consumer Perception about essentials during lock down: A south african survey

Posted by Borderless Access on Apr 23, 2020 5:05:54 PM
Borderless Access


With the lock down extension, there is a natural need for South Africans to feel secure about ongoing essential goods and services. BMi Research conducted a survey using an online panel from Borderless Access* to ascertain current perceptions on essential goods. 509 people were interviewed nationally from 12-13 April 2020.

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Almost two thirds (61%) think there will be enough essentials if the lock down is extended even further. This is skewed to older, higher income, Western Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal respondents. Less than half of Gauteng and those who earn lower income believe there will be enough essential goods.

45% believe that cigarettes should be an essential good whilst only 32% believe that alcohol should be essential. Of the 68% who said that alcohol should not be an essential good, domestic safety in a lock down environment was a concern: “Not having alcohol available, is the safest option. Alcohol inhibits a person’s mind. This is especially dangerous for people in abusive relationships” (Verbatim)

We asked South Africans what other essential goods and services should be available during the lock down. Groceries is the most sited essential need (16%), followed by hardware supplies (14%). Respondents cited the need to use their lock down time to fix and repair items in their homes. Clothing, baby items, healthcare and take away food are also noted to be essential goods during the lock down.

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With the need to stock up on essential goods, South African’s individual finance and debt situations are under a microscope.

Income security is low with only 24% of those surveyed believing they will have regular income during the lock down and 34% think they will have regular income after the lock down. An overwhelming 46% say they will have no income at all during the lock down.

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Of the 89% who have ongoing monthly payments beyond a mortgage, bank loan or credit card, only 9% find it very or extremely believable that they will receive a debt holiday during the COVID-19 crisis. 63% said a payment holiday is unbelievable or slightly believable.

South Africans are thus faced with a two-fold financial burden, first of reduced income security and second of the need to have cash in order to stock on essential items to withstand the current lock down and COVID-19 crisis. Contact us for ongoing data and insight solutions.

*Of the 509 panel participants, 100% were South African and living in South Africa during the lock down. 39% were in Gauteng, 23% in the Western Cape and 13% in Kwa Zulu Natal. 63% were female, 70% were aged 18-44 years old, 35% were Black and 50% were White. The sample was distributed equally across income groups.

Borderless Access has used digital marketing techniques to help clients from across industries and markets to carry out a variety of surveys during the lock down when traditional research methods are ineffective. For more information, contact us

This article was originally published on Biz Community by BMi Research

BMi Research is a long-standing full-service research house specialising in qualitative and quantitative research solutions. With multi-sector experience, the BMi Research team understands industrial and manufacturing research, wholesale to retail intelligence and shopper insights. Capable of delivering both tactical and strategic data through sophisticated reporting platforms, clients are able to realise the required return on research investment. Contact:

Kevin Kruger: or 082 450 2979
Jenni-Ruth Coggin: or 076 170 6989
Cindi Collett: or 082 821 4971
Danie Botha: or 083 271 7720

Topics: consumer behaviour, consumer preference, digital consumer behaviour, consumer insights, Africa market research, south africa market research, digital online research, online research, south africa economy

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