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Kraft foods is making Chinese Cookies. Really.

The maker of Oscar Meyer meats and Post cereals is concerned that its iconic Oreo cookie brand has had flat sales in China over the last five years. So the company did a little research.

First, they noted that most Chinese cookies aren’t nearly as sweet as Oreos. Also, they found that wafer sticks are a lot more common over there than sandwich cookies. So they reformatted the brand and gave out over 300 thousand samples. They’re hoping the new formula will catch on.

Gee, guys, couldn’t you have thought ahead on how Chinese food might taste a little different that US stuff? Once a brand is established, it’s awful hard to change its image. Just ask the folks at Wal-Mart how well they did selling upscale Ann Taylor clothes.

The larger issue is that globalization will require some reformulation. Even hallmark brands may have to get a makeover to work in a different culture? New Coke, anyone? Maybe: in Botswana.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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