Cookie Trouble in the North Atlantic

This summer something odd happened in the UK-food section of my local Wegmans supermarket — British cookies started speaking Icelandic!

Homeblest milk chocolate digestive biscuits

Normally the shelf had been stocked with Lyons Milk Chocolate Digestive Biscuits, but now “Homeblest: Kex með mjólkursúkkulaði” (icelandic for “Homblest: Cookies with Milk Chocolate”) have taken their place. The biscuits are identical — both Lyons and Homeblest are brands used by the UK’s Burton’s Food, so it appears to just be a packaging change.

So why are british biscuits with Icelandic packaging showing up in the US? I haven’t found an answer, but I can’t help speculating that it involves Iceland’s financial crisis and the row between the UK and Iceland over deposits in bankrupt Icelandic banks.

I imagine freighters full of biscuits destined for Iceland have been diverted to other Atlantic markets because either the Icelanders are now too poor to afford biscuits, or the British are too leery to do business with them.

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