Sarah Britten
Sarah Britten

Which South African brands deserve their own day?

It’s World Nutella Day. Yes, really. (It’s all over Twitter, so it must be true.) I don’t know who comes up with these days marking things, or why hazelnut chocolate spread is deserving of commemoration, but there you go.

I first encountered Nutella at Bryanston Primary in the 1980s, when the tuck-shop sold little plastic bakkies of the stuff, complete with tiny plastic trowel. My mother would never dream of buying a jar — such extravagance! — so we made do with these little tastes of heaven.

The fact that French children eat Nutella for breakfast is about the clearest evidence I can cite for the decadence of modern Europe.

What other brands should get their own day? Marmite, Black Cat Peanut Butter, NyQuil and Milo were all suggestions when I asked the question on Twitter. I got to thinking about which truly iconic South African products deserve their own day, and came up with this list:

oros

Oros. I can’t speak from personal experience, because as a child, one sip was enough to trigger an asthma attack severe enough to send me to the emergency room. (The sulphur dioxide used as a preservative in Oros is very dangerous for asthmatics.)

Rusks. Not a brand, but I firmly believe that rusks deserve their own day. There’s nothing more South African than a rusk, not even a braai, and that gets its own day so it’s hardly fair. Who among us has not suffered a third-degree finger burn from losing a rusk in hot coffee and trying to fish it out? Biscotti are just rusks with ideas above their station.

Marie biscuits. Ditto — not a brand, but an institution.

mrs balls

Mrs Ball’s Chutney. Obviously. Tiger Brands love Mrs Balls so much they paid R475 million for the brand late last year.

ultramel

Ultra Mel. Another brand I grew up with. Ultra Mel and tinned peaches were happiness personified when I was six years old. The izikhothane would approve.

Aromat. An import, but South Africa has made it our own. Not eating Aromat because it’s bad for you is a vile white practice.

Ace Mealie Meal. Apparently eating pap is a suitable expression of one’s Africanness, even though maize is an import via Mexico.

amarula

Amarula. Now here’s one South African brand that could get a world day before long. It’s the seventh most requested liqueur worldwide and continues to show double-digit growth.

If you could vote, which brand would get its own completely meaningless day?

Tags: , , ,