Where is Coconut Grown in Germany?

8 Aug

German Chocolate is my favorite type of cake – my wife makes it for my birthday every year. However, there’s nothing German about it. Coconut does not grow in Northern Europe. So where the heck did the name come from?

The answer is that it’s a marketing ploy–this one happens to be a hundred years old, dating back to the turn of the century when they’re trying to sell a new recipe to an unknown public. Jake’s Coconut Chocolate Cake is a tactical risk; German Chocolate Cake sounds exotic.

This is an extension of the “different languages sound exotic” argument I made a few days ago, however, people keep doing this! Take, for example, this rather pedestrian example. This is a coffee machine where you get the option of “Dakota Roast” or “European Blend.” I can buy that there’s a favorite blend in Europe… why the #*$& would I care if oil frackers in North Dakota like their coffee a little darker? Do I imagine Sioux indians riding across the plains drinking coffee? Is the brew in Fargo worth travelling for?!

There’s lots of examples of this. Texas Roadhouse comes to mind instantly (great bread). There’s cars called the Tucson and Sedona, or my favorite, the Montana. When you’re driving in Arizona, this is not that exciting. The Arizona Bread Company sounds great in Arizona… the St. Louis Bread Company, not so much… which is why it’s called Panera outside St. Louis. 🙂

Wearing words that you don’t understand on your shirt is also weird… but hey, it looks cool, right? This is a Chinese example, but I remember kids wearing French phrases on their shirts in high school (thirty years ago), and I thought it was stupid then… especially since I could read French. If it says something cool, I’ll give it a pass (like my wife’s handbag which has a whole Psalm in Hebrew), but if you’re depending on someone else to tell you what it means (like tattooing Chinese characters on your skin), buyer beware!

Am I alone? Obviously this technique works or marketers wouldn’t do it, but am I the only one who notices? What examples do you find particularly outrageous? Let me know in the comments below!

One Response to “Where is Coconut Grown in Germany?”

  1. kethuprofumo August 8, 2020 at 2:05 pm #

    Dear Markus, your sharp mind sees everything! I wonder people who wear writings, which I consider to be a rather silly idea. Once I saw a very exhausted woman wearing a T-shirt “I’m a real fool”, “Bit…” is also popular, however the funniest thing happened with my mother’s friend who bought a Chinese T-shirt for her new boyfriend. The phrase in small letters was as follows: “Get out of my eyes. I’ve got enough of your excuses”. Can you imagine how much poor Chinese hated their T-shirt factory?
    Have a nice week!

    Best wishes,
    Maria 🙂

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