- From Tomato Sauce flavoured Simba Chips, to trying to bring back Chocolate Log, South Africans have had some bad food heartbreaks this year.
- HP Sauce was also hard to find this year.
- With alcohol bans to blame, Marmite was also in short supply earlier in the year.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
We may be right in the throes of the festive season, but some South Africans may still be mourning the discontinuation of favourite food items that did not survive 2021, or food shortages they had to endure this year.
This year saw a number of leading snacks and treats go on the production line for a final time in South Africa while some were at times hard to find.
These are some of the food items that were discontinued this year or were in short supply.
The All Gold Tomato Simba Chips
Under the SaveYourFlavour hashtag this year, chip makers PepsiCo, which owns the Simba and Lays brands, asked customers to choose their favourite flavour between three of their iconic ones; Cheese and Onion, Salt & Vinegar and Tomato Sauce. Failing to get enough votes, the Tomato Sauce flavour faced the cull. But it was not without many lamenting the loss.
This is how South Africans voted for their favourite flavour
1. Cheese and Onion: 539 298 | 44,99%
2. Salt and Vinegar: 195 460 | 37,00%
3. Tomato Sauce: 110 623 | 18,01%
When the company confirmed its discontinuation of the Tomato Sauce flavour, it said South Africans have changed their taste preferences over time and are moving away from sweet, salty, creamy and tangy favourites. It said customers are now moving towards braai flavours such as Shisanyama, Chilli Biltong and Chakalaka.
In the same crisps category, stock levels of Lays and Simba chips are currently low, following frost damage to some potatoes. The harsh weather conditions this year caused a potato supply disruption that has left PepsiCo, which owns Lays and Simba, with limited capability to deliver some flavours and packet sizes.
"We experienced disruptions in our potato supply due to frost conditions affecting crop yields. Whilst those issues are largely behind us, we were left with very low inventory levels entering peak season festive demand with constrained supply as a result," John Stevenson, senior vice president for South Africa foods & beverages at PepsiCo Sub-Saharan Africa told the Business Insider South Africa this week.
South African's hearts broke a second time when an attempt to bring back Chocolate Log flopped. South Africans are so obsessed with Nestle’s Chocolate Log that they drew up a petition to bring it back, over a year since it was discontinued. In October, Nestle said it took note of the petition and although it did not promise it would bring back the chocolate, with a creamy marshmallow on a crisp wafer, it always listens to its customers.
The petition demanded that Nestlé must return "the GOAT of chocolate", or greatest of all time, because the world needs "[t]he creaminess of the marshmallow stuffed with caramelized wafer all coated in glazed sweet chocolate".
The HP Sauce
HP Sauce lovers had a tough year in 2021 after the much-loved UK condiment disappeared from shelves last year. This came following the end of a distribution contract between Kraft Heinz, which owns HP sauce, and PepsiCo-owned Pioneer Foods, which held the licence to sell the sauce in the country.
Although retailer Pick n Pay managed to bring back the sauce, it had scant supply of the product.
The popular brown sauce is named after London's Houses of Parliament. Every year 28 million bottles of the sauce are consumed. With a distinct taste, the sauce is tomato-based, with molasses and malt vinegar derived from barley.
A shortage of Marmite
Every time South Africa experiences a Marmite shortage, it becomes clear just how much they love the the yeast-derived spread. Around June this year, consumers reported that they could not find Marmite on shelves. It was not the first time customers had to face such a shortage. Last year supply grew thin too, following alcohol bans that disrupted the supply of brewer's yeast from AB-Inbev. The spread is made from a concentrated extract from that byproduct of making beer.