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Upper Class Father Shopper too important to ignore

Upper Class Father Shopper Infographic
Upper Class Father Shopper Infographic

Upper Class Father Shopper too important to ignore


May 29th 2012, 09:22

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. Defined as males, married or living together with children (excludes single parents), UCFathers, defined as SAARF’s Living Standard Measure (LSM) 7, 8 and 9 Low, account for just over 25% (over one million individuals) of all fathers who claim that they are wholly or partly responsible for grocery shopping (SAARF® AMPS® Survey 2011 RA).

Cross referenced with a smaller metropole database (ROOTS 2010), 31% of UCFathers claim that they are mainly responsible for food and grocery purchases for the household followed by 54% who claim that they are partly responsible.

Again, similar to Middle Class Father Shoppers, UCFathers are a significant percentage of the grocery repertoire and cannot be ignored.

The similarities between UCFathers & UCMothers are that half are black and a quarter is white with over 50% falling into the 35-49 year age bracket – another 30% of UCFather shoppers are 50+ years. Both segments frequent the same retailers at varying levels with the majority opting for a once a month bulk shop with most of their grocery spend split among Shoprite, Pick ‘n Pay Supermarkets, Checkers & Spar. The overwhelming majority also buys toiletries with food and groceries. Primary 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 planners, 50% plan their shopping a day/two and 28% a week before. 32% reside in Gauteng, followed by 20% in the Western Cape and 16% in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

There is however some indicative findings that may support that UCFathers are behaving differently in store. Looking at a number of gender-neutral categories, it seems as if they often have the same brand choice when it comes to brand leader but differ on second and third.
If we look at further differences:

• Employment:
o UCFathers - 69% full time & 12% retired
o UCMothers - 33% full time, 39% Housewives (compared to 12% of all women)

• Other:
o UCMothers are nearly twice more likely to have a retail store card
o Although they have the same retail banner preference, UCFathers have a higher affinity towards Spar

Again similar to the findings with Middle Class Father Shoppers, it seems that the major difference between UCFather and UCMother shoppers is category participation. UCFather shoppers are not participating as heavily as their partners when it comes to categories such as household cleaning, condiments and longer life food categories such as frozen, cereal, pasta and rice.

So what does this all mean? It suggests that UCFathers & UCMothers could be splitting the shopping repertoire, with mothers responsible for the bulk shop and fathers doing the weekly fill up and/or fresh shop. Again, Hypermarkets didn’t really feature as a destination for these bulk shoppers. Of particular interest is that Shoprite supermarkets are major destination for these shoppers and this banner shouldn’t be solely regarded as a middle class or lower destination.

Integer SA’s MD, Jason Frichol, concludes “The upper class segment has one of the highest indexes of housewives and still fathers play an important, if not significant role in grocery purchases. There could be some lucrative opportunities for challenger brands if they start talking to father shoppers”.

The next segment of father shoppers that will be analyzed is top-end father shoppers.

Disclaimer: Results may vary dependent on definition of middle class, upper and top- Results have been independently verified by a SAMRA accredited research company.Click here for more information on Integer 

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