16 Major Brands You Probably Thought Were Malaysian But Aren't

You've been living a lie!

Cover image via Edited by SAYS

You're about to question everything you've ever known

Image via Giphy

It turns out that many brands we've become so used to using everyday don't actually originate from Malaysia.

Here are 16 brands that you probably thought were Malaysian:

We're still in denial - some of them should totally be Malaysian!

1. Tropicana

Image via Redberry

The famous Tropicana juices actually originated from Tropicana Products Inc., an American-based company that was founded in 1947. It is now owned by PepsiCo, the same company that owns Pepsi and Gatorade.

2. Nescafe

Image via Twitter

For many Malaysians, a 3-In-1 Nescafe coffee is how we start our day. But sadly, our favourite cup of joe isn't actually a Malaysian product. Nescafe is owned by Swiss company, Nestlé, which was founded by Henri Nestlé in 1866.

The word "Nescafe" is also a combination of the words "Nestle" and "cafe".

3. Horlicks

Image via Minime Insights

Horlicks was founded by James and William Horlick and is now owned by the British company, GlaxoSmithKline. They were the same company that produced Ribena, another product most mistake to be Malaysian.

4. Bata

Image via Bata World News

Almost everyone grew up wearing Bata shoes! Some of us would admit to having the perception that wearing Bata was ‘not as cool’ as other brands because we thought they were ‘buatan tempatan’.

Bata (also known as the Bata Shoe Organization) was founded in the Czech Republic in 1894 by siblings Anna, Tomas and Antonin Bat'a. The company's headquarters is now in Switzerland.

5. Giordano

Image via Gurney Plaza

Giordano was founded in 1981 by Jimmy Lai and is based in Hong Kong.

With its growing popularity all across the globe, people from other countries probably think the brand is local too!

6. Pilot

Image via Pete Denison

Remember the rage you felt when you lost your favourite Pilot mechanical pencil?

They were a product of a Japanese company! They are widely-used all around the world including countries like Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

7. Paper Mate

Image via Tinypic

Those pens that were in everyone's pencil boxes in school? They're American! They were founded in 1940 and is owned by Newell Brands.

8. Faber-Castell

Image via Blogspot

Remember watching the “Faber-Castell watercolour pencil” ads on TV when we were kids?

Faber-Castell was founded in 1761 in Germany by Kaspar Faber. The company's ownership has remained in the Faber family for eight generations now and has branches throughout the world.

9. Ginvera

Image via Cindysplanet

Ginvera was founded by Singaporean, Dr Tor Lam Huat, in 1985. He is also the creator of Bio-essence.

His products are marketed under the company L.D. Waxson, a manufacturer known for its beauty products throughout Southeast Asia.

10. Rejoice

Image via Universe-HTT

Rejoice is a product by the American company, Procter & Gamble. The company has a long list of products under its name including Head & Shoulders, Pantene and Oral-B.

11. Lipton

Image via ebay

Lipton was founded in Scotland in 1871 and started of as the name of a supermarket chain. Its founder, Thomas Lipton, then began to focus on producing tea and started his own tea garden in Sri Lanka. Lipton tea is now owned by the Dutch-British company, Unilever.

12. Maggi

Image via SAYS

"Cepat dimasak, sedap dimakan!" Malaysians are so used to calling any type of instant noodle “Maggi” that many are still in disbelief that Maggi isn’t local.

Maggi originated from Switzerland in the late 19th century and is now owned by Nestlé. Among all other countries they export to, Maggi instant noodles are most popular in Malaysia and India.

13. Milo

There’s nothing more nostalgic than getting a cup of Milo from the green truck back when we were in school, kan? The "minum Milo anda jadi sihat dan kuat" jingle probably lingers in our heads till today. If we could award a beverage the title of ‘Malaysia’s most-loved drink’, Milo would definitely top the charts.

Milo was developed in Sydney in 1934 and is now produced and marketed by Nestlé. However, Milo in Malaysia is made by Malaysians for Malaysians. <3

14. Ovaltine

Image via 21Food

Ovaltine was developed in Switzerland in 1904 before it began being exported to the rest of the world. The brand was initially called Ovomaltine but was shortened to Ovaltine due to a misspelling on its trademark registration application.

The brand now belongs to Associated British Foods, a food retailing company in London.


Image via OnlyWilliam

We bet your mum made you drink this growing up, just before exams!

In the 1820s, Mr. Henderson William Brand concocted a chicken essence to boost the health of King George IV. He commercialised his secret formula in London once he retired. His wife then sold the business in 1873.

The company is now known as Cerebos Pacific Limited and manufactures a variety of health supplements.

16. Ayam Brand

Image via Gastrology

Ayam Brand was founded 125 years ago in 1892 by Frenchman, Alfred Clouet, in Singapore, back when it was technically still part of British Malaya. Its products were considered a luxury at the time since canned food was seen as inaccessible to the common people.

The brand is now owned by the Denis Frères Group of Companies and is a leader in canned foods throughout Asia.

Consolation: Ayam Brand products are made in Malaysia!

We'll give you a second to take it all in

Image via Giphy

More products that aren't actually Malaysian:

Brands that ARE Malaysian: