Posted by: Sarah | September 30, 2012

Seen It Before? Copy Cat Products In Norway


As I’ve been out and about shopping in Norway I’ve noticed a few copy cat products popping up in the shops over here – you know, the sort where you really recognise the packaging but the brand name is changed?  Well, here are my observations but I suspect one of them is going to generate some discussion from my Norwegian readers :-)

Mars Vs Japp:  This has to be the most obvious copy cat product of all in Norway.  The product is the same.  The wrapping is the same.  Even the logo looks similar.  I’m really not sure how Freia get away with it :-)

 

Fanta Vs Solo:  I’ve had several Norwegian friends reject the idea that Solo is anything like Fanta.  You have to admit…it looks pretty similar.  To me, it tastes pretty similar too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

M&Ms Vs Freia M:  This has to be another obvious ‘knock off’ brand by Freia – there are so many chocolate copy cat brands!  They even call this “M” similar to the original “M&M’s”

 

 

 

 

 

Starbucks Coffee Vs Wayne’s Coffee:  I don’t think these two are related but I did at first.  Starbucks has never been able to penetrate the Norwegian coffee market until recently when the opened their first outlet at Oslo Airport.  Wayne’s Coffee is so similar – the logo, the interior and even the coffee!  I can’t help but think that Starbucks had some investment in Waynes…no?

 

 

 

 

Walls Cornetto Vs Diplom-Is Krone Is:  Perhaps Diplom-Is is a part of the Walls brand but they have many ice creams that look pretty similar to some international favourites…including the Cornetto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Vs Freia Sjokolade Appelsin:  One of Eliot’s favourites – the chocolate orange.  Good old Freia are at it again with their version (but not quite the same as the original) chocolate orange!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kit Kat Vs Kvikk Lunsj:  This is probably the most controversial comparison of all.  The Norwegians are highly protective of their Kvikk Lunsj bar.  It’s nostalgic.  It’s part of history.  Don’t mess with the Kvikk Lunsj – but you have to admit…it does look very similar to Kit Kat?

 

 

 

 

 

Strepsils Vs Repsils:  My final comparison.  I believe these are made by the same company it’s just that the ones in Norway (Repsils) probably won’t do you any good – they’re merely fruit pastels designed to look like they’ll help with a sore throat but have no active ingredients to actually do anything.  My advice – stock up when you’re visiting elsewhere in Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have I missed any?  Perhaps you’ve noticed some brands in Norway look similar to international brands – let me know and I’ll add them to the list!s

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Responses

  1. Ooh, shame on you! I’m sure you’re going to get bombarded with responses over Kvikk Lunsj and Solo. I have to say, in defense of those products, Solo tastes far far nicer than Fanta and Kvikk Lunsj has a very different taste to Kit Kat, though I would have to rate Kit Kat the better of those two.

    • Ha ha – I know. I’m expecting Kvikk Lunsj to get a response. I’m with you on the Kit Kat. Much nicer.

  2. I must have been blind, I haven’t even noticed those similarities before… :) I have to say, in my native Finland we also have Wayne’s Coffee, not sure what nationality the brand is? Maybe that IS Starbuck’s way of getting into the European market, while trying to bring the S-brand in one airport at a time (there’s also one now at the Helsinki airport)… ;)

    • How strange that Starbucks is going after the airport market first – I guess they’re trying to test the market and capture “international” drinkers first to ensure they’re making money. Apparently they’re opening one in Oslo soon – hurrah!

  3. Are you sure the Norwegian is the copycats for all of these? The Krone-is was lauched back in 1953 :p

    Both Kit-Kat and Kvikk Lunsj are quite old, launched in 1935 and 1937. So perhaps someone travel the long way from America after it came on the market and did a similar version here? Who knows :P

    I remember the Daim was launched in UK as Dime some years ago, but believe it’s called Daim now. So maybe some of these products are produced on license from the States and they changed the name in Norway to fit the Norwegian market?

    Funny fact: Surge (the soda) was renamed Urge when it was launched in Norway and is the only country in the world which still sell this soda. I the US they start producing Vault after protests from customers who wanted there Surge back, but it’s not the same soda apparently.

    • Hi there – apparently Kit Kat was there first (so one of my friends tell me). As for Daim – I remember when they came out in the UK and everyone went made for them. I have to say that I’m partial to a piece of Daim cake in IKEA now and then. What a great use of the Daim bar! Didn’t know about Urge soda. Might have to try that :-)

  4. About Urge, some corrections:
    It was actually Coca Cola Norway that made the soda, and it was renamed Surge for the American market, not the other way around :p

  5. Great comparison! But the taste of Kvikk Lunsj is much better and since I’m here, I’m addicted to Solo :)

    • Hi there – I think I need to try Solo again. I’ve had more of a backlash against that comparison than I have of Kvikk Kunsj which surprised me somewhat :-)

  6. This is so funny. I quickly looked through the images before I read the text, and when I saw the kitkat and kvikklunsj, I turned to my husband and said that kvikklunsj is faaaar superior to the kitkat! Then I read the text, and realized just how Norwegian I am. But I still stand by it, kitkat doesn’t do it for me! And I actually didn’t know that repsils doesn’t contain any active ingredients, though it doesn’t surprise me because if it did you’d probably have to get a prescription for it!

    • You’re right Thea – if you need anything to make you feel better (even for a cold) you need to go to the Doctor, pay 150KR and get a prescription. I load up on Lemsip, Nurofen and Beechams Cold & Flu when back in the UK to avoid this hassle. I couldn’t even buy Vicks vapour rub in Norway – had to go to Sweden! Unbelievable. On the Kvikk Lunsj – I seem to be outnumbered here. Most folks prefer that to Kit Kat. Hmmmm.

      • Vicks vapour rub is available behind the till at the innvanderer butikk next to the Brugata tram stop in Oslo

      • Thanks for the tip!

  7. I’m not a big Fanta fan, but I do like Solo. As for KitKat: I was ecstatic when I moved to England and found KitKat in the shops. Not that I had ever had it before, but it looked so similar to Kvikk Lunsj – which they didn’t sell in England. I have to admit I was disappointed. I really don’t like KitKat, and I love Kvikk Lunsj; which sounds silly, as they are very similar.

    …I think it might be the taste of the chocolate? The chocolate coating on Kvikk Lunsj is a bit more creamy maybe? And KitKat is a bit sweeter?

    Either way – interesting read. I strangely and IGNORANTLY never noticed the similaries between Japp and Mars – until now, of course :P

    • Hi Elin – see if you spot some copy cat products that I need to add to the list. I think perhaps I need to do more “testing” on both Kit Kat and Kvikk Lunsj to figure out the taste differences. I think I should eat at least 10 bars of each should be a good sample for me to start with :-)

  8. I agree for many of those cases but definitively not Solo, that orange soda is yellowish isn’t exactly a huge innovation, but more importantly, Fanta was launched in 1940, Solo in 1934 (based on a Spanish recipe according to wikipedia)

  9. Looks like Japp IS MARS…and that they(Freia) posess a free license (for Norway) granted by Forest Mars, and started production back in 1949:Gratis for alltidAnnen verdenskrig betydde en total sanering av Freias sjokoladeproduksjon, og etter 1945 tok det noe tid å få produksjonen i gang igjen. Marabou i Sverige hadde imidlertid vokst og fått nye produkter gjennom sin gode kontakt med det engelske Mars Confections Ltd. De hadde blant annet fått enerett på produksjon av Mars-bar i Sverige. Også på Freia syntes man at dette var et interessant produkt, og det ble opprettet kontakt med Forest Mars som hadde vært soldat under hele krigen. På forespørsel om produksjon på Freia, svarte han generøst: “Norway that little brave nation, can have it free and forever!” og slik ble det. Sommeren 1949 startet Freia produksjon av Japp.

  10. They shoul try to copy me too !

  11. Hey brilliant, I came upon this site because I googled “japp copy of mars bar” (not in quotes). Japp is such an obvious knock-off off Mars. I don’t know how they got away with it either.
    I think there’s room for two orange sodas, though, and Solo does really taste different than Fanta.
    Kvikklunsj and KitKat don’t really look alike, even if they have waffle chocolate (or whatever it’s called). Surely there are loads more like that.
    I’ve often wondered about Strepsils vs. Repsils, but what exactly to Strepsils contain that’s supposed to help your throat? As far as I’m concerned they’re both sugar candy pretending to have some actual effect. But I don’t get the name change, because neither of them mean anything in particular in Norwegian.

    • Hi there – I think Strepsils contain a small amount of paracetamol (a bit like Lemsips) so they actually have some pain relief ingredient whereas you’re right, Repsils are just candy in a package that makes you feel like you’re getting better :-)

  12. Krone-is is older than Cornetto, and as someone else mentioned, Solo is older than Fanta. And Solo contains twice as much actual orange juice, so it tastes more fruity and less synthetic. :)

    It’s no wonder you’re getting more reactions to the Kvikk Lunsj and the Solo than the other products – they’re seen as very traditional and very Norwegian. Kvikk Lunsj is our “hiking” chocolate and brings forth images of the Norwegian mountains (this is very well illustrated at kvikklunsj.no, which has more to do with hiking than with chocolate). And Solo, too, has a similar thing going on. Ask a Norwegian what they associate with Kvikk Lunsj and Solo, and it’s likely that they will think of hiking or skiing in snow-covered mountains during Easter… and vice versa.

    Easter/hiking traditions aside, any Norwegian worth their salt, or chocolate, will be able to tell the difference between Kvikk Lunsj and Kit Kat in a blind test. And Kvikk Lunsj is far better. ;) It’s coated with that typical Norwegian milk chocolate that melts on your tongue and turns creamy rather than the type of chocolate that feels like it’s been in the fridge because it’s just hard and tasteless.

    (You’re right, we Norwegians are highly protective of our Kvikk Lunsj. It’s a matter of national pride. ;))

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I just love the passion (and protection) Norwegians have over their brands. I really admire it. I also love your explanation about Kvikk Lunsj – you’re so right about the packaging. I guess I’m back on Kit Kats now :-)

  13. Actually Japp has also been produced by Marabou in Sweden since 1947, licensed I guess, but with a slightly different recipe until around 2000 – before it used to be less sweet, the filling was a more compact chocolate meringue and the caramel not as soft as in Mars.

    In my opinion the old Japp was much superior to Mars/the new Japp but the latters ingredients are probably cheaper (?).

    According to Wiki Mars was first produced i UK in 1932 and the european version differ from the one in the US.

    • Thanks for your comment Fredrik and sorry for the delay. I have to say that I prefer Japp. :-)

  14. I wouldn’t Call most of these “copycats” really, because in the international market today much is a result of franchising and mega-brands choosing to market the same recipe differeltny in differet markets.

    Solo was “inventet”, at least marketed, 6-7 years before Fanta (which only came to life because of the WW2), and the taste is vastly different. Besides, Orange-flavored sodas aren’t really unique.
    Waynes Coffee are swedish! , and the only similarity they hold to Starbucks is that they both are crap. :)
    Terry’s Chocolate Orange… Well, both Freia and Kraft are part of Mondelēz International, who have Terrys as a brand. THe chocolate Orange has only been on the Norwegian market for about 19 years or so, this is obviously a market strategy.
    Mars is, as mentioned above, a Licencing thing.
    Really, after Kraft aquired Freia a few years ago, we have been flooded With differently branded chocolates that are identical to chocolates found abroad.

    You will notice the same: og to Sweden, match the “Estrella” chips brand With “Maarud” chips brand. IDENTICAL Down to the logos and packaging. Again, cross-market branding tieing goods to known manufacturers names even though the Products are the same multi-national.

  15. Solo came before fanta so technically Fanta is a copy cat of solo.

    this sentence right here is my opinion:They look the same but taste differently.

    • Fair enough Adrian – I’ve heard other Norwegians say the same thing. Fanta came later :-)


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