Yummy Mayfair: An American Junk Food Bonanza

by | Nov 13, 2020 | Food and Drink, Johannesburg, Johannesburg City Centre, Markets/Shopping | 23 comments

Earlier this week my American friend Ryan tipped me off to a shop called Yummy, in Mayfair, which sells a quirky selection of imported American junk food. I googled the place and knew immediately that I had to make a pilgrimage.

Ryan and I went to Yummy yesterday. The shop is on 3rd Avenue in Mayfair (the suburb next to Fordsburg), in a little strip center behind the BP garage.

Yummy Mayfair
Yummy Mayfair.
Ryan browses the shelves at Yummy Mayfair
Ryan browses the Yummy shelves.

In addition to American junk food, Yummy Mayfair also sells frozen and prepared foods from a number of local suppliers, as well as imported foods from the U.K., Europe, and Asia.

Yummy shop owner Azhar Ismail was born and raised in Joburg. But he spent some time living in Dubai and developed a taste for foreign snacks while he was there. Azhar and I commiserated over the sad selection of breakfast cereals in South Africa.

When his dad opened Yummy four years ago, Azhar convinced him to include imported foods in their inventory. Most of the foreign foods Azhar sells are imported from Dubai.

Sour Patch Kids from Yummy
Sour Patch Kids, one of my personal favorites.
Pepsi products at Yummy
Pepsi, 7-Up, and Mountain Dew are hard to come by in South Africa. Yummy also carries a wide selection of Dr. Pepper sodas, which are much sought-after in these parts.
American hot sauce
American mustard and hot sauce.
More American candy at Yummy
More American favorites.
I was excited about these mini Kellogg’s cereals, especially the Frosted Flakes and Corn Pops.

In many cases, the American foods Yummy carries are quirky, slightly off-center versions of traditional favorites. Azhar said their imported inventory (and the price) is greatly dependent of whatever happens to be available on a particular day. Stocks have been a bit thinner and more expensive since the pandemic hit.

Purple Oreos
We found many different versions of Oreos, including these “ice cream” ones with purple cream.
American cereals
I had never seen Mermaid Fruit Loops before.
Interesting Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with Reese's pieces inside.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups stuffed with Reese’s Pieces: So meta.

I was conservative in my selections, as I try to avoid eating too much junk food and I was at Yummy to blog, not shop. But I couldn’t help purchasing a few items: Sour Patch Kids, mini cereals, a can of Dr. Pepper Zero.

And then there was my most exciting discovery: Flipz chocolate-covered pretzels!

Flipz chocolate-covered pretzels
Trust me, this American junk snack deserves an exclamation point. For some reason I only bought one bag, which was a mistake because I’ve already eaten half of it. I should have bought out the entire supply of milk chocolate. (Also, there’s a glimpse of Twizzlers on the left side of the frame — another rare find in South Africa.)

I forgot to take pictures of all the non-American food items at Yummy, but there are lots.

Local Is Lekker. But! Imported Is Yummy! is now my favorite shopping tag line. For the non-South-Africans among you, “lekker” is an Afrikaans slang term meaning “good” or “cool”. Note the local brand names on the sign.

I’ll be back at Yummy soon for more Flipz.

Yummy Mayfair is at 86 3rd Avenue, Mayfair. Call 063-685-5955, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

23 Comments

  1. David Bristow

    Funny that, we used to get a lot of that stuff here “when we wuz young” – Mountain Dew, 7 Up, Kellogg’s mini packs …. then we discovered meusli. 🙂 Also, our Dutch friends always had Sprinkle Spread, which we put on EVERYTHING.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      I have also transitioned to muesli since moving here. It’s healthier anyway. But sometimes I do miss the unhealthy stuff.

      Reply
  2. Margaret Urban

    I miss the small boxes of Kellogg’s cereals. The were always a feature of family road trip holidays and staying in motels in the 1950s – New England, upstate New York, Shenandoah; and in later teen years at lunch counter stops on long distance bus trips.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      I can get you some next time!

      Reply
      • Margaret Urban

        Lekker!!

        Reply
  3. Kelli Givens

    OMW! Crystal Hot Sauce 🙂

    Reply
  4. dizzylexa

    When we owned our nightclub we only served and sold Crystal Hot Sauce, memories. I meet the guys from Yummy at the Halaal Goods Market which is held at 1 Fox, intended to visit their shop, just haven’t got around to it.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Oh cool! They didn’t mention that to me.

      Reply
  5. AutumnAshbough

    I have never seen mermaid Fruit Loops, either. Nor ice-cream Oreos!

    Am I even American?!

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Hahahahaha. I think a lot of the American-brand foods that get distributed to other parts of the world are actually manufactured in the Middle East. (Note the Arabic writing on the hot sauce bottle in my post. The Oreos that I buy in my own grocery store also have Arabic writing.) Possibly to make sure they are halal? But anyway, I think that could explain some of these different versions of things.

      Reply
    • 2summers

      There are no Twinkies in SA. But they do have a knock off version called Tinkies! 😂

      Reply
  6. Lani

    THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. I miss American breakfast cereals. British or Australian versions are just not the same. We get some US junk food, but it’s a real hit or miss. Like we have M&Ms and Twix, Snickers but no Pay Day, Recess, 100 Grand. My friend over here got a care package from the US recently, and she sent me some Starbursts. Haha. I gave it to my students and they hated them. 😛

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Ha! Interesting that they hated Starburst. They seem so innocuous. Strangely the American candy I miss most is Peppermint Patty. There is absolutely nothing like it here.

      Reply
      • Lani

        I suppose they don’t have Thin Mints or something like that? Yeah, I do like mint + chocolate. You’re going to have to get baking Miss Heather and create that flavor! xo

        Reply
        • 2summers

          They do have some version of thin mints, and a candy bar called Peppermint Crisp. But definitely not the same at all!

          Reply
  7. Steven

    Check out Norwood Mall. There’s a shop next to woolies that sells American and British sweets and cereals.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      I was acutely just in Norwood Mall yesterday and bumped into a friend who was on her way there!

      Reply
  8. Geri Lawhon

    I miss the little single serving cereal boxes. Cute post.

    Reply
  9. I Say Oui

    It’s interesting to see what they choose to import!

    When I lived in France, I would bring original Cheerios from the States. For some reason they had Honeynut Cheerios, th. There was a specialty store that sold American cereal, but the prices were exorbitant, like 9 or 10 dollars a box.

    Reply

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