Saturday, April 27, 2013

American products in other countries/places: Berlin, Germany

Store mentioned: Kaufhaus des Westens

When I travel, I'm always curious to see if stores carry American brands of food. I like to see what stores in other countries consider "American," and by extension, what they might consider "typical" food to sell. It's always fun to experience the sticker shock, too! Often the foods are so much more expensive than they would be in the States. Of course, it could be a bit expensive to import foods, but I think items are so expensive because of the novelty factor, too.

Our first stop is Berlin. I went shopping at KaDeWe (ka-day-vay), which is a huge department store in Berlin. I guess I could liken it to Harrod's in London (though it's not quite as posh, but is still quite nice). KaDeWe is short for Kaufhaus des Westens, which means "Department Store of the West." It's a store that opened in 1907 and has always showcased products from across the world.

I visited KaDeWe in April 2011. I made a beeline for the international foods section because of course I wanted to see the American food offerings and have my mind boggled by the prices. Below is what I found:

Ahh, Campbell's condensed soup: complete with high fructose corn syrup, just add water. Andy Warhol would approve of the soup, but not the price: almost 3 euros per can. In the US, it usually sells for between about 70 cents to $1 per can.

Ah, pop-tarts. Not a particularly healthful breakfast, but a fast one. Not a cheap one here, at €5.98, but hey, it was reduced from €8.98! They are about $2.79 in the US.

Ahh, Libby's pumpkin, a staple in American households during Thanksgiving for the ubiquitous pumpkin pie. Such an innocent-looking product gave me the biggest sticker shock: it was €9.98! It's usually about $3 in the US but can be purchased for less during Thanksgiving time.
I'm just very thankful that I can buy American products in the Commissary. If had to pay the prices listed above, I'd just do without. Of course, that wouldn't be the end of the world, either, but I do love me some root beer (which was being sold at KaDeWe for about $3 a can!) so I'd be sad about not being able to buy that at a reasonable price.

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