More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
eating yoghurt

Shoppers take healthy eating message to heart

It’s a fact that in times of recession, luxury items are the first to get the chop from the shopping list. But if recent consumer research is anything to go by, South Africans are investing more in their health and wellbeing, despite the increased price tag and supressed economic climate, writes BMi Research CEO, Gareth Pearson.

BMi Research regularly surveys the market to see exactly what consumers are putting into their trolleys, and results over the past year have increasingly shown a preference for healthier food options.

One of the market leaders in this regard is yoghurt. The yoghurt market in South Africa has averaged 7% volume growth over the last decade despite one or two years of minimal growth. This is driven by continued product innovation, an increased demand for healthy, tasty foods and the fact that yoghurt is ready to eat, so fits into the current on-the-go culture.

The drinking yoghurt market also continues to grow in both volume and value, with many of the major chains carrying dealer brands. Although the market is dominated by the larger, national players, many smaller dairies are now producing drinking yoghurts. This, combined with escalating brand activity in this category as smaller brands become more established, points to increased demand for the product. This is perhaps not surprising given consumer messaging in recent years highlighting the health benefits of calcium-rich drinking yoghurt, particularly for children and teens.

Not far behind yoghurt in terms of overall market growth is breakfast cereals. For years consumers have been told to start their day with a healthy breakfast, and now it seems that message has taken root. The most recent figures indicate a 5.8% volume growth in cold cereals. Similar increases were last seen in 2006, illustrating the rising popularity of this category. Growing in tandem with the overall sector has been the level of innovation demonstrated here, with a mounting focus on high-fibre, low-fat and low GI cereals.

Interestingly, our promotional print activity review showing advertising spend for food and beverages for the top brands by retailer (excluding DOB) shows that yoghurt and breakfast cereal brands were among the most advertised products within the top retailers between January and June in 2011 versus 2012.

Another category that constantly demonstrates strong growth – and double-digit growth at that, for the past two consecutive years at least – is the rooibos tea category. We’re seeing a marked increase in market share as South Africans swap their traditional black tea for rooibos, again presumably because of the positive health spinoffs. The outlook for rooibos remains optimistic for the year ahead.

Another area where the trend towards healthier variants can be seen is in mayonnaise and salad creams. Although slow, this market continues to enjoy constant growth year-on-year. Possible reasons for this include increased consumer consumption of salads, creating an indirect demand for salad creams and dressings, and the market’s responsiveness to the healthy eating trend with increasing volumes of low-fat varieties.

Innovative product variants that tap into this trend are also believed to be behind increased consumer loyalty in categories not traditionally associated with health benefits, such as margarine and ice-cream. Here ‘lite’ variants featuring low-fat formulations and natural colourants and flavourants are proving to be popular.

We anticipate that this will become a more prevalent trend across all categories in future, particularly those looking for new areas of innovation to boost growth where levels are starting to even out.

Gareth Pearson is CEO of BMi Research, a research house specialising in consumer and industrial research.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.