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Simba lovers vote to can iconic tomato flavour

PepsiCo has confirmed its Simba All Gold Tomato Sauce chips flavour will be discontinued after the chip-maker’s “Choose Me Or Lose Me” campaign.

Under the hashtag SaveYourFlava, Simba asked South Africans to vote for their favourite traditional Simba flavour – and the one they liked least. 

The flavours which went head-to-head were Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar, and Tomato Sauce. Simba lovers were given three months to vote.

Tomato Sauce did not make the cut – Cheese & Onion came out roaring and Salt & Vinegar finished second. Earlier this year, PepsiCo decided to cull Lay’s Salt & Vinegar in SA due to waning popularity.

“We saw the leading flavour change a few times,” said PepsiCo, senior marketing director for salty snacks, Giulia Iorio-Ndlovu.

“Salt and Vinegar was top of the rankings for a while, then Cheese and Onion took over. But it was very close, and anything could have happened,” she added.

South Africans have changed their taste preferences over time, moving away from sweet, salty, creamy and tangy favourites and more towards braai flavours such as Shisanyama, Chilli Biltong and Chakalaka, according to the company.

“These familiar, nostalgic flavours mean something to South Africans. In a sense, they help to bind us together. Our tastes do gradually develop.

“At Simba, we need to be in touch with our customers to ensure that we’re giving them what they need, and that we remain relevant in that evolving taste context. That’s what the ‘Choose Me Or Lose Me’ is all about”,  said Ndlovu.

The final rankings once the votes were tallied were:

  • 1. Cheese and Onion: 539 298 | 44,99%
  • 2. Salt and Vinegar: 195 460 | 37,00%
  • 3. Tomato Sauce: 110 623 | 18,01%

The Tomato Sauce flavour won’t disappear off shelves immediately but will still be available for the next few months.


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