Investment in brands and communicating quality still critical in constrained times

While we hear daily stories about the cash strapped South Africa consumer, it’s at times such as this that consumer insights take on an even more critical role.  While we all have too much data available to us to distill, it’s often a case of which information should we take the time to review and believe?  It’s a critical decision because it can be tempting to change brand marketing plans when faced with the current barrage of economic data. 


Time and again, winning industry awards gives one of the most salient insights into why consumers are resonating with a brand.


This week we were thrilled to learn that a number of products across the Tiger Brands’ basket are the winners of numerous categories in the 2019/2020 Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands Survey.  It’s an achievement that we are incredibly proud of as the producer of some of the most loved everyday branded FMCG products in Southern Africa. 


The awards aim to recognise brands that are most loyally used by South Africa’s township consumers. Kasi Star Brands aim to focus on 'solus' usage – brands that consumers will not choose an alternative for. Through the awards benchmark, Ask Afrika consistently re-evaluates the township market to really delve into what makes it tick, what loyalty means and critically, what is impacting buying decisions.


What do the awards tell us?


Constrained consumers prefer to spend their money on brands they can trust

A reputation for product quality is key for branded manufacturers to maintain and communicate.  It needs to continue to be a strong point of differentiation to focus on. Rather than decreasing the quality of your products in hard times, make the brand more accessible through different pack sizes and strategic promotions. These efforts translate into consumers feeling confident of the value on which they spend their hard-earned Rands.


Iconic brands must evolve over over-time

Standing the test of time for a brand requires evolving as consumers’ needs do.  According to the Ask Afrika research, it is important for brands to move beyond demographics and include other key influential factors such as life stage and life values, to succeed in the Kasi marketplace.  This is where using insights-led innovation in product design can really make an impact as it offers one of the best ways to add value to consumers lives.  Our rice brand Tastic, which was the Winner of the Rice and Couscous Category, recently launched an affordable brown rice to reflect consumer desire for an increasing focus on health and wellness. We evolved our bread brand Albany to create a new loaf, Albany ‘Best of Both Genius’ which is a speciality bread made for kids with added nutrients that provide benefits such as boosting the immune system


Giving back to communities remains as vital as ever

The Kasi Star Brands' research states the average Kasi citizen will support brands that are able to go the extra mile for them by giving back to communities.  It’s great news that further evidence is available to back up any marketeers brand initiatives that rightly focus on this activity.      

Tastic partnered with Rise Against Hunger (RAH), an international non-profit organisation, as part of supporting World Food Day last year.  The work RAH delivers also aligns with our strategy and purpose to nourish and nurture more lives every day.  The collaboration focused on helping RAH to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring a solid early childhood development (ECD) foundation and creating SMME opportunities for créche owners.  Tastic supports the long-term provision of rice for RAH food parcels that are distributed regularly to the underprivileged across South Africa. 

Albany Superior is the winner of the Bread Category.  As part of its cause-related marketing work it supports the Lunchbox Fund which helps vulnerable and food-insecure children in South Africa get the education they desperately need to build a life free of poverty by providing a nutritious daily school meal to children who would otherwise go hungry.


Our brand All Gold, that was recognised as a Kasi Star Brand as well as the winner of the Condiments / Table Sauces: Tomato Sauce Category, has closely aligned with the national imperative to help more black-owned and black women-owned enterprises become supplies to large companies.  With tomatoes at the heart of All Gold, we unlocked procurement opportunities for a total of 52 tomato farmers through guaranteed offtake agreements. They receive financial and non-financial support to supply Tiger Brands with 5200 tons of tomatoes for the 2018 season.


In all walks of life, loyalty is often awarded based on the actions taken in tough times.  In the  currently constrained economic environment in South Africa, consumers are likely to support brands who show support for them. Brands that invest relentlessly in understanding consumers’ needs and translate these through product innovation while focusing on quality have the best chance of being placed in the weekly shopping basket.

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