As much as I love French brands, there are a whole bunch of Americans ones that I wish would hurry up and make their debuts in France. This comes down to familiarity. You want to feel comfortable and sometimes having that little piece of home puts a bit of a spring in your step and makes you feel closer to home in its own special way. And other times, you just want to be there for a new product launch or store grand opening. Or you just miss that delicious food that you’ve known your whole life and are bummed that it just doesn’t exist where you are (yet). But I’m hoping that’ll change in France….
8 Brands that need to come to France
The internet is an amazing thing. You can get almost anything delivered to your doorstep in a matter of days from Amazon, eBay or from a variety of specialty shops. But in the case of American brands that have to travel far and wide, that convenience doesn’t come without a high cost. Don’t get me wrong — there are many, many brands in France that I love and can’t get back home in the USA that are wonderful. I truly appreciate my special biscuits and awesome regional foods. But wouldn’t the grocery store be better with certain food items that just don’t exist here? Heck yes!
Although it might just be a pipe dream, I’m yearning for the following 8 brands to come to France and make one expat squeal with delight. In no particular order, here are the brands that I’d love to see in France:
1. The Chia Co.
Right now, chia seeds are hot in the U.S. Add the fiber and omega-3 packed little morsels to everything from smoothies to oatmeal or make your own chia bars or chia pudding for a healthy boost. The only problem? All my local health food stores have no idea what I’m talking about proving France is a little behind the times.
On my quest for chia seeds, I discovered The Chia Co. who has a kick-butt product line including chia oatmeal that’s a snap to make, chia pudding pods and even chia shots, which are perfectly portioned packets of chia seeds that you can add to whatever you’re concocting in the kitchen. They generously sent me a few product samples and I’m wholly impressed. Their banana/mango flavor oatmeal is excellent and requires no extra sugar. Best part is that the ingredients are simple and safe with no added garbage. The Chia Co. needs to come to France — case closed.
2. Dunkin’ Donuts
A nice medium hazelnut iced coffee was such a comfortable part of my summer morning routine and one that I miss so much. When I moved, I think I went through DD withdrawal because there wasn’t anything even remotely similar (to-go coffee doesn’t exist here). I enjoyed everything about my morning cup of coffee including the cashier who knew my name and had my coffee ready for me before I even stepped into the store.
Granted Dunkin’ Donuts won’t impress a coffee connoisseur but that’s not the point — my morning coffee was personal and part of my routine and I’m confident that the French can get on board the whole coffee to-go thing. Here’s to hoping one day…
Sabra is a snack time must-have. I love their hummus and salsa and especially the little pretzel/hummus packs for an afternoon snack. I’ve never seen hummus in my grocery store in France (definitely not all the varieties I’d find in the U.S. anyway) and think it could grow on the French. Guess it’s time I start mashing up chickpeas if I want some hummus.
4. St. Tropez self-tanner
I’m about as white as a ghost and try to spend as little time in the sun as possible, so a self-tanner is a summer necessity. St. Tropez makes some of the best in the biz so please come to France? Haven’t found anything that compares. They all stink (literally).
5. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
I don’t eat that much candy but sometimes a gal just needs a peanut butter cup or two. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups don’t need an explanation — they’re that good. The French aren’t big on peanut butter but they could be. Who can resist a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Not me. And all that praline stuff here in France just doesn’t do it for me.
6. Boutique fitness studios like Barre3/Fly Wheel Sports/etc.
Coming from New York City where everything you could possible desire is at your fingertips 24/7, including a wide array of fitness offerings, I fully admit that I was spoiled and in for a big shock when I decided to move to France. I miss having an awesome gym and a whole bunch of fitness studios to change things up and motivate me.
In France, the gym culture just isn’t the same and is a few years behind the scene in the U.S. People are more concerned with the gym as a place to lose weight and not so much as a lifestyle choice to be fit and healthy. I’d give anything to open up a killer studio where I am.
7. Hellmann’s mayonnaise
I’m a sucker for tuna/chicken/egg salad and something about French mayo just isn’t the same. I’ve actually gotten used to tuna with just a little oil and vinegar instead of mayonnaise. The French stuff tastes different and not in a good way, in my opinion. It’s too sweet and mustardy. Maybe it’s for the best that I don’t eat mayo at all.
8. Stella & Chewy’s dog food
Dagny eats a raw diet and the fact that no commercially prepared raw diets for dogs are available in France makes this raw diet thing a costly endeavor. I get that there are import regulations and probably a whole slew of legal and financial obligations for brands to set up shop here, but come on France, get with the program when it comes to healthy pet food choices.
Dagny eats Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried raw patties and if the French knew about the benefits, I’m sure they’d be on board. I promise you there’s a market here for frozen and freeze-dried raw dog food diet products (if the number of emails I receive inquiring about raw food in France are any indication).
So that’s my short list. What brands are you missing where you live? Any French brands you want to see in your country?
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