South African township residents are spending less on buying food staples like bread and pap, and a combination of inflation and Covid-19 are to blame, according to a new report by digital agency Rogerwilco, market research company Survey54 and Marketing Mix Conferences.
The 2021 South African Township Marketing Report
is based on responses from over 1,000 individuals living in townships and aims to plug the gap between the audience that represents hundreds of billions of Rands in aggregate, and the information that exists about them.
“Almost half of South Africa’s urban population lives in townships and informal settlements, yet very little data exists about the needs and wants of this substantial audience,” says Rogerwilco Brand Strategist Kasirayi Mashiri. “So, we went to find out where - and on what – these consumers spend their income, what their preferred payment methods are, what influences their shopping behaviours and the types of communications they prefer to receive from marketers.”
“Half of our sample reported buying less bread than they had a year earlier, while 56% cited that they are buying less maize meal or pap,” continues Mashiri, “While Covid-19 was almost certainly the key contributor to this reduction, inflation would likely have also played a part with the price of maize meal also rising by 13%. This left many of our sample caught in the squeeze of reduced household income and rising food prices.”
“What is also interesting to see from the data is that households consume a significant number of ready-made meals rather than buying fresh food and cooking it at home, which reflects the lived reality of so many people where long work and travel hours for those fortunate enough to have a job make it a convenient, viable option.”
Other sections of the report highlight that cash is still the preferred form of payment (73%), the historic role that Spaza shops play in the community and the uphill battle they face against supermarket chains, the importance of black tax and the challenges banks and online shopping brands face to fully integrate into Township society.
Concludes Mashiri, “While this research paper is not intended to be an in-depth analysis of the township environment, it should provide some level of insight that empowers marketers to refine their activities to better engage one of the most misunderstood audience segments in South Africa.”
For the full report please click on the link here