Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Random Picture #151

When I was in Japan, I saw plenty of knock-off products which aped American brands. In particular, it seemed for awhile there that every new coffee shop had a round, green and white logo which was working overtime to remind us of the one with the mermaid that sells coffee that aficionados claim tastes burnt and Philistines like me actually enjoy. Actually, it's pretty rare that I go to a Starbucks at all, but I do buy bags of their espresso roast at Costco and make it at home. I guess I just like "burnt".

At any rate, the Japanese did their share of knocking, but they also get knocked off a lot as the picture above demonstrates. There's a tiny little Asian market about a half hour walk from where I'm currently residing and they had this packet of cookies on the shelf. It's clearly a rip-off of Koala's March by Lotte. I've reloaded the picture I used in a recent review to allow for a comparison. Unlike Meiji's "Hello Panda," they aren't even bothering to hide the fact that they're stealing. The graphic on the box is nearly identical, as are the cookie shapes. They can steal the general look, but the graphics on the cookies are decidedly low rent and give away the fact that these are cheaply made. Still, I'd like to pick some up some day and complete a comparison of the three types (Koala's March, Hello Panda, and Golden Bear). I'm betting that Koala's March would win, but you never know when the long shot will come from behind and take the trophy. Also, with a company name like "Ego" (which almost certainly doesn't refer to the English word, but let me pretend), how can you not be a winner... at least in your own mind.


SusieTron FiveThousand said...

I have tried all three and enjoy Hello Panda the best. I might be biased because I do enjoy the flavor of Meiji chocolate.

Ace Toh said...

Hi there..Ego is a singapore brand. We get a lot of Ego product here in singapore ad malaysia...

Personally, they do wafer roll, swiss roll and biscuit snacks, but i dun really like them as had bad experience with them (the bad packaging result in it losing it crispness).


Ace Toh said...

Hi there, Ego is a singapore brand that deal mainly in swiss roll, biscuits, cookies and wafer sticks..

Generally can find in singapore and malaysia..but i dun like them. The bad experience with them is their lousy packaging cause the content to lose it crispness easily..

The hokkaido bun below also a common sight at the local convince store (7-11), i think it manufactured locally in singapore as well?


Emily Jones said...

When I was a kid in the mid-1990's, there was an American rip-off of these as well, called Koala Yummies. [: Not sure who manufactured them, or if they're still in production or not.

Orchid64 said...

Emily: I thought "Hello Panda" was an American rip-off, until I saw it way made by a Japanese company.

I had never heard of Koala Yummies, but I looked them up and it turns out they were made by Lotte and a repackaging of Koala's March! They were the same product (which was indicated strongly by the fact that the box shape and cookie appearance were the same) repackaged for the American market! Very interesting stuff for the likes of me. ;-)

Thanks for your comment!