2021 SA Township Marketing Report ' One-third of people have a side hustle'
- One-third of township residents interviewed have a side-hustle though 77% are unemployed
- Many households said they ate fast food rather than cooking at home
- There is a large market for counterfeit or fake goods
Almost half of South Africa’s urban population lives in townships and informal settlements with the number rising to above 60% in areas like Cape Town, states the 2021 South African Township Marketing Report.
Despite high levels of formal unemployment, the township market represents hundreds of billions of rands of spending power. Yet little publicly available data exists to help marketers better understand how to tailor their messaging to speak to the needs and wants of this substantial audience, the Report says.
Lester speaks to Rogerilcwo CEO Charlie Stewart about the report.
While we are all aware of the challenging realities of people living in a township environment, it is really encouraging to see how many people have an entrepreneurial knack, how many people are involved in trying to uplift themselves.Charlie Stewart, CEO - Rogerwilco
About one-third of the people we interviewed have got a side hustle - that's set against the construct of mass unemployment. 77% of the people we interviewed were unemployed.Charlie Stewart, CEO - Rogerwilco
Stewart says traditionally it has been understood that a side-hustle is the preserve of somebody who has a main formal job, but this seems not to be the case in townships.
Here we are seeing people who are finding an opportunity to earn an income and earn cash and ultimately to uplift themselves, a nice finding to come through in the research.Charlie Stewart, CEO - Rogerwilco
He says people have been caught in the pincer between Covid, job losses, and household incomes falling - along with food prices escalating.
This has resulted in a change in food buying patterns.
Households eat a significant amount of ready-made fast foods rather than buying fresh food and cooking it at home, says the report - and although it sounds counterintuitive, it works out cheaper.
It's a payoff between the convenience of a filling hot cooked meal versus the cost of preparing food at home, with the costs of paraffin, electricity, and other costs.Charlie Stewart, CEO - Rogerwilco
One of the categories we did see people continue to spend money on was red meat. Red meat had a lower fall in spend than chicken and other products. We saw a significant decline in vegetable purchasing but fruit didn't decline as much. I think people are having to be practical and sensible about where they spend their money.Charlie Stewart, CEO - Rogerwilco
Another area of research found that many township residents were willing to buy counterfeit products.
This would likely be a knock-off pair of jeans, it might be a perfume, it could be any product that is not genuine.Charlie Stewart, CEO - Rogerwilco
However, there was evidently a fear of being called out, he adds.
I think it is part of the human psyche. Nobody wants to acknowledge they have done something wrong and so in the overall response 70% said they will not buy counterfeit or fake products, but we know the counterfeit market across the world is huge so I do think people were definitely telling us what they thought we wanted to hear rather than the truthCharlie Stewart, CEO - Rogerwilco
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