Here Are The Biggest Brands in South African Townships

Updated on 16 May 2017

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Here Are The Biggest Brands in South African Township

Coca Cola continues to be South Africa’s favourite township brand and was recently announced as the 2017/2018 Kasi Star Brands winner.

The multinational company came up tops in a survey by market research company, Ask Afrika, which compared brand usage across 144 product categories and ranking 2 996 brands. Ask Afrika defines Kasi Star Brands as those used most loyally by South African township consumers.

In second place after Coca Cola is KFC, followed by Kiwi shoe polish, Koo beans and Mageu No 1 rounding out the top five.

According to Ask Afrika, this year 36 Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands and 59 potential Kasi Star Brands emerged from the study.

The Township Consumer

The township consumer is defined as, “He or she has to live in a South African township, fall into the socio-economic level (SEL) 3-5 and not have a post-graduate qualification. This is aligned with Sandeep Mahajan’s definition of a “regular township resident” and excludes the more affluent consumers that make townships their homes,” the survey report states.

All nine provinces were included in the sample of 4 403 Kasi consumers interviewed, representing the view of 9.3 million township-based consumers across South Africa. The results were independently audited by BDO and Dr Arianne Neethling and verified by township market expert, GG Alcock.

Here are the top 18 brands according to the survey. 

1. Coca Cola, colas and other fizzy drinks
2.  KFC, fast food outlets
3. Kiwi, shoe polish
4. Koo (beans), tinned beans/vegetables
5. Mageu No 1, Milk: Mageu/Maheu
6. Shoprite, food retail (supermarket)
7. CTM, tile retail stores
8. All Gold, condiments and sauces: tomato sauce
9. Lucky Star, tinned fish
10. Sta-Soft, fabric softeners
11. Clover, milk: fresh
12. JC Le Roux, wine sparkling
13.  Huletts (sugar), sugar & sweeteners
14. Dettol, liquid antiseptics
15. Black Cat, spreads (peanut butter, jam, savoury and sweet spreads, syrup, honey)
16. McCain, frozen chips and potato products
17. Colgate, toothpaste (normal)
18. Knorrox, stock cubes

Other highlights from the survey: 

1. ‘Proudly South African’ – The survey found that township-based consumers are proudly South African and opt to buy goods that are produced locally, believing that South African products are usually of high quality.

2. ‘Business of Ethics’ – It is important that brands act ethically, according to the survey report, which also revealed that township-based consumers refuse to buy products from a company that they disapprove of, and that they support brands that empower previously disadvantaged South Africans.

Brands that share what they achieve in empowering and uplifting disadvantaged communities through their CSI initiatives will garner loyalty from the township-based consumer, the report states.

“Brands that connect and identify with the language, the culture and local style will win over the hearts of Kasi consumers. Respect is inherent in the Kasi culture as are ethics, caring for the past and present, hope and a belief that we will all build a better future, as a collective – brands are expected to be part of this ethos,” says Dr Amelia Richards, account director at Ask Afrika.

3. ‘Celebrating Local Heritage’ – “The Target Group Index (TGI) data has shown that township-based consumers are very loyal to South African heritage. Tradition and community is important in Kasi where people take care of one other. They expect the same from brands that they pay money for,” says Richards, “There is a misconception amongst those that don’t know the market that when Kasi consumers become more affluent they become westernised.”

“According to GG Alcock this is not the case. Greater affluence does contribute to modernisation, yet township residents often stay close to their cultural and local South African heritage – they become Afropolitan. Brands that want to be successful in this space must first understand the culture and then contribute towards it in a meaningful way.”

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