Foodways are the set of strategies shaping what food people choose as well as how and where they access and consume it. Informed by culture and social context, the foodways of the poor simultaneously respond to and influence food systems change. South African food systems are in a process of change. These changes are caused by many factors, including urbanisation, consolidation and concentration in food value chains, and changing dietary patterns. These transitions have important consequences for the nature of poverty and food insecurity. In this policy brief, Florian Kroll explores these links between the foodways of the poor and food system transition in South Africa.