Saturday, May 24, 2014

A tradition remarketed

Christmas crackers are a thoroughly British tradition that have only just in the last few years made it over to the United States. For many years they were pretty much impossible to find. Nowadays, you may have to look hard, but it is possible to find them. Most Americans are still pretty clueless about them though - the Americans I've met who know about them have all spent a Christmas in the UK or have a British relative. So I was surprised, not to say stunned, to see this in the seasonal aisle at my local supermarket this morning:

Yes, that's a box of crackers! ( Or "6 Celebration Cracker" as the box says!) Yes, they are red, white, and blue - with stars but no stripes! Yes, it's completely the wrong time of year for crackers. Remember though, that most Americans have no idea what crackers are and you have an opportunity to rework the tradition - the box reads:
"Party Surprise Fun!!
Great for birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years . . . and more."

I didn't take a closer look at the box to see if there are instructions on what to do with the crackers - after all, if you haven't seen one before, it's not necessarily obvious! I wonder what's in them, and if Americans will wear the paper hats if there are any. I may have to go back tomorrow and buy a box. I wonder, if they sell well, if we'll start to see crackers for every 'occasion' - Halloween, Valentines' Day, Hannukah, weddings, baby showers . . . So much marketing potential that's been missed in the UK!


Iota said...

Definitely they'll find the marketing potential. All those holidays! There'll be different coloured crackers for each one.

When I was in the US, I used to amuse myself by trying to explain what crackers were to anyone who asked about UK Christmas traditions. "They're very over-priced. You end up with a paper hat that no-one wants to wear, a joke that isn't funny, and a silly little plastic gift that goes straight in the bin." You can see why they're hard to undersand - but maybe now they're actually in the shops, rather than just in my description, I'm sure people will buy them!

nappy valley girl said...

If there's a holiday for it, Americans will find it!

Expat mum said...

I think I have bought them here before and I think they don't have the same contents. You'll have to report back.

Xpat said...

I just rediscovered your blog after a break from blogging! So great to hear all your xpat stories.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

They have sold these at the store Home Goods here for the past couple of year, before that I ordered them online from one of the import shops. I love the trinkets inside especially the curling fish and paper hats :)
Enjoy yours !

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