15 Popular Food Brands You’re Probably Saying Wrong

February 15, 2019

One of the biggest fears I always had was publicly getting called out for something embarrassing. But it still happened — at least twice. One time was in high school, where I kept pronouncing the word “poll” as “paul,” and another was when I poorly botched up the lyrics to “The Freshman” by The Verve Pipe. Since it was on the radio eight times per hour back then, that one was inexcusable. That’s why it’s important to be as informed as possible on words and pronunciation. Especially food brand names, as food is something that always comes into conversation.

Here’s the problem with food. Not everything is advertised. Some of it we just see in the grocery store in the midst of a food run and it looks good. If it is (and it usually is) it becomes a shopping list staple. But then when you recommend it to a friend, that’s the moment you realize you have no clue what the heck the name of the product even is. It’s a vicious cycle.

Luckily, the answers are out there. So here are nine of the most commonly botched food brands that you might have been mispronouncing this entire time.

Toblerone

Chocolate seems to be dominated by very popular brands: Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, Ferrero Rocher. But it’s that one, triangularly sectioned chocolate bar that just makes you feel extra fancy when you get one for your chocolate fix. It’s a very popular chocolate bar, but you might be saying it wrong. It’s Toe-Bla-Rone. Not Toe-Bla-Roney, or Tobble-Ron. You might want to celebrate the fact that can say it correctly by buying yourself a Toblerone. (Seriously — if you’ve never had one before, they’re fantastic).

LaCroix

There’s been so much debate over this popular sparkling water brand, it’s kind of insane. It looks like it should have a traditional French pronunciation “La-Krwah.” But surprise! It does not. It’s actually pronounced “La-Croy.” And before you demand reputable sources, just know that this pronunciation has been confirmed by the company itself. On their website, they say it’s supposed to rhyme with “enjoy.” And that’s exactly what we’ll do with some cans of Peach Pear, thank you very much.

Nutella

This one’s a little shocking. There has definitely been some controversy around this, since people assume its pronunciation is based on the fact that it’s made of hazelnuts. Personally, I’ve always pronounced it as “Nut-Tella,” since it is literally a chocolate hazelnut spread. But technically, it’s “New-Tella.” So, I guess it doesn’t really matter that there’s a perfectly usable nut reference in the name (honestly, that’s their loss). It might take a few months to convince my brain it’s not “Nut-Tella” and that my whole life is a lie.

Evian

Don’t feel bad if you realize you’ve been pronouncing this wrong all along. You’re in the same boat as rapper Kendrick Lamar, so it really could be worse. If you’ve been calling this popular water brand from the French Alps “Avy-on,” you’re “Avy-wrong.” (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist). It’s actually “Eh-vee-on.” Which, if you think about it, makes so much more sense than any other way we’ve been (mistakenly) saying it. Now when you request water by brand at any food establishment (or the airport) if ya fancy like that, you’ll know what to say.

Sriracha

You know it’s a wonderful way to add a bit of a kick to pretty much any meal, but the mash of letters in the beginning might make you hesitate to say it out loud. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t actually have to say the first “r” sound. Not “Sree-racha,” which just seems too difficult anyway. The right way to pronounce Sriracha is actually “See-racha.” Basically, it’s so much easier than it looks, but kind of confirms it’s how we all want to say it anyways.

Nestlé

There’s some lack of clarity on this one, actually. In the U.S., it seems like literally everyone calls it “Ness-Lee,” since some early commercials say it like that. But, as you can see, there’s an accent mark on the “e,” similar to Beyoncé. Just based on that, it should be pronounced “Nest-Lay,” right? Some agree that this should be the case, and it makes sense with their logo (a couple of birdies in a nest). Then, there’s apparently some British consumers that say it like “Ness-ells.” We’re going to go with “Nest-Lay” as the accurate pronunciation, but will continue to call is “Ness-Lee” until we get some concrete answers.

Fage

This popular yogurt brand is mispronounced so often that they actually have to put a pronunciation guide on the side of every single container. Even though it’s so tempting (and more natural) to call it “fage,” as in, rhymes with “sage,” it’s actually “fah-yay.” I’ll admit, as it’s one of my favorite yogurts, I usually talk about it as “Fah-yay, or fage” to make sure everyone’s clear on what brand I’m talking about, but even then, some people still don’t know. You just gotta pick your battles.

Ghirardelli

If you couldn’t tell already, we’re pretty big fans of nice chocolates. Unfortunately, these tend to be the ones that are harder to pronounce that we all seem to get horribly wrong. Like with Toblerone, there’s some confusion on how to say Ghirardelli. Some think it’s “Jeer-uh-deli,” which I’m sure we’ve all said at some point (if you haven’t, you’re probably lying or just smarter than the rest of us). The real way, confirmed by manufacturers, is “Gear-R-deli.”

Stella Artois

There’s a reason why most people refer to this popular beer as “Stella.” It’s because the second half of it can be a bit intimidating. It’s clearly a French word, but unless you fluently speak the language, attempting the pronunciations can be tricky. And even though your bartender will know exactly what you mean if you shorten it, the full name — in case you want to be more direct — is pronounced like “Ar-Twah.” No, not “Ar-Toy,” not “Ar-Twahs.” Just Stella “Ar-Twah.”

Kikkoman

Kikkoman is the name of a Japanese food manufacturer that makes plenty of your kitchen favorites, including soy sauce. If you consider yourself to be a home chef, you’re probably pretty well-versed on what they have to offer — but, you may be a little hazy on their pronunciation. It’s not pronounced “Kee-Koh-Man” as many people mistakenly assume. If you want to say Kikkoman right, you’d pronounce it as “Kee-Koh-Mon.” Having to say the brand name might not come up in conversation often, but it’s good to know just in case it does.

Barilla

You’d be lying if you said you’ve never had cupboards full of blue pasta boxes for those days you really didn’t want to cook (or you just majorly craved spaghetti). You’ve probably loaded up your cart with Barilla pasta products, because it’s always cheap and makes for a super satisfying dinner. But, it’s not “Barilla” as in “gorilla.” It’s actually “bareela,” like “tequila.” Just remember that it’s supposed to have an Italian pronunciation, so the “i” will almost always be pronounced like an “e.”

Godiva

Yum, some more chocolate! And with more chocolate comes more mispronunciations of their brand names. This deliciously rich chocolate brand is not, like we had originally thought, pronounced “God-eye-vuh.” I know, we feel betrayed, too. Godiva, which is a Belgian company, is pretty much only said wrong by people that aren’t from Belgium. It’s really pronounced like “Go-dee-vuh.” It’s still fun and luxurious to say, but I’m just starting to worry that I don’t actually know how to say words.

Del Monte

There’s a high chance you have a can or two of Del Monte corn (or other vegetables) lying around the house, since it’s often a good go-to side dish or a satisfying little snack. If not, the company makes about a billion other canned products that you’ve definitely seen on grocery store shelves. But as prominent as the company is in your pantry, do you know how to actually say Del Monte? There’s more emphasis than you think. It’s “Del-Mon-Tay,” not “Del-Mon-Tee.”

Kashi

A little less common, but you probably didn’t even know you were saying this name wrong. The cereal and granola brand is seen at pretty much any grocery store, and it seems like its pronunciation is straightforward. But it’s not said like “Cash-ee,” like I’m sure some people say, even though there doesn’t look like another obvious way to say it. It’s really pronounced like “Kah-shee” with more of a “caw” sound. It does make sense, but there’s so much subtlety in the way you say it, people might not even know you say it differently.