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No Thongs Allowed

It always strikes me as amazing how a product or brand can be so highly successful in one market but  fail to impact in a neighbouring country, even where the resident populations are of a similar ethnic, social, political and religious background.

Look at Glaceau vitamin water: a massive success in the United States but only recently making a cameo appearance in Canada.

Okay, perhaps that’s not fair.

Glaceau has an established and highly successful historic track record in the US but was only launched north of the border in 2008 after Coca-Cola took ownership.

So let’s take a more traditional item, like fruit powders. You know what a mean, that stuff that often comes in sachets and which school kids delight in poking their sticky fingers in or pouring down their throat straight from the packet rather than mixing with water. A bit like coloured sherbet without the fizz. 

Still not sure?  If you don’t know what I mean then ask your mum or dad. Fruit powders were a tuck shop favourite back in their day and continue to bring refreshment to a welcoming market audience in various countries across they globe.

They still enjoy a thriving existence in New Zealand, for example, but barely see the light of day just across the Tasman and never were of any major size there. Yet at the same time the per capita consumption of squashes in Australia (or cordials to give them their local name tag) is ten times that of New Zealand. And it’s not just the product that is at odds, sometimes it’s the packaging. Why, for example, is 70% of the Australian RTD market (FABs or alcopops to the European reader) served in ring pull cans whilst it’s the single serve glass bottle that hold sway in New Zealand. How come PET has established a presence in the UK beer and cider market but is barely visible in Australia? Perhaps this state of affairs can be put down to national rivalry or perhaps its just down to local  idiosyncrasies. After all no Aussie Sheila would bat an eyelid at a pub sign that blatantly banned thongs whilst a British woman would be outraged.

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