According to a spokesman for Max Media, which analysed the results of the Expat Survey, beauty and medical products, technology such as games consoles and mobile phones plus DVDs and foodstuffs were the top items taken to expats as gifts. Among the unusual or notable examples were golf balls – specifically the Harrods brand – which were received “numerous times” by expats living in Bermuda and Spain, where they have plenty of opportunities to use them.
It seems that expats are fond of luxury brands when it comes to items other than golf balls too – and their generous friends are happy to indulge them. For those missing English cuppas, tea from top London food store Fortnum and Mason proved a popular gift, according to the survey analysts.
Crabtree & Evelyn of London offer bath, body and skincare products, which were mainly taken from the UK as gifts for expats living in the United States.
Bisto gravy was a popular choice for those living in Spain and Portugal, who presumably miss the traditional British roast dinner.
Black pudding from Stornaway in the Western Isles of Scotland has special status under EU law, meaning it can’t be copied anywhere else in the world. Perhaps that’s why it was listed among the gifts taken to expats by their friends and family.
Boots the chemist was a popular place to shop for gifts for expats. “John Frieda products from Boots in the UK, plus a raft of other pharmaceutical and health supplements were taken to almost every territory”, according to a spokesman for the survey analysts.
English language PC keyboards were listed as gifts taken to expats living in Greece, Russia and the United Arab Emirates – destinations that have different alphabets.
The survey polled expats from around the world – not just those who hail from the United Kingdom. Some Australians living in Malaysia and Singapore cited surf boards as gifts they’d recently been lucky enough to receive from home.
Hellenic expats in the UK and Australia often had something to chew over as a result of their visitors, who brought them pistachio nuts from Greece.
Marzipan is popular in Germany and the city of Lübeck has a proud tradition of marzipan manufacture – such as the little creatures pictured here being made at the Niederegger Marzipan Factory. Germans living in Italy listed the sweet almond-flavoured treat among their gift items.
French cognac was among the items taken to lucky expats in Hong Kong.
Indeed expats in Hong Kong – and Singapore – have expensive tastes, according to the survey. French champagne was another item that popped up in the results as having been taken to them as a gift.
Czech wafers are much-missed by Czech residents of the UK it seems – they were listed as a popular item brought over by friends and family.
Japanese porcelain is not the easiest thing in the world to transport, but some lucky expats in Australia received it as a gift brought from Japan.