Cash-strapped South Africans are cutting back‚ but will pay to smell good

File Photo
File Photo

South Africans are not counting cents when it comes to scent.

Latest market research from EuroMonitor has found that deodorant is considered an essential item in South Africa‚ largely because the country is hot and humid.

“Deodorants are considered important products‚ given the country’s hot climate. As a result‚ despite the economic situation in the country‚ deodorants remain an essential part of consumer shopping baskets‚” EuroMonitor researchers said.

Deodorant sales grew by 8% in the last financial year‚ with deodorant creams being the most popular in the range. But body wash‚ shower gel and liquid soap have a greater appeal to middle and higher income groups‚ the research found.

“With the current economic situation‚ price sensitive consumers are cutting down on non-essential items or waiting for price promotions to stock up‚” EuroMonitor said.

Consumers are also trading down to economy brands when it comes to hair removers‚ bleaches‚ women’s razors and blades. But‚ according to EuroMonitor‚ both South African men and women are investing in their appearances.

More working women are spending on colour cosmetics while men are becoming increasingly likely to shop for their own beauty and personal care products.

“Social media and the general trend towards an increased focus on appearance will continue to drive category growth. Women‚ as well as men‚ want to look and feel good‚ be it for casual outings or work and this trend spans across age and income profiles‚” EuroMonitor researchers said.

Local economist Dawie Roodt said vanity was prevalent during tough times.

“We find that people try to make themselves feel better during a recession by dressing well or focusing on their appearance. But there is only so much that people can try to cut down on and if deodorant is an essential‚ then the essentials will continue to be purchased‚” he said.