Heritage Month: Survey reveals SA’s most iconic foods

Heritage Month: Survey reveals SA’s most iconic foods

Biltong, Ua Mel custard, and Lay’s potato chips – these are just a few surprising foods South Africans say they love – that are most closely tied to their heritage.

Through a consumer survey, respondents were asked to identify products they see as quintessentially South African, and the majority of respondents connected these products to their heritage.

A study, conducted by Game stores, found that most South Africans are using food, beauty, and household products that tie back to their experiences as children.

The reasons for using these products versus newer ones were multi-faceted and often hard for respondents to articulate – usually linking back to a connection to their roots, and their childhood experiences.

Most respondents agreed that the traditional braai is how they enjoy celebrating and spending time with family – across demographics and age groups. Some respondents said they cook over the fire every weekend, while some kept this practice for special occasions only.

Asked about the food products that really present them with a taste of home, below were the findings.

  • Biltong
  • Koo baked beans
  • Ua Mel custard
  • Amarula Cream Liqueur
  • Nik Naks

Also featured were, Castle Lager beer, Lay’s potato chips, peppermint crisp, Fritos, and Flings.

The survey revealed that as an accompaniment to any meal, South Africans vote All Gold (76%) and Aromat (71%) as their most loved items, followed by chakalaka (67%) and Mrs Balls chutney (65%).

Stoney Ginger Beer was identified as the most popular drink for celebrating Heritage Day – interestingly, most loved by those in the Free State and Northern Cape – followed by Oros and Amarula Cream Liqueur. Respondents from KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the Free State, and the North West were most likely to enjoy traditional umqombothi as part of their celebrations.

Vice-president of marketing at Game, Katherine Madley, says SA is a country steeped in heritage and culture, from so many different backgrounds. She says it is so interesting to see people from across the country come together to agree on their love for these products.

“Our survey respondents were passionate about their heritage, traditions, and culture, and about the role that food and drink products play in celebrating these,” says Madley.