On Shelf
On Shelf

#OnShelf: A fishy tale

by Louise Burgers. Fish paste fans have been left with a bitter taste after the discontinuation of the Redro and Pecks Anchovette brands in South Africa by Pioneer Foods.

by Louise Burgers. Fish paste fans have been left with a bitter taste after the discontinuation of the Redro and Pecks Anchovette brands in South Africa by Pioneer Foods.

Something fishy

Consumers are causing a stink on social media and on the airwaves with complaints about popular fish paste brands being discontinued in South Africa. Red, smelly and with a strong fish flavour, fish paste is an acquired taste and you either love it or hate it, much like Marmite. The spread is popular on toast and is a childhood staple on school sandwiches. Consumers have gone into a buying frenzy at the news, snapping up the last jars when they can find them in stock and hording them – hence the memes. Pioneer Foods has shut down its Saldanha plant, discontinuing production of Redro, the local brand; and distribution of the premium international variant, Pecks Anchovette. Pioneer Foods was acquired by PepsiCo in 2020 in a deal worth R26 billion. Although retailers were apparently already informed in November last year of the decision to cancel the two brands in the South African market, consumers remained at sea until empty shelves in store told the sorry tale. Even the Pioneer Foods marketing team hasn’t updated their own website, with both brands still appearing as part of its portfolio.

Local is lekker

A small KwaZulu-Natal company’s perseverance has paid off, and its locally-produced range of dhal products are now listed in 25 Shoprite and Checkers stores. “We approached the Group several times over the years, but our brand was too young and unknown,” says Pregasen Francis, co-founder of Saikav Foods. The company continued to work on its products and has expanded its range to include pre-soaked, pre-cooked and easy to prepare split pea dhal, gram dhal, moong dhal and a range of lentil, chickpea and bean products. Saikav’s products are now listed in 25 of the Group’s stores across KwaZulu-Natal. It is supplying three lines to the Group, and hopes to be able to extend it. The flagship split pea dhal product originates from the UK, and was initially imported, but local production started about six years ago.

Sustainable packaging pledge for Pepsico brands

PepsiCo is committed to changing the way packaging is made, used, and disposed of across its food system. This pledge sees PepsiCo Sub-Saharan Africa become the first market within PepsiCo’s Africa, Middle East, and South Asia (AMESA) sector to reduce its reliance on virgin plastics and incorporate 20% recycled PET (rPET) in its products. Increasing the use of materials such as rPET, is part of the ‘Positive Value Chain’ pillar of PepsiCo’s recently announced  PepsiCo Positive  agenda, which places sustainability at the core of how the company operates. “The reduction in the use of virgin plastic packaging, demonstrates the company’s commitment to driving towards a circular economy for packaging and reducing plastic waste, says Bronwyn Patten, senior franchise director: WECA, PepsiCo SSA. “This means we must recycle and reuse the packaging material that we put into the world. This not only limits waste, but also reduces the carbon footprint of the packaging that we use.” To support this ambition, the company’s flagship beverage brand Pepsi recently launched its new campaign, Hay’ Kabi which is designed to encourage consumers to change the world together. The brand campaign aims to help shift consumers’ mentality towards making more sustainable decisions, by illustrating that drinking from recycled bottles, and then recycling them after use, can help to reduce plastic waste, while still offering maximum taste. The campaign is live across several channels, including in-store, outdoor displays and on social media.

CAMPAIGN: Castle Lite to #SwitchtoRenewable

A recent Castle Lite campaign brings to the fore the critical topic of renewable electricity, after Castle Lite announced earlier this year that it would be switching to renewable electricity. Directed by Paul Ward of Giant Films, the piece shows “an authentic feel of what we hope to see South Africa become, with renewable electricity taking us from sitting in the dark, to enjoying life again”. On average, from the start of 2021, Castle Lite has generated 1.2GWh of renewable electricity a month, meaning 1.2GWh is not being taken from the national grid and is available for all of our enjoyment. “We’re the first beer in South Africa to commit to using renewable electricity in our brewing process. In the first nine months of the year, we’ve already generated 9.7GWh of renewable electricity – and that’s just the start,” says Colleen Duvenage, brand director at Castle Lite. Watch the TVC here.




Main image credit: Pixabay.com.


Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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