Have you ever ate or drank a branded product in one country and found it to have a different taste than it does elsewhere?
It’s not uncommon for identically-branded food products in different countries to be made with different ingredients, based on local markets and availability.
In the US, for example, Coca-Cola is made with high fructose corn syrup, while in Mexico it is made with cane sugar. So-called “Mexican Coke” has become so popular you can purchase it in many US grocery stores.
The University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague has just released a new study that compares 24 pairs of branded food products between the Czech Republic and Germany, and the results are revealing.
Similar to Coke in the US, Czech Pepsi is made with high fructose corn syrup, while in Germany it is made with sugar. Also, the brand’s ice tea label uses only sugar in Germany, while it contains a combination of sweeteners including corn syrup in the Czech Republic.
The same can be said of Sprite, which is manufactured by Coca-Cola. In Germany, the beverage is made with sugar, while the Czech version uses HFCS.
Rama margarine in the Czech Republic has 60% fat, while in Germany it has 70%.
The Czech version of Jacobs coffee had a third more caffeine.
Iglo Fish Fingers have about 7% less meat in the Czech Republic.
One brand of luncheon meat was made using pork in Germany, while the Czech version contained mechanically separated poultry meat.
Activia strawberry yogurt contains less fat than its German counterpart, and the tested difference is wider than the packaging indicates. It also uses different additives for coloring.
The study compared 24 pairs of products between the two countries, and found eight of them to have differences.
In some cases, food manufacturers point to consumer preferences in the different markets.
Most consumers, however, are probably unaware of any differences in identical international brands.