Ouma dominates the R283 million rusk market, representing almost 56% of all rusk sales in South Africa.
At the end of last month it introduced a new flavour that channels another South African favourite, the lemon cream tea biscuit.
Ouma hopes that the new lemon cream flavour will “inject some excitement into the category”, says Ouma Rusks assistant brand manager, Ziyaad Kolia.
The unexpected crossover of biscuits and ‘beskuit’ certainly created some interest in the rusk-loving Business Insider and News24 office, but there was skepticism about the new flavour.
As it turns out unfounded – the rusks went down a treat.
"It's flipping good," said one taster. "I'd take that with my coffee any day. It had a great sweet zesty flavour to it."
Another thought the taste was surprisingly subtle and not too sweet or lemony. “I really loved the marmalade bits, which added a lovely texture to the rusks,” she said.
“The flavour, while unexpected, worked quite well. Given that it is biscuit-flavoured, it may be more than an afternoon rusk, and not so much for breakfast,” said third taster.
Another said she would eat rusks any time of the day and that the flavour was interesting. She would even substitute biscuits with the rusks.
But a purist and self-professed rusk fan said while the taste was nice, she felt the rusk was "trying to dress up and be too modern". She preferred the classic rusk flavour.
"That's what made the brand iconic, and that's what I'm after."