Woolworths Launches Flavour Society

“Flavour is a personal discovery that varies from person to person.  Our experiences of individual tastes and aromas, as well as their various combinations, are unique.  There is no right or wrong.  Flavour is the difference between a good meal and a great one.  That’s why we place so much emphasis on it – because we’re truly passionate about food.”  Glenda Philp, Woolworths

One cannot deny the fact that the foodie culture has blossomed in South Africa.  Blame it on the cooking shows or the rise of online social platforms but consumers want to know more about food.  They want to know what they eat, where the food comes from and more importantly, consumers are eager to learn different ways of preparing their food.  Woolworths has come up with a way to bridge the gap between them as a retailer and their enthusiastic consumers and foodies alike.  It is a more interactive way to connect and engage with the consumers , the Flavour Society.

The Woolworths Flavour Society is a secret monthly get together where customers and foodies will be invited to experience different flavor sensations.   Recipes cards will be available in stores (see images below) and not only that, step by step videos will also be provided.  This is sure set to give consumers and home cooks  the confidence needed to prepare fool-proof recipes.

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A couple of weeks ago, the South African foodie media met at the stunning Babylontoren in Franschoek.   Upon arrival we were all given rain boots and aprons.  One could not help but anticipate events to follow with baited breath.

We started off at the greenhouse where we were greeted with warm hand cloths scented with citrus, confetti bush and lemon grass to soothe and restore.   The whole greenhouse experience involved awakening all the different senses: see, touch, hear, smell and taste.   From watching a whole turmeric plant getting washed and dissected, to getting a feel of a chamomile lawn, to smelling herbs, fresh kumquats and guavas which was followed by an inevitable tasting.

The whole sensory experience was given a laboratory feel as we sat at a long dining table adorned with test tubes, measuring cylinders, sample plates etc.  The aim was to exercise the palate and distinguish between the different tastes; sweet, sour, bitter, salt and umami.

It involved an experience to note and be aware of the determinants of flaovur such as smell, taste, sight, touch and temperature.  I couldn’t help but feel like I was back in my Food Science practical class.

The eating experience was a seven stage extravaganza:

1. Stage One:  Imbibe

The experience involved selecting a flavor and mixing it with a complementary liquid.  e.g.  a sour combination of lemongrass and rhubarb cordial mixed with either water, sparkling water, bubbly or white wine.

2. Stage Two: Bread and Breadth

Involved smearing or dunking  –  Wood fired baked artisan bread was served with a selection of spreads or butters e.g.  a sour taste sensation of rhubarb and winter savoury yoghurt cheese (my personal favourite).

3. Stage Three: Colour Fields

This stage involved fruit, vegetables, leaves and Asian-infused dressings with a flourish of edible flowers e.g.  Red Salad made up of Slow Roasted Tomato, Red Pepper and Strawberry served with a choice of colour coded dressing and embellished with a choice of colour coded edible flowers.

4. Stage Four: River Bounty

Lightly Smoked Trout accented with a selection of Italian flavours e.g. Beetroot, Crème Fraiche and Caperberry.

5. Stage Five: Winter Harvest

Grilled Lamb Cutlets drizzled served with a selection of drizzles e.g. Biltong and Coriander Drizzle

6. Stage Six:  Winter Harvest

Grilled Lamb Cutlets could also be smeared e.g. Tikka Peanut Butter

7. Stage Seven: Conclusion

This stage focused on exploring the sweet, sour, bitter and savoury senses.   Items such as coffee, cheese, chocolate , cheesecake and chocolate cake, were served.

It was an exceptional flavor sensation awakening all senses and reminding one to be mindful of the food and appreciate its flavours and aromas .  Have a look at some of the tweets from the launch:












What do you think of the Woolworths Flaovur Society?  Have you seen some of their Youtube videos?  Join the conversation and follow the hashtag #wwflavoursociety



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.

Comments ( 2 )

  • I would like more information about Flavour Society opportunities in our area – Plettenberg Bay. We have our 2014 Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival on the 3rd and 4th of October and would be interested in incorporating the Flavour Society into our programme of events.

    • Hi Patty,

      I have forwarded your comment and contact details to the relevant people. They’ll be in contact with you as soon as possible. Thanks!

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