Consumers want convenience

Convenience in today’s stressful, time-constrained lifestyle is what global measurement company Nielsen has found in its survey on global consumer needs. A cue to manufacturers and retailers to get on board with products and services that caters to this new trend.

Asked in the survey which products they ‘wish were on the market but are not;

  • 40% want products that make their life easier,
  • 36% would welcome more products that are convenient to use,
  • 25% wanted products for small families and households,
  • 25% wanted products tailored to a specific need.

Although convenience means different things to different consumers around the world, depending on their circumstances, culture, location, market maturity and access to technology, the needs are underpinned by consumers’ search for ease, utility and simplicity in three areas: consumption, shopping and engagement experiences.

Some of the key areas that South African consumers wanted convenience in included:

Meals on demand

This area of convenience has the biggest uptake in the ready prepared and on-the-go meal solutions, home or office grocery delivery offerings. The survey showed that one third (34%) of South African consumers are now using restaurant deliveries (e.g. Uber Eats and Mr Delivery) or meal kit services (e.g. UCook and Daily Dish) up from 29% in 2017, and 19% in 2016. Large retailer Checkers recently launched its own in-store meal kit service.

Fast food on the rise

Despite having to tighten spending, the fast food, quick service industry & street vendors showed an increase, with 63% of local consumers having visited a fast food outlet in the past six months, 55% opting for casual dining and 34% visiting a formal restaurant. Lunch and dinner are the meals most likely to be substituted with out-of-home dining options, with 50% opting to eat outside on a monthly basis, 18% weekly and 31% less often.

E-Commerce on the rise

Whilst the e-commerce market in South Africa is not growing as fast as other countries – where FMCG online sales are growing at estimated five times faster than offline sales, manufacturers and retails should prepare for the online e-commerce onslaught based on the Nielsen research which showed 45% of respondents would definitely buy if retailers provided same day product replacement service for products that aren’t currently available; 43% said a precise delivery window (at 30 minute intervals) to fit their schedules and 41% said a website that provides real-time detailed progress on the status of their order. Another 36% said they would like to see online retailers who would allow them to make special product requests to suit their needs.

(Source www.

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