Simba has announced that their traditional tomato sauce flavour has been voted out by South Africans, following their “Choose Me or Lose Me” campaign.
The campaign invited fans of the delicious crisps to choose which of the three iconic flavour chip flavours – salt and vinegar, tomato sauce and cheese and onion – should survive, which one would be discontinued. Simba salt and vinegar and cheese and onion have survived the cut.
Simba gave consumers three months to participate before making the final decision, and the decision about which flavour will be saved also took into account how many sales each flavour made.
Senior Marketing Director for salty snacks at PepsiCo, and custodian of the Simba brand, Giulia Iorio-Ndlovu said South Africans have a distinctive set of tastes, which sets us apart from other nations.
Ndlovu said they take their role very seriously in catering to these tastes, and this is why they consult their consumers and let them have their say when they consider changing our flavours. She said the “Choose Me or Lose Me” campaign had clearly caught the nation’s imagination, with thousands of votes having been received.
“We saw the leading flavour change a few times. Salt and Vinegar were at top of the rankings for a while, then Cheese and Onion took over. But it was very close, and anything could have happened,” said Ndlovu.
“South Africans have always loved sweet, salty, creamy, and tangy flavours. But recently, they are showing interest in meaty flavours, and flavours that evoke our braai cultures, such as Shisanyama, Chilli Biltong, and Chakalaka. 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,” she added.
The final rankings once the votes were tallied were:
- Cheese and Onion: 539 298 (44,99%)
- Salt and Vinegar: 195 460 ( 37,00%)
- Tomato Sauce: 110 623 (18,01%)
The All Gold Tomato Sauce flavour will still be available on shelves for the next few months.