Hellmann's Mayonnaise Is Now Discontinued In South Africa

From Kewpie to Duke's to the artisanal jar at the health food store, today's popular mayonnaise brands have just about every taste preference covered. Hellmann's mayonnaise, however, is one of the best-performing brands at Unilever and unquestionably one of the most popular mayo brands in the world today, enjoying a record-breaking revenue of over $4 billion in 2022. Aside from North America, Hellmann's is sold in 65 countries across the globe throughout Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and more. Until recently, one of these countries was South Africa.

That's right, South African mayonnaise lovers will have a harder time getting their hands on Hellmann's mayonnaise following the product's recent withdrawal from stores in the country. Hellmann's, which enjoys a cult-like following in major cities such as Johannesburg, joins a list of other recently discontinued food products in the region, including Cadbury's Tempo, Hula Hoops, and Fresca, reports The South African.

Sales of Hellmann's mayonnaise suspended until further notice

"Due to high inflationary import costs, we will regretfully be discontinuing Hellmann's in South Africa until further notice," Hellmann's South Africa announced on Twitter in January. Though some Hellmann's fans in the country expressed dismay at the product's discontinuation, the announcement was unsurprising to certain local retailers. According to Reuters, Woolworths had found it difficult to get an adequate supply of Hellmann's from parent company Unilever for some time, so it stopped selling the mayonnaise last spring as a result. A rep from Spar supermarket, however, told Fox News that they found the Hellmann's discontinuation to be "strange" due to its popularity at the store, but also recognized local competition. Hellmann's was about 30% more expensive than local alternatives.

Unilever told Reuters that the decision to discontinue was due to the "high raw material and shipping costs" of the mayo from the U.S. to South Africa. But analysts suspect there is more at play. According to Fox News, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has led to a price increase in the oil used by container ships, potentially making mayonnaise shipped overseas another casualty. But as Hellmann's itself assured fans in a tweet: "Mayo fam, fear not... Hellmann's mayo is widely available in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, just sadly not in South Africa until further notice."