Spurred on by many findings from the US, where 40-50% of men claim they are the primary grocery shopper, Integer South Africa decided to dig a little deeper with AMPS 2011 RA and Roots 2010 to see if the South African Dad is the unseen driver of shopping habits.
"The father is often overlooked when devising shopper marketing strategies, especially in South African grocery channels," says Jason Frichol, MD of Integer SA.
The South African leg of the research indicates that there could be distinct behaviour patterns for the middleclass, upper middleclass and top end father shopper. These warrant separate examination, starting with the middleclass father (MCF), who are defined as males married or living together with children, excluding single parents. Middleclass is defined as LSM 4, 5 and 6.
In the overall categories, just less than 48% of fathers claim that they are wholly or partly responsible for grocery shopping. This is over 4.1 million fathers, of which MCF shoppers account for 47%, or 1.9 million.
If we cross-reference this finding with data set focused on major metropoles (Roots 2010) in South Africa, 30% of MCF claim that they are wholly responsible for food and grocery purchases, 50% claim to be partly responsible and 20% say they do not do grocery shopping, which is significant for shopper segmentation in South Africa.Comparing moms and dads
First, the data can be used to test the hypothesis that MCF and middleclass mother (MCM) shoppers behave differently in store.
For the MCF & MCM, 89% of this segment is black. The fathers are slightly older, with 39% fifty years plus. There are striking similarities between the two. Both segments frequent the same channels with the overwhelming majority opting for a once a month bulk shop with most of their grocery spend at Shoprite (48%) followed by Spar then Pick 'n Pay. Brand choice is also very similar across a number of gender-neutral categories with very few exceptions. MCF & MCM prefer to shop on the weekend and are big planners, over 80% plan their shop a day or two or even a week before.Differences
- 20% of MCF are in Gauteng, 16% in KwaZulu-Natal and 13% in Limpopo.
- 15% of MCM are in Gauteng, 16% in KwaZulu-Natal and 21% in Limpopo.
- MCF - 50% Full time, 13% Part time and 16% Retired
- MCM - 19% Full time, 11% Part time and 29% Housewives (this is one of the highest indexes for housewives vs. other mother segments)
- MCM are more likely to have a retail store card
- 35% of MCF vs 22% MCM have/use their own car when shopping
However, perhaps the biggest insight is category participation. There are disparities between MCF and MCM when it comes to shopping categories. It seems as if MCF do not participate or shop as much as their partners when it comes to categories such as confectionary, snacks, cleaning and household to name a few.Advertising ignores segment
So what does this all mean? Well first, it seems that the overseas findings might resonate with MCF that "only 22% to 24% feel advertising in packaged-goods categories speaks to them" and "men shop at different times of the day and spend less time in store, versus females."
It was surprising to find that hyperstore format did not really feature with some middleclass shoppers who bulk shop once a month. Is it because these formats offer the same size products at the same prices as their supermarket counterparts? Are they located too far from middleclass shoppers? Why did hybrid wholesalers, such as Makro, not feature strongly in their shopper repertoire? Of particular interest is that Limpopo, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal (19% of South Africa's land area) accounts for over 50% of middleclass shoppers.
"We have more proprietary insights into the father shopper, which further supports that mothers and fathers are behaving differently in store. There is still a lot more that needs to be investigated but whichever way this is interpreted, it leads to opportunity - the right product, at the right price in the right place delivers incremental return. The father shopper can no longer be ignored," concludes Frichol.
The Integer Group (www.integer.com) is one of the world's largest promotional, retail, and shopper marketing agencies and a key member of Omnicom Group Inc.