Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Bath foam and bath salts, along with double-ply tissues, are just some of the items that have fallen off shopping lists as consumers attempt to make their money stretch in the recession.

Research by BMI, a research house specialising in consumer and industrial trends, said the need for frugality had led to shoppers no longer purchasing certain items.

BMI Research CEO Gareth Pearson said savvy consumers had been adapting their purchase patterns as food, petrol and other living costs crept up over the years.

"In-store, consumers have made product substitutions and downsized on products they normally purchase. Consumers would rather buy frozen vegetables, which last longer, instead of fresh produce," he said.

Pearson said behaviour changes also showed that best-loved brands had been swapped for cheaper brands and, increasingly, house brands.

"Many consumers have begun buying brands they previously chose not to buy because of the perceived value these brands now offer in helping them save money," he said.

"However, brands are still perceived as a guarantee of quality and for some products, consumers will not compromise," Pearson said.

Pick n Pay indicated earlier in 2017 that it would promote its private or house-brand label offerings. Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher said private label meant "better pricing for customers and a margin uplift".

Pearson said it was obvious that South African shoppers had changed habits in response to market conditions.

"With these trends set to continue for the foreseeable future, the real question marketers should be asking is how to consistently deliver the value consumers are so desperately seeking to ensure it is their products that find their way into consumers’ hotly contested trolleys," he said.

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