, however a closer look found that none of these Heinz products are available in the US:

Curry Mango sauce actually sounds yummy, but I don’t know what American Burger sauce is… it looks like just mustard. Is it perhaps some weird ketchup/mustard hybrid? Burgers aren’t that complicated, What do Portuguese people think American burgers taste like??

And when the heck did Hellman’s start making Ketchup?

On a side note, I am troubled by a company that feels it necessary to describe their product as “real”. Does this mean that unless we have this qualification, we should just assume it is some sort of synthetic, genetically modified, made from petroleum substitute??

Finally, it must be said that I am not really a big fan of butter and it usually does not serve as my spread of choice, but I do have to say that this was some damn good butter:

Next was the cereal aisle… every guy who was at one point single in his life will understand the importance of this place. Also, anyone with kids. This is the main reason I was interested in checking this out. You know. For the kids.

I found the Rice Krispies interesting. I would have thought that consistent branding from a corporation as large and diverse as Kellogg’s would be would be guarded jealously. Or if differences in the brand are allowed, they would be for good reason – to appeal to a local market perhaps. Yet, looking at boxes from 3 different countries, the changes seem rather arbitrary.

Starting with the name itself, we see that Europe and North America get different versions of the “Rice Krispies” wording. Looking at the characters, all 3 seem like they were all drawn by different people – Canada’s is particularly amateurish. And why are they all wearing slightly different clothes? And hats? Do Canadians not eat their cereal with milk? These seem like pretty arbitrary differences for a corporation to have to maintain.

Continuing down the cereal aisle… wait a minute – is that Rogue One cereal?

How old is this box? This movie has been out for almost a year, has this been sitting around for that long? More importantly, where is The Last Jedi cereal?? I don’t know how long cereal normally sits around, but would think that they wouldn’t want to waste the shelf space for more than a couple of weeks if it wasn’t moving. Or maybe this cereal just tasted like crap.

Speaking of tasting like crap, I live in Texas and have never seen Tex-Mex Doritos. Is it possible that the rest of the world eats a different Dorito than me and what the rest of the world calls “Tex-Mex Doritos” are just called “Doritos” in here Texas?? My mind is officially blown!

Finally, these guys better hope that Dunkin Donuts doesn’t expand into Portugal (or maybe this is the reason they haven’t??)… seems the Trademark infringement police may have something to say about their logo

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