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Brands that aren’t originally “made in South Africa” but feel like they should be

By February 16, 2024FinGlobal

Brands that aren’t originally “made in South Africa” but feel like they should be

February 16, 2024


From biltong to rusks, there are plenty of iconic products that are unmistakably South African and hold a special place in our South African hearts. However, other brands have become so ingrained in our culture and way of life that it’s hard to believe they are not originally from South Africa. In this blog, we will take a closer look at five brands that may surprise you with their foreign origins but feel like they belong right here in the rainbow nation.

Brands that feel like they should belong to South Africa, despite being originally from another country

Aromat: the perfect seasoning for any meal

First on our list is Aromat, the well-known yellow seasoning that adds a burst of flavor to any dish. Aromat was first introduced in 1953 by the Swiss company, Knorr. It quickly became a staple in South African households and is now an essential ingredient in many local recipes. With its iconic yellow packaging and distinct taste, it’s hard to imagine a meal without Aromat. It has truly become a part of our South African identity, and many even refer to it as “the taste of home.”

Carling Black Label: the beer that unites us

Carling Black Label is another brand that has become synonymous with being South African. This iconic beer was first produced in the United Kingdom but arrived on our shores in 1966. It quickly gained popularity and became the drink of choice for many South Africans, especially during rugby matches and braais. The brand has even embraced our culture by incorporating local slang into their marketing campaigns, making it feel like they have been a part of South Africa since the very beginning.

Sunlight: a household essential

When you think of Sunlight, you might picture the familiar green and yellow packaging of their dishwashing liquid. But did you know that this brand has its roots in England? Sunlight was first introduced in South Africa in 1891 and quickly became a household essential. From dishwashing liquid to laundry detergent, Sunlight has expanded its product range and is now a trusted brand for many South Africans. Its long-standing presence in our homes has made it feel like a true South African brand.

Maggi: the secret ingredient in many dishes

Maggi is another seasoning that has captured the hearts and taste buds of South Africans. This brand originated in Switzerland but made its way to South Africa in 1968. Its range of products, including stock cubes, soups, and sauces, has become a staple in many South African kitchens. Maggi Noodles have even adapted to our local cuisine, with flavors like Durban curry catering to our unique tastes. It’s safe to say that Maggi has become an essential ingredient in many of our favorite dishes.

Zambuk: a trusted remedy for generations

Last but certainly not least is Zambuk, known as “the real Makoya” a brand that has been passed down from generation to generation. This all-purpose balm was first introduced in England in the late 1800s but quickly made its way to South Africa. Its green tin packaging and distinct smell have become familiar to most households and is often used as a remedy for various ailments. Zambuk’s presence in South Africa for over a century has made it feel like a true South African product, despite its foreign origins.

In conclusion

These five brands may not have originated in South Africa, but they have become an integral part of our culture and daily lives. From adding flavor to our meals to providing trusted remedies, these brands have seamlessly integrated into the fabric of our society. They may not be “officially” South African, but they definitely feel like they should be. So next time you reach for Aromat or Sunlight, remember their foreign origins but also appreciate the special place they hold in our hearts as honorary South African brands.

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