HEALTH AND WELFARE

Pick n Pay prioritizes convenience foods as customers shift to dining in

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Pick n Pay promises innovation in its convenience and ready-made meals range in 2018, noting that South Africans’ dining preferences may be shifting as many seek to entertain at home as a more affordable option to eating out. “Product innovation for families will be a big part of this, as will healthier options, including our Carb Sharp range,” says the retailer’s head of marketing John Bradshaw.

Pick n Pay’s research shows an increasing number of customers opting to buy quality convenience foods to entertain and dine at home with family and friends. This is supported by a recent poll by BusinessTech, which revealed that of 6,022 middle-to-high income South African earners surveyed, 31% said they’d be most willing to cut their spending on eating out and entertainment in 2018 to save money.

While this isn’t necessarily a new trend, Bradshaw says it is on the increase. “Some of the most notable trends in 2017 were an increasing shift to convenience foods as customers looked for both value and convenience, a firm focus on value for money, and a stronger emphasis on healthier food choices as customers become more health conscious. This is continuing into 2018.

“South African shoppers have always been value-focused, but the most significant shift we have seen is how all shoppers, no matter what their income, are watching their budgets. As many choose to become more discerning on luxuries, we’ve seen significant growth in the number of customers looking for an easy way to enjoy a good meal without the cost of eating out.”

“For many, dining out is a chance to relax or an opportunity to avoid the hassle of cooking and cleaning up afterwards.”

He says that their convenience range has become a favoured substitute for eating out with the variety available and the “no fuss” element the range offers. True to South African culture, readymade braai accompaniments are also on the rise and, notwithstanding the emerging health trend, they have also noticed an increase in convenience dessert options as customers look to treat themselves or their dinner party guests.

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