Moments of sweet reprieve despite turbulent times

South Africans may be dealing with tough economic challenges, but that doesn’t stop them from enjoying an indulgent snack every now and again. In fact, it seems the difficult times may be compelling them to seek out these moments of sweet reprieve more often.

Insights from South Africa’s first State of Snacking report by Mondelēz International, indicate that South Africans continue to prioritise snacking, despite rising costs and economic challenges. The report forms part of the company’s global consumer trends study, which examines year-on-year insights in 13 markets on how consumers make snacking decisions.

Mondelēz International senior director, marketing, Sub-Saharan Africa, Arpan Sur, says Mondelēz International is intentional about Snacking Made Right. “This includes understanding our consumers and the markets we operate in, which is why these reports are so important for gaining consumer insights. Not only do they inform the future of snacking, they validate our focus on delivering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way.”

Snacking despite turbulent times

Even though 94% of South Africans voiced their concern about inflation, 78% reported that they always find room in their budgets for snacks. This is especially true of millennials and Gen Z – both 85%.

Sur says South African consumers may be having a difficult time in the face of high inflation and load-shedding, but the findings indicate that they remain resilient and positive.

“Interestingly, 75% of South Africans believe it is more important than ever to enjoy moments of indulgence and 80% say “chocolate is good for the soul”, with 50% reporting that they eat it weekly or more,” he adds.

For the love of favourites

When it comes to brand love, South Africans (66%) say they will go out of their way to find their favourite snacks and 72% would pay extra to bring some of their favourite childhood snack brands back.

Mondelēz International is home to several long-standing and beloved brands such as the iconic Cadbury Dairy Milk, Chappies, and Lunch Bar. “With our 200-year global heritage and more than 80-year history in South Africa, some brands – the Lunch Bar being a case in point – provoke nostalgic memories and the desire for them stays with people their entire lives,” notes Sur.

Digital channels are enhancing the snacking exploration process, with 63% of South African consumers saying they are more likely to find new snacks via digital channels than in-person ones and 92% of local consumers having either bought or considered buying a snack in-store after seeing it online.

“This makes it critically important for marketers to ensure that their messages are reaching target audiences via digital channels in a meaningful and relevant way,” remarks Sur.

Mindful indulgence

The report also found that indulgent snacking is an intentional pursuit, with 85% of South Africans saying they are selective about the indulgent snacks they choose. This

is especially true amongst young, Gen X consumers (90%). South Africans also make an effort to be mindful and present when enjoying these types of snacks, with 78% more likely to take time to savour indulgent snacks.

Snacking sustainably

South African consumers are increasingly focused on the sustainability of the products they buy, and this remains true when it comes to snacks, with 70% saying that sustainable packaging helps them enjoy their snacks more, and 84% expressing a wish that more snacks came with biodegradable packaging. Notably, 63% of consumers say they will pay more for snacks that are better for the environment and 64% will pay more for snacks that contain ethically sourced ingredients.

With its focus on consistency and authenticity, Mondelēz International has been working for decades to secure its cocoa supplies and compensate farmers fairly for the quality products they deliver.

In addition, an ongoing project by Cadbury Dairy Milk is helping to improve literacy levels across South Africa and Stimorol is supporting young talented musicians to help them connect them with creative business mentors.

“It’s about giving back to communities in a socially meaningful way. When a brand genuinely cares about connecting, consumers understand that they’re buying into something bigger than a snack,” concludes Sur.

Mondelez International

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