According to the latest Nielsen Shoppergraphics Report, which looked at shifts in consumer purchasing behaviour in 4 000 households across the country, South African consumers have been stretched to the limit because of rising costs which have included a rise in VAT to 15%, the implementation of the sugar tax and the spiralling petrol and electricity costs. This has forced consumers – on every level – to consolidate their spending and look at ways of cutting costs.  Some of the findings of the survey include:

– Consumers limiting the number of trips to buy provisions – to 60 trips a year on average.

– Visiting the ‘top-up’ shop that used to be twice or three times a week has dropped to once every two weeks with the spend per trip now averaging at R210.

–  Overall the volume of sales has grown by 2.8%, with the monetary value of sales growing at around 6.3%. These small levels of growth could be reflecting a trend to upgrading to larger pack sizes.

– The number of stores that consumers visit has increased to 4.9 retailers a year as price-conscious consumers are more prepared to shop around and seek out deals.

According to Kelly Arnold, Nielsen CPG client service director, to counter these trying times, retailers need to ensure they have the right composition of goods for their shoppers, at the right price, given that positive price perception is extremely important for future success.  Retail data has also never been more important in order to move past tough times and Nielsen’s broad reach means an unmatched national footprint allowing for not only accurate data but in-depth understanding and insights into what that data actually means.”

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