‘Loadshedding’ is altering consumer behaviour in South Africa | WARC | The Feed
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‘Loadshedding’ is altering consumer behaviour in South Africa
Loadshedding – the practice of rationing electricity supply via the national grid at times of insufficient supply – is significantly changing how South African consumers shop and cook.
South Africans already face high food inflation. Bloomberg reports that its Shisa Nyama Index – which tracks the prices of key ingredients for a traditional barbecue in townships – was 20.3% up in April on a year earlier. Those ingredients include produce like tomatoes, kept in fridges.
But a recent survey from TrendER/infoQuest finds that loadshedding and associated power surges are causing widespread damage to home appliances, while two-thirds of respondents reported losing the contents of their fridge at least once (up from 50% a year ago).
What it means
Consumers are adapting behaviours and practices to cope:
- Around 60% have installed a gas stove for cooking purposes, according to The Media Online.
- Significant numbers have also bought or hired alternative energy sources for the home, including generators (34%), inverters (25%) or solar power (24%).
- 72% buy fewer groceries more often to reduce the risk of food wastage during loadshedding.
- 67% say the types of meal prepared have changed significantly because of loadshedding.
- 48% say they eat out more than before because they can’t cook during loadshedding.
Why it matters
Few people expect the power supply situation to improve over the next year while food inflation, beset by higher input costs, is likely to remain high. So changes in consumer behaviour and shopping habits will continue.
“All of these factors contribute to the ‘new normal’ of the South African consumer in an environment that appears to be here to stay for the foreseeable future,” said Mogorosi Mashilo, MD of TrendER/infoQuest.
Sourced from The Media Online, Bloomberg
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