Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alternate realities

To me, a principal joy of living in a new place is the differences in graphics. Particularly on very familiar brands.
Left: USA version, right: Canada version.
Coca-Cola is such an international powerhouse, I would have thought the United States and Canadian versions of its cans would be the same. And the 12 ounce (355 mL) cans are the same. But the 7.5 ounce (222 mL) mini-cans are a little different. As much as I love the original returnable glass Coke bottle, I find the constant picturing of it on paper cups, aluminum cans and plastic bottles to be . . . tiring and sad. I understand that it's part of their heritage, but since they are never going to go back to returnable bottles, I wish they would stop rubbing it in my face. Also note the calories label on both cans: United States 90 calories. Canada 100 calories. Perhaps calories are calculated differently in the two countries.

Top: USA version, bottom: Canada version.
When I saw the Canadian Kit Kat logo something resonated. Is it the Gill Sans-like font? Probably not. But the red letters on a white background harken back to the original logo. The Canadian one doesn't look as modern as the United States version, but that's okay.

Top: USA version, bottom: Canada version.
The United States and Canada versions really are the same elements -- just tweaked differently on the different packages. I guess the Canada one adds the large script "Holiday Mix," But that't the only major difference. Again there's the variation in the calories notice on the bags. This time the U.S. comes out on the high side. United States: 210 per serving. Canada: 190 per serving.

Update: Thank you, Mark Simonson, for coming up with the Alternate Reality name for an U.S. citizen's experiences in Canada. Really sums it up.

Friday, February 22, 2013


3.5 by 5.5 inch postcard.
Thank you to my friend Doug, who sent me this postcard -- the caption on the back reads:

The chocolate product that sounds as good as it tastes is Hershey-ets, little pieces of candy coated milk chocolate which greet you on the tour at Hershey's Chocolate World, Hershey Foods Corporation's visitor center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Plus these words:

Mike Roberts
Berkeley 94710