#Throwback: Iconic Food Brands

We live in an age of #Throwbacks and therefore I thought I would put my own spin to it and do throwbacks of the food items we grew up on.  We never realize the importance of brands and for me it has taken working in food manufacturing to appreciate and respect products that have been there for a long time.  Companies launch new products every year and as a product developer it really sucks to work on a product and you think it is great then it is discontinued after few year.  I’ve had episode where I blamed marketing for not creating awareness on a product I have worked on which was being discontinued.   It takes a special kind of product have a long lifespan and be loved by consumers from generation to generation.  From my observations and experience I would like to think that consumers i.e. our families play a crucial role in passing down brands from one generation to another.  It’s like passing down recipes.  For an example, there are certain products that my mom used while I was growing up and I learnt to cook using those products and to this day I still use them.  This post is coming from a place of appreciation and respect for those products and brands….


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When talking of Iconic food brands in South Africa it would be a complete crime not to mention Aromat.  A crime that deserves a jail sentence with no parole.  Tjoe!  Aromat has been there as far as I can remember.  MSG or no MSG we just love the product. It is one of those items you’ll find on the trolleys when people are buying groceries month end.  You only see how important it is when you fry and egg and realise you’ve run out.  The taste is not the same.


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Cremora Coffee Creamer

I’ve used Cremora so much that at times I believe that coffee tastes better with Cremora than when fresh milk is added.   Every South African will remember the “it’s not inside, it’s on top” advert, see featured video.


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Cabana is one of those items you had too much of growing up and now you stay away from it as much as possible.  I recently found myself wondering if it is still around.  Went to a retail store and found it.  The taste hasn’t changed, it’s still the same old Cabana.  My favourite has always been the pineapple flavour.


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All Gold Tomato Sauce 


Trust All Gold to register it in our heads that there’s about 36 tomatoes in a bottle of tomato sauce.   The brand has been there for donkey’s years.  Whenever you try to use a different brand it just doesn’t cut it.  One has become so used to the thick sauce with real tomato taste.


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Black Cat Peanut Butter

I grew up hating peanut butter.  I must have been 6 or 7 and my mom used to buy Black Cat Peanut Butter, one day I asked her why there was a black cat on the label and she said because they use fat from the black cat to manufacture peanut butter.  Okay,  guys where I come from black cats are associated with witchcraft so from that day on-wards I stayed away from any kind of peanut butter.  It took getting older and knowing better to know that wasn’t the truth.  I think she said that to stop me from stealing it because peanut butter doesn’t last two weeks at my place.  I snack on it!   Black Cat Peanut Butter brand has been there for decades as a matter of fact whenever I think of the product I think of the brand.


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Rama is the mother of iconic food brands.  A lot of people grew up referring to margarine as Rama.  Even after growing and getting degrees, some people still refer to any margarine as Rama.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s Blossom, Flora etc.  it is Rama haha!  And that happens only in Mzansi!


I’ll do another throwback next week, but for now I would like to hear from you.  Which food brands did you grow up on?  What stands out in your mind when you think iconic food brands?

Let’s make this fun on twitter and instagram, post images of the food brands you would like to do a throwback on and use the hashtag #mzansifoodthrowback

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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