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Spoiling vs saving: It’s become a consumer balancing act this festive season





According to the NieslenIQ Consumer Insights global study titled ‘Unwrapping the Holiday Outlook’, South African consumers do not want to give up their usual festive traditions despite the financial constraints and price pressure they face.

The study has shown that the festive time of year continues to hold high emotional value for consumers.

NielsenIQ MD Ged Nooy said: “In terms of their intentions, most consumers are determined to spoil themselves and their loved ones during this festive period. However, this year the dilemma is that despite their best intentions, consumers are also grappling with making the most of their tight budgets and have adopted tactics such as shopping early and taking advantage of special offers”.

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This early approach is borne out by the fact that last year, a quarter of all Rand spent, were on promotions during the peak festive season shopping week ending 26 December. Significantly, this is 3% points lower than the average for the previous year, and a whopping half of that seen on Black Friday week in the previous month of November 2021. This suggests that retailers and manufacturers pulled back significantly due to their investments in Black Friday.

State of the retail nation

Meanwhile, the latest NielsenIQ State of the Retail Nation review which reflects data measured over the four weeks to the end of October 2022, shows that the total basket FMCG basket now measures R567-Billion (12MM TY) representing 13% annual growth.

Basically, what this means is that consumer behaviours, such as frequent shop trips, bigger baskets and in-person shopping (vs online shopping) which had fallen away during the Covid-19 pandemic, has begun to emerge again.

Lockdown behaviours also continue to grow

On the flipside of that coin, NeilsenIQ also found that certain purchasing trends that were adopted during the hard lockdowns were continuing to gain momentum.

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Some of these trends included the homebound economy. “In-home consumption continues to show value growth increasingly driven organically versus purely by price,” the report read.

There was also increased category performance whereas in-home consumption solidified its position, consumers were shopping in more categories to fit their specific need.

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