The Saucy Details: Why HP Sauc

Photo: Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images Images

The Saucy Details: Why HP Sauce is off South African shelves

Say it isn’t so: The ever-so-popular HP Sauce will no longer be available on supermarket shelves in South Africa.

The Saucy Details: Why HP Sauc

Photo: Sam Mellish / In Pictures via Getty Images Images

South Africans will be sad to learn that the familiar Houses of Parliament bottles – HP Sauce – will no longer be available in South Africa.

The disappearance of HP Sauce in SA – mystery solved

According to Times Live, more than 28 million bottles of the iconic HP Sauce are consumed annually across the world. Sadly, the brown sauce will no longer be available in South Africa due to licensing fees.

According to the publication, Pioneer Foods — now owned by PepsiCo — had been procuring, distributing and selling Lea & Perrins and HP Sauce under licence from Kraft Heinz, in SA, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia for many years, but those licences expired last May and were not reviewed, said Mandy Murphy, foods executive at PepsiCo SA. Nor will they be.

She did suggest Wellingtons Smooth Ketchup as a replacement. But, die-hard fans are not interested:

“I’ve been to every shop in Durban North looking for HP Sauce — can’t find it anywhere,” said Chookie Ingram on Durban North Neighbours’ Facebook page a few weeks ago. Similar fruitless searches have been expressed by many others on such groups.

Another said that this made the decision to leave South Africa much easier:

“As a dual passport holder, for many years I have been deliberating emigrating from South Africa to the UK. I wasn’t able to make a firm decision for so long – there were just so many conflicting issues. Then I read this week that HP Sauce is no longer going to be available in South Africa. Tickets booked – UK here I come!”

Others were willing to buy the sauce at a special price:

“Taking a desperate chance here. Is there by any chance anyone has a spare bottle that they willing to sell. I will collect. Pretty please. My hubby is having withdrawal symptoms and I’m ready to throttle him.”

Looking for a new license

Woolworths later offered a small glimmer of hope for HP fans that another food company may sign a deal to sell it in SA. “We continue to monitor for an update on where the licence will be awarded and we will restock products as soon as possible”.

Lay’s Salt and Vinegar chips are back on sale

There is still hope though. Earlier in 2021, Lay’s confirmed that their discontinued Salt and Vinegar flavour has returned to supermarket shelves. Several prominent social media accounts shared pictures of the Salt and Vinegar bags, despite them being removed from sale in February 2020.