A Tim Tam by any other name would taste so sweet

Are you Australian ? Yes ?

Then you love Tim Tams right ? You like plain ones, or one of the specially flavoured ones, or else you love sucking your coffee through them. But good ol’ Arnotts Tim Tams are pretty expensive aren’t they ? Maybe very rarely they might be $2.50 a pack. Mostly they’re over $3-3.50 at a smallish grocery and god forbid at a convenience store they might cost you $6 or something.

Japanese people cry bitter tears that they cannot buy Tim Tams. They say they are almost unattainable there, despite the Japanese love for this Australian chocolate treat. But South East Asia… South East Asia knows the Tim Tam. Vietnam stock them at most co-ops, all major grocery stores, and even most convenience stores. And what does it cost for this tasty chocolate treat ?

Well, this packet came from a local convenience store who are very, very expensive on average. They charge like a wounded bull, but the price tag on this packet of Tim Tams is 20,000 VND. That’s 91 cents Australian at the current exchange rate.

But I should point out that these Tim Tams aren’t made in Australia. They are made in Indonesia, and as the packet claims, they are “developed specially for South East Asian Market. Not for sale in Australia and New Zealand”. Look, read the packet…

So why do you think they can’t be sold in Australia or New Zealand ? Do you think they contain illegal ingredients ? They don’t meet Australian health and safety standards ? Or do you think maybe it’s just that they have the market stitched up so that they get to charge $5 or $6 bucks a pack (in a convenience store) for a snack invented in Australia, but which is also produced overseas and sold locally for 90 cents a pack, in the same sort of overpriced 24 hour convenience store ?

Free markets, right ? Parallel imports right ? Free trade agreements ?

Bull fucking shit. It’s the same racketeering that we call illegal when it happens within a country or state, but when it happens across borders or continents, corporations can just gang up and charge an Australian 5 times the price for the same thing, because hey, they’re stupid. They don’t know any better.

George Bernard Shaw said:

“Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force”

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