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Bulk buying grocery stokvels in SA – which brands were purchased in 2018

Mmanakedi Bokaba


In South Africa current estimates are that there are over 820 000 stokvels with a combined membership of 11.4 million people, handling over R44 billion per annum. In South Africa, a savings or investment society to which members regularly contribute an agreed amount and from which they receive a lump sum payment is called a stokvel.





Brands that were bought in 2018

Mictert Marketing Research, Stokvel DNA Insights and Research, and BSK Marketing came together and conducted a survey on brands that were bought in 2018 by South African grocery bulk buying stokvels in six provinces. Research was conducted on 510 members who collectively represented more than 8 000 stokvel members countrywide.


The brands that stokvels bought included:


· Maize Meal:

- White Star (43.6%), Ace (33%), Nyala (11.7%) and Iwisa (7.6%).

· Tinned baked beans:

- Koo (77%) and All Gold (14%).

· Rice:

- Spekko (43%), Tastic (28%), Aunt Caroline (19%), All Some (5%) and Surprise (3%).

· Samp maize:

- Ace (46%), Iwisa (21%), Champion (19%), Pride (9%) and Shaya (1%).

· Mayonnaise:

- Crosse and Blackwell (56%) and Nola (44%).

· Cooking oil:

- Excella (42%), Sunfoil (27%), Sunflower (21%) and Nola (4%).

· Tea:

- Five Roses (26%), Glen (24%), Joko (24%), Freshpak Rooibos (17%) and Trinco (8%).

· Coffee:

- Ricoffy (64%), Frisco (21%), Nescafe (11%) and Jacobs (3%).

· Flour:

- Golden Cloud (36%), Sasko (33%), Snowflake (29%) and House brand (2%).

· Breakfast cereal:

- Kellogg’s (79.28%), Weetbix (10,36%), Monati Mabele (3.59%) and Jungle Oats (3.19%).

· Sugar:

- Selati (47%), Hulets (46%) and Illovo (5%).

· Spreads:

- Stork (36%), Sunshine D (22%) and Rama (16%).

· Pasta:

- Fattis & Monis (50%), Fattis & Monis 2 Minute Noodles (25%) and Maggi 2 Minute Noodles (20%).

· Juice:

- Oros (40%), Fusion (15%), Magalies (11%), Halls (8%) and Fruitree (7%).

· Washing powder:

- Sunlight (31%), MAQ (30%), Ariel (16%) and OMO (15%).

· Toothpaste:

- Colgate (48%), Aquafresh (43%), Close Up (5%) and Mentadent P (2%).

· Dishwashing liquid:

- Sunlight (82%), MAQ (11%) and Ajax (6%).


Stokvel DNA Director Ninky Shuenyane says, “there is a great opportunity for brand owners to asses and build brand loyalty with the stokvel market”. Stokvel members go through a process before the actual purchasing stage and research is done on choosing the right brand that suits every member’s needs.


Stokvel members start saving from January/February, then around September/October members meet to discuss the grocery lists (which brands and products they prefer) and decide which store to purchase their groceries. In November/December the stokvels submit their grocery lists to retailers, and shortly after that executive members of a stokvel head to the store to make their purchase.


According to the research results the majority of the stokvels hire their own transport, however security has become a concern to some stokvels, as their safety is not guaranteed. BSK Marketing Managing Director Busi Skenjana says that transporting groceries to their designated place without security is quite risky and stokvels have become easy targets for theft and hijacking.


Skenjana also advocates that retailers, wholesalers and brands should work harder to create lasting relationships with stokvels and their members, not just focusing on them when it comes to the end of the year.


“This is a chance for wholesalers to come up with solutions to assist the stokvels, offering them free transport and security are two ways that they could ensure that stokvels have a smooth shopping experience. Wholesalers, retailers and brands should work together with the stokvels to grow the stokvel market together,” concluded Skenjana.

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