Advertise with
Middle Class Father Shopper 2.0

Middle Class Father Shopper 2.0
Middle Class Father Shopper 2.0

Middle Class Father Shopper 2.0


Apr 18th 2012, 14:38

The South African father may yet turn out to be the unseen driver of shopping habits. “The father is often overlooked when devising shopper marketing strategies, especially in South African grocer channels.” Says Jason “Frich” Frichol, the MD of Integer™ SA. The Integer Group® ( is one of the world's largest promotional, retail, and shopper marketing agencies.

Spurred on by many findings from the United States with 40-50% of males claiming that they are the primary grocer shopper, Integer South Africa decided to dig a little deeper with the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF®) All Media Products Survey (AMPS ®) 2011 RA and ROOTS 2010.

The South African leg of the research indicates that there could be distinct behaviour patterns for the middle class, upper middle class and top end father shopper. These warrant separate examination, starting with the Middle Class Father.

Defined as males married or living together with children, excluding single parents, just under 48% of fathers claim that they are wholly or partly responsible for grocery shopping. This is over 4.1 million fathers of which Middle Class Father Shoppers (MCFathers) account for 47%, or 1, 9 million. Middle Class has been defined as SAARF’s Living Standard Measure (LSM) 4, 5 and 6.
If we cross reference this finding with data set focused on major metropoles (Roots 2010) in South Africa, a significant 30% of MCFathers claim that they are wholly responsible for food and grocery purchases, while 50% claim to be partly responsible and 20% say they do not grocery shop. This is hugely significant for the shopper segmentation in South Africa.

First, the data can be used to test the hypothesis that MCFather and middle class mother (MCMother) shoppers are behaving differently in store.

For the MCFathers & MCMothers, 89% of this segment is black with fathers slightly older with 39% fifty years plus. There are striking similarities between the two. Both segments frequent the same channels with the overwhelming majority opting for a once a month bulk shop with most of their grocery spend at Shoprite (48%) followed by Spar then Pick ‘n Pay Supermarkets. Brand choice is also very similar across a number of gender-neutral categories with very few exceptions. MCFathers & MCMothers prefer to shop over the weekend and are big planners, over 80% plan, their shop a day/two or a week before.

If we look at the differences:

• Geographic:
o 20% of MCFathers are found in Gauteng, 16% in Kwa-Zaulu Natal and 13% in Limpopo.
o 15% of MCMothers are found in Gauteng, 16% in Kwa-Zulu Natal and 21% of MCMothers in Limpopo.

• Employment:
o MCFathers - 50% Full time, 13% Part time & 16% Retired
o MCMothers - 19% Full time, 11% Part time & 29% Housewives (this is one of the highest indexes for housewives vs. other mother segments)

• Other:
o MCMothers are more likely to have a retail store card
o 35% of MCFathers vs. 22% MCMothers have/use their own car when shopping

But perhaps the biggest insight is category participation. There are huge disparities between MCFathers and MCMothers when it comes to shopping categories. It seems as if MCFathers do not participate or shop as much as their partners when it comes to categories such as confectionary, snacks, cleaning and household to name a few.

So what does this all mean? Well first, it seems that the overseas findings might resonate with MCFathers that “only 22% to 24% feel advertising in packaged-goods categories speaks to them” and “men shopping different times of the day and spending less time in store versus females”.

It was surprising to find that Hyper formats didn’t really feature with these middle class shoppers who bulk shop once a month. Is it because Hyper formats offer the same size products at the same prices as their supermarket counterparts? Are they located too far from middle class shoppers? And why didn’t hybrid wholesalers, such as Makro, feature strongly in their shopper repertoire? Of particular interest is that Limpopo, Gauteng & Kwa-Zulu Natal (19% of SA’s land area) accounts for over 50% of middle class shoppers.

Integer SA’s MD, Jason Frichol, concludes “We have more proprietary insights into the father shopper which further supports that mothers and fathers are behaving differently in store. There’s still a lot more that needs to be investigated but whichever way this is interpreted it leads to opportunity – the right product, at the right price in the right place delivers incremental return. The Father Shopper can no longer be ignored.”
Click here for more information on Integer 

Related Activity

Telling and selling are merging 27
Telling and selling are merging
Shopper marketers got it wrong when they claimed 70% of purchase decisions were made in store. It’s actually 76%, says new US research by Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI). Half a decade ago when POPAI first quoted the 70% number it created a furore.
Upper Class Father Shopper too important to ignore 29
Upper Class Father Shopper too important to ignore
Following Integer™ South Africa’s piece on the middle class father shopper, the Upper Class Father Shopper (UCFather) is the next in the father shopper series.
Integer South Africa Gets Analytical 02
Integer South Africa Gets Analytical
The Integer Group® has announced that its South African operation has opened its own data analytics and insights offering.
The Integer Group® appoints new Managing Director 12
The Integer Group® appoints new Managing Director
Jason Frichol (aka Frich) has joined Integer South Africa as its new Managing Director. With more than 8 years in the retail and shopper marketing industry, Jason brings a wealth of knowledge and specialist experience to his new position.

Related News

Booming emerging middle class offers profit prospects
20/02/2012 - 08:26
Emerging market stocks with links to the middle class are the best bets to profit on expansion in those economies, according to Bob Holderith, who oversees the fastest growing developing-nation exchange traded fund in the US.

Builders Warehouse, the leaders in home improvement, enters Botswana, opening its first store outside South Africa
28/09/2011 - 10:53
Builders Warehouse is pleased to announce that it has opened its doors in Gaborone (Botswana), the brand’s first store outside of South Africa. The store opened on 22 September 2011.