A Variation on Childhood Cereal Boxes

In Canada, pretty much all of our packaging is in both official languages. For some reason, cereal boxes have become the synecdoche for this phenomenon.

As I’ve already alluded to, you get packaging in all sorts of languages here. Some are only in Maltese, some only in English, some English and Maltese, some only German, some German with, like, 15 languages in the fine print. The variations are endless.

Having never visited the Middle East, and generally being somewhat naive about all things Arabic, I was pleased by the linguistic combination on our gelatin package.

One Side English

The Other Side, Arabic

And, yes, it was made in Malta.


  1. Foster Clarks. This company is HUGE in the Middle East. It makes all sort of fruit tasting powders that can be turned into Jelly or simply added to water to give it a sweet taste. The main reason for its success is the fact that all its products fit perfectly in the non-alcohol ethic of muslim communities.

    As for us Maltese – the products of Foster Clark are a stark reminder of life under socialist government when this was just about the most variety you could get when it came to drinks for kids under our Castro-like government of the late 70s!

  2. I think chip bags either trump or else run a close second in terms of being identified with our bilingual packaging. In fact, the quintessentially modern Canadian series Trailer Park Boys pokes fun at this with the rather clueless Ricky asking people to pick up (among others) “zesty mordant” chips when they’re going to the store.

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