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How do brands translate between the UK and Spain?

By HiFX Team   /     Feb 19, 2016  /     Spain  /     , , , , , ,

These days it is a lot easier to get the brands we love overseas, and sometimes it can even work out cheaper. With previous research showing that more and more Brits are choosing to move to Spain, our team of experts have taken an in depth look at how brands translate between the UK and abroad, to ensure that you don’t miss out on your favourite home comforts as well as helping you to find the best deal.

Spain is now the fifth largest economy in the EU and is said to be one of the fastest growing in the Eurozone. With its population of around 47 million, Spain is now one of the biggest consumer markets in the EU. Partly due to its expanding number of British residents, with around 1 million now making Spain their permanent or part-time home, it may not come as a big surprise that brands which are popular in the UK are making their mark abroad. It works both ways too, with over 400 Spanish companies now registered in the UK.

In 2013, Spain was the UK’s tenth largest export market, receiving a grand total of £13.5 billion of UK exports. There are plenty of benefits for UK businesses exporting goods to Spain, including the size of the market, familiarity with British products and openness to them, plus the proximity of flights and low cost airlines. Moreover, the Spanish market is competitive in terms of the cost of the transportation of goods, the quality of qualified suppliers, and efficient transport systems. In fact, over 900 UK companies now operate in Spain from healthcare to food and fashion.

Food and drink exportation

Due to a mixture of reasons including the increased number of British expats, larger number of British tourists, and the Spanish’s acceptance of British products, Spain’s food and drink sector has grown in demand. In 2013, Spain received £517 million of UK food and drinks export. British foods are not only popular with expats either; YOG frozen yogurt launched in Spain during 2014 and rapidly became popular with Spanish natives, expanding across 40 stores of El Corte Inglés.

Fashion brands abroad

If you consider yourself a bit of a bargain hunter, there are definitely plenty of deals to be found in Spain, especially when it comes to fashion. In fact, it turns out British shoppers are, in some cases, paying as much as 60 per cent more for High Street brands in the UK than they would do abroad. You can get a great deal on some of the UK’s favourite clothing brands in Spain, including Zara, Mango, and H&M. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main reason behind these cuts in prices is down to some of the UK’s favourite brands being manufactured in Spain.

Same company, different brand name

Certain well-known UK brands have Spanish counterparts, and these often come under different names and in some cases packaging, with a prime example being Lay’s crisps.

Lay’s, which is owned by PepsiCo, is distributed under different names dependent on the country. For example, within the UK, Lay’s is known as Walkers but comes under Lay’s in the rest of Europe, including Spain. Walkers was founded in 1948 before being acquired by Lay’s owner, Frito Lay, in 1989 but has kept its iconic title for the British market.

The logos used by Lay’s and Walkers are noticeably similar, however there are varying differences in both flavouring and colouring of the packaging to suit local tastes. However in recent years some of the more traditional British flavours such as cheese & onion and salt & vinegar have slowly moved their way in to other countries within Europe as British tourism has increased. Another example of a popular food brand is Walls ice cream, which comes under the name Frigo in Spain.

Household items also come under different titles, such as Flash, which is called Don Limpio in Spain. Other examples include Persil, which is called Skip; Vaseline, which is named Vasenol; and Coco Pops, which is otherwise labelled Choco Krispies, a name the UK also adopted for a short while before reverting back to Coco Pops as a result of a consumer poll.

Brand differences between countries exist for numerous reasons, with one of the more obvious reasons being due to language differences, and the requirement to appeal to different markets. Other reasons include manufacturer and trademark issues. The names of brands tend to change more regularly and dramatically than the logo, and in part this is so that brands are still recognisable at an international level.

In some stores within Spain, you will be able to find specialist sections that sell UK labelled products, but these are likely to be more expensive due to exportation costs. So if you would like to purchase the same brands as you are used to back home, have a look out for the Spanish equivalent, which will work out cheaper in most cases.

Current exchange rates between the pound and euro are around £1.00 to 1, 29 €*. Although the current exchange rates aren’t perhaps the best they have ever been, you can still get good value for your money when you exchange your pounds for euros. Naturally, this rate difference will also be reflected in the cost of products when you purchase them abroad after being used to UK prices. Below you will find the differences in pricing between a selection of popular UK brands vs. their Spanish counterparts:

UK brand Price Spanish brand Price
Walkers Sensations crisps (150g) £1.99 Lays crisps (147g) 1, 20 € (£0.93)
Walls Magnums (3x100ml) £3.00 Frigo Magnums (3x100ml) 3, 05 € (£2.36)
Flash  (1.3 litres) £3.00 Don Limpio (1.5 litres) 2, 45 € (£1.90)
Persil (40 washes) £10.00 Skip (35 washes) 7, 99 € (£6.19)
Vaseline lotion (200ml) £3.29 Vasenol lotion (100 ml) 3, 29 € (£2.55)
Coco Pops (550g) £2.69 Choco Krispies (500g) 2, 65 € (£2.05)

Table 1: Price differences between Tesco UK and Eroski Spain – 17th February 2016

In summary, the cost of products and the extent of the difference between prices will differ with factors such as the brand, the store you purchase it from, and where it is manufactured making a huge difference. Due to the costs involved in exporting goods from the UK to Spain, you will grab the best deals by purchasing the Spanish equivalent of your favourite products.

Through our research, we have found the largest price differences reside with high street fashion favourites such as Zara, Mango, and H&M, which rank the highest to grab a bargain during your stay in Spain.  However, do not be put off by unfamiliar branding either, as we have revealed that many well-known brands in the UK go under different names and branding dependent on the country it is sold in. And as Shakespeare famously once quoted: “What’s in a name?”

*The above figures are based on the interbank rate, correct as of 15:00 on 18/02/16, and are provided for indicative purposes only.

Thanks to the following sources:

1 Doing business in Spain: Spain trade and export guide, www.gov.uk

2 British Food and Drink in Spain, www.gov.uk

3 Stick up: British shoppers pay up to 60% more for High Street fashion brands, www.thisismoney.co.uk

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