Edible oil, which experienced the highest inflation* (38%) in the ‘last month’ (4 weeks ending 1 June 2022), saw a corresponding drop in unit sales for the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine. This trend is reflected in other products that experienced high inflation, such as frozen meats, which experienced a 22% price increase and a 17% decline in sales and snacks, which experienced a 19% inflation and subsequent decline in units sold.
Annual FMCG retail sales total R523bn
Overall, the report shows gross annual FMCG retail sales at South African retail outlets of R523bn, representing a 12% year-on-year increase (12 months to June 2022 to 12 months to June 2021). In the last month, the data indicates sales of R41bn, representing an increase of 9% (May 2022 versus May 2021).
These insights are derived from NielsenIQ Market Track, the largest source of grocery retail data in the country and the only currency used by all major South African retailers. This benchmark data covers more than 10,000 branded retail outlets (eg supermarkets and garage stores) and more than 143,000 independent stores (eg spazas and pubs) in nine South African provinces. In general, it measures more than 80% of retail goods.
Shake the shopping basket
Analyzing the data, NielsenIQ South Africa MD Ged Nooy says; “Consumers have reached a level of affordability in light of the high prices they are currently experiencing. In addition, consumers are increasingly considering what are the ‘must-haves’ in their shopping basket, along with fresh milk, Vienna sausage, breakfast cereals, margarine, cheese, soap, skin care and deodorant. There is clear evidence that he is guessing.”
Surprisingly, bread is one of the products that have had a positive effect on consumers, leaving aside other foods, which despite a 10% inflation in the last month, unit sales increased by 17%. Surprisingly, this has faced inflation from another staple – maize meal – but this has seen a 2.3% decline in packet sales and a 9% decline in fresh milk sales.
Consumers will go back
These key NielsenIQ panel data points are complemented by NielsenIQ findings. Mid-year consumer outlook update – period of sustained inflation It surveyed users in 17 countries, including South Africa.
The survey found that 85% of South Africans said they were “consciously watching what they spent a year ago”, compared to 76% who said so in December 2021. So it’s no surprise that the number of consumers who are aware of their weekly spending is increasing. Shop increased from 70% to 80% six months ago.
To cope with these pressures, consumers are turning back, the highest step is “cooking at home”. This is followed by spending less on discretionary items such as clothing and jewelry and having fewer dining/dining and social interactions.
Nooy comments; “As South Africans face a consumer tsunami and rising commodity prices, our customers are also spending less on home-cooked meal kits, pre-prepared fast foods and snacks, or luxury or novelty products.
Pricing and promotions
According to the survey, more than half of those surveyed said they would choose the best price. South Africa remains one of the most expensive countries in the world, with half of South Africans adamant about buying any brand that is on sale, and 44% have even stopped buying certain products to cut costs. their shopping basket.
Nooy comments; “The current wallet squeeze means consumers are looking to authentic, known and trusted products that represent ‘buying security’ to provide everything they want at the lowest possible price. This is not a time for fanatical, knee-jerk reactions or rushed product performance, but rather consistency for consumers in the current price crisis.” It’s an informed response that provides certainty and value.
*NielsenIQ’s monthly inflation is based on the difference between rand value sales growth and unit sales growth, ie how much more consumers are spending per packet of rands than the month before.