Choosing gifts for friends who live overseas can be challenging. What do you get someone who lives in a different culture and has access to different products and brands? Here are some great American gift ideas for European friends that are unique, thoughtful, and shippable.
Why American Gifts Are Fun For Europeans
Europe and America have distinct cultures, so gifts that represent American culture and cuisine can be exciting novelties for European friends. Some fun American-themed gift ideas include:
- American food gifts like barbecue sauce, maple syrup, or iconic American candy bars. These let your friends sample flavors and brands they can't easily get in Europe.
- American pop culture gifts like band t-shirts, TV show merch from hits like Friends or The Office, or quirky Americana like Route 66 souvenirs. These celebrates America's impact on global pop culture.
- Unique gifts from your home state or city like art, apparel, snacks, or souvenirs. These share your local pride and give a taste of your hometown's personality.
- Practical gifts featuring American brands Europeans appreciate but don't have easy access to, like Ziploc bags, Crocs, or Yeti drinkware.
Gift Ideas For American Treats And Snacks
Food gifts are excellent for sharing American cuisine. Consider these edible gift ideas:
Classic American Candy
Candy bars like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, and Hershey's Kisses make great gifts, as they're chocolatey American classics Europeans will enjoy. You can send a variety pack for lots of sweet sampling.
Jerky And Smoked Meats
Send jerky, smoked sausages, or meat sticks from brands like Jack Links, Oberto, or Tillamook to share American protein snacks. Flavors like peppered beef jerky and smoked cheddar sausage make tasty gifts.
Maple Syrup And Pancake Mix
For a breakfast treat, send real maple syrup from Vermont along with a mix for fluffy American-style pancakes or waffles, plus some maple candy as an extra.
Popcorn And Popcorn Seasonings
Gift a popcorn package with individual bags of popcorn plus fun flavors to shake on like ranch, white cheddar, or bacon. Or send flavored popcorn like cheesy jalapeno or caramel for built-in flavor.
A good barbecue sauce is required for American-style BBQ. Send a few bottles from regional brands to allow your European friends to add authentic American flavor to their grilling.
Share great American coffee with bags of Starbucks, Peet's, or Dunkin' Donuts packaged coffee. A bag of flavored ground coffee or single-serve cups also makes a nice gift.
American Nostalgia Gifts
Gifts celebrating classic Americana are fun. Ideas include:
Route 66 Souvenirs
Get keychains, shirts, signs, or other souvenirs emblazoned with Route 66 images to gift a bit of American road trip nostalgia.
Give a taste of yesteryear with candy like Squirrel Nut Zippers, Razzles, Necco Wafers, Bottle Caps" and candy necklaces.
Soda Shop Treats
Hand-dipped chocolates, retro candy, bakery gift cards, or flavored soda syrups evoke 1950s soda fountains. Add a souvenir straw or mug for sipping.
State Quarter Collection
The 50 State Quarters make a unique collectible gift letting Europeans own a piece of American currency history. Give a custom folder or coin folder.
Send postcards showing midcentury American life, roadside attractions, or retro advertising for a cool vintage vibe.
Games like jacks, pickup sticks, marbles, and yo-yos give a classic playtime experience. Include the rules.
Gifts Celebrating American Pop Culture
Pop culture gifts are fun ways to share American media tastes. Consider:
Music And Movie Merch
Band t-shirts, movie posters, and other music or film merch from favorite American acts gives European friends American entertainment memorabilia.
TV Show Souvenirs
Items printed with logos and quotes from hit American sitcoms like Friends, Seinfeld, or The Office make fun gifts for binge-watchers.
Comic And Superhero Gear
Marvel or DC merchandise like mugs, figures, and clothing represents American comic culture. A graphic novel collection is nice too.
A Slinky, Etch A Sketch, Rubik's Cube, or other iconic American toy evokes childhood nostalgia. Include the history.
Sports Team Apparel
Hats, jerseys, or tees for American pro sports like NFL and NBA teams, colleges, or NASCAR drivers showcase American athletic culture.
Home State And City Specialties
Share your local pride with place-based gifts:
Local Snack Box
Make a custom box of the best edible souvenirs from your city or state like chocolates, honey, jam, nuts, salt water taffy, or caramel corn.
Local Coffee And Tea
Send bags of coffee or loose leaf tea from roasters and blenders in your hometown or area. These make nice gifts for daily enjoyment.
Local Spirits Or Craft Beer
Bottle a taste of your region's brewing and distilling scene. Craft beer, liqueur, bourbon, or other local spirits showcase distinctive flavors.
Find a community cookbook or book of local recipes to share your area's culinary heritage. Bonus if you include some homemade specialty.
Local Or Small Brand Apparel
Send a t-shirt, cap, or other gear branded with your city, state, college, or a local business to gift a wearable slice of hometown flair.
Regional Sweets And Treats
Ship chocolates, cookies, jams, nuts, candies, or other edible specialties that capture the flavor of foods made in your community.
Fridge magnets, ornaments,patches, and other knickknacks showcasing your town or region's monuments, landmarks, or icons make thoughtful place-based gifts.
Useful American Brand Name Gifts
Practical products from American brands also work nicely:
- Ziploc bags in various sizes, for brand name reusable storage
- Crocs, for lightweight iconic American comfiness
- Yeti ramblers or coolers, for top insulation and durability
- Blue Apron or Hello Fresh gift cards, for American meal kit delivery
- A nice Columbia or North Face jacket or fleece for cozy American athleticwear
- A high-quality backpack or carryall bag from JanSport, Herschel, or Fjallraven
- Burt's Bees lip balm and lotions for iconic natural American skincare
- Kitchen tools and gear from OXO, KitchenAid, and other beloved U.S. brands
Gift Shopping Tips
- Check import restrictions to know what's allowed. Many foods require customs forms.
- Order gifts to arrive 3+ weeks before the occasion to allow for international shipping.
- Include a little note sharing why you chose the gifts you did to personalize.
- Offer to cover the cost of a gift box or wrapping to present gifts nicely.
- Get a selection of little gifts instead of one big gift for variety and to stay under customs limits.
FAQs About American Gifts For Europeans
What food can you send to Europe from the USA?
Many U.S. foods like candy, popcorn, coffee, spices, nut butters, and more can be shipped if properly packaged and labeled. Meat, dairy, and produce are restricted. Check customs rules for each country.
What gifts do Europeans appreciate from the USA?
Europeans often enjoy novelties that represent American culture like nostalgic Americana, pop culture merch, local U.S. foods and goods, and iconic American brand names they don't have at home.
What American candy and chocolate is popular in Europe?
Iconic American candy bars like Snickers, Reese's, Hershey's, and M&Ms are big hits. As are nostalgic candies like Pop Rocks, Twizzlers, and Jolly Ranchers. Peanut butter treats and flavors like pumpkin spice also interest Europeans.
What American foods make good gifts for Europeans?
Barbecue sauce, maple syrup, jerky, craft beer, iconic sodas, flavored popcorn, coffee, and spices are foods that ship well and allow Europeans to sample American flavors.
What gifts from the United States are unique?
Gifts that embody American pop culture, history, food, brands, hobbies, and hometown pride tend to have novelty appeal for Europeans where access to these Americana brands and goods is limited.
Sending gifts internationally requires a bit more effort, but the ability to share a taste of American culture and hospitality makes it meaningful. Focus on edible treats, pop culture novelty, local flavor, nostalgic fun, or iconic American brands when selecting gifts with appeal for European friends. A bit of thoughtful attention when packing and shipping will ensure your gifts arrive in style.