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Understanding Consumers in the “Many Africas”

mardi 25 mars 2014

In recent years much has been said and written about Africa’s emerging class of consumers, who are often described as inexhaustibly optimistic, highly brand conscious, Internet savvy, eager to spend, and willing to pay more for quality. These generalizations appear to herald the arrival of a new and meaningful consumer base. Yet the details about African consumers’ specific attitudes toward spending, brands, and the media, and how demographic differences affect those attitudes, have been largely absent—until now.

BCG’s 2013 Africa Consumer Sentiment Survey, which polled 10,000 consumers across eight of the continent’s largest countries, provides a quantitative database that supports the theory of not one but many consumer classes emerging across the continent. (See “2013 Africa Consumer Sentiment Survey.”) The male and female consumers we interviewed represent a broad range of ages, incomes, education levels, and household types. In addition to exploring the current spending behaviors of African consumers, we asked about what they intended to purchase and how much they planned to spend with regard to more than 20 different product categories, ranging from appliances and automobiles to clothing and snack foods.

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