From 'Cool American Doritos' to 'Meister Proper,' here's what 10 US brands are called around the world

Bork/ullstein bild via Getty ImagesNeed to clean your bathtub in Germany? Meister Proper is here to help.
  • Brands sometimes operate under different names outside of the United States.
  • Occasionally, a brand will tweak its name to avoid confusion in a new market, like the UK’s TK Maxx.
  • Other times, a company will licence its brand out to a major franchisee that opts to run things a bit differently, like Hungry Jack’s in Australia.
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Some brands are truly global.

Take McDonald’s, for instance. There’s usually little difference between travelling down the road to your nearest restaurant and stopping at a different golden arches halfway around the globe, aside from a few menu tweaks.

It’s widely seen as an international brand in an increasingly globalized world. There’s even a Big Mac Index that delves into the market exchange rates between different currencies.

Read more: Millennials, baby boomers, Gen X, and Gen Z share their most beloved brands

Not all brands and companies are so globally static, however. Some operate identical businesses with names that have been tweaked slightly, to avoid confusion or bridge a cultural gap.

Other times, brands in certain parts of the world begin to operate quite differently from their US counterparts.

Here’s a look at some famous brands that operate under different names outside of the US:


Ranch dressing isn’t a huge thing outside the United States. So it’s no surprise that those famous orange chips packaged as Cool Ranch Doritos in the US are sold as Cool American Doritos in Europe.

Source: Thrillist, New York Magazine


TJ Maxx goes by TK Maxx in the UK because the company wanted to avoid confusion with department store chain TJ Hughes.

Shutterstock/cornfield

Source: Business Insider


When it comes to the famous disc-shaped candies, the name “Smarties” never took off in Canada thanks to the existence of a Nestlé candy with the same name. Up north, these pastel-coloured sweets are known as Rockets.

Source: CBC


Mr. Clean has a number of international aliases. Our favourite bald mascot goes by Meister Proper in Germany, Monsieur Propre in France and Belgium, Don Limpio in Spain, and Maestro Limpio in Latin America.

Schöning/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Source: High Names


KFC’s famous initials get a major rebrand in the francophone province that is Quebec, Canada. Up there, Kentucky Fried Chicken becomes Poulet Frit Kentucky: PFK for short.

Source: CBC


Lenor isn’t Edgar Allan Poe’s tragic muse in Europe. There, it’s a brand of detergent that goes by the name Downy in the United States.

Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Source: Marketing Week, Grocery.com


Today, Hungry Jack’s is Burger King’s wholly owned master franchisee in Australia. But, while this burger chain offers up a few staples like the Whopper, it’s also got a few regional options like the Storm Cadbury Flake shake.

JOKER/Alexander Stein/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Source: Hungry Jack’s, Hungry Jack’s


Axe’s US branding got the ax in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and China, according to the company’s website. In those nations, the body spray is known as Lynx.

Source: Unilever


Americans with a penchant for snacking on Dannon yogurt might be surprised to learn that the dairy treat is known as Danone just about everywhere else on the planet. According to the Washington Post, Daniel Carasso, the Barcelona-raised son of yogurt pioneer Isaac Carasso, billed the yogurt differently in the US because a marketing expert told him it’d have a “better ring to American ears.”

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Source: The Washington Post


It might sound a bit like a continent from “Game of Thrones,” but Esso is actually the brand that Exxon operates under just about everywhere aside from the United States.

Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

Source: Esso

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