Africa’s Big Seven : Following Urban Africans Supermarket Trends

Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Africa’s fast-growing middle-class population is moving into the cities with plenty of income to dispose of. At the same time, traditional food markets in Africa are rapidly making way for that most modern of shopping experiences, the supermarket. At least 50 percent of Africa’s population now lives in cities, and more of these citizens are shopping in retail stores and supermarkets than ever before. 

The retail landscape in Africa is evolving rapidly and store owners are hard pressed to satisfy affluent consumers with growing appetites for exotic packaged foods and beverages from all over the world.

The most efficient way to find new products, new suppliers and new customers in the food business is to visit Africa’s Big Seven (AB7), the biggest food and beverage trade exhibition on the African continent. AB7 takes place from 21-23 June 2015 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand. 

“Growing numbers of consumers with disposable incomes and expanding infrastructure are the main drivers for Africa’s thriving retail sector growth,” explains John Thomson of Exhibition Management Services, organisers of AB7. “Over the past few years, we have seen a rise in the number of business visitors from other African countries in search of new products and opportunities. AB7 is the perfect platform to network with suppliers and customers from all over the world – in fact, the Halaal World Pavilion is one of the biggest attractions for African Muslim visitors.” 

Big five retailers target Africa

South African food and beverage retail giants Shoprite, Pick ‘n Pay, Spar, Massmart/Walmart and Woolworths have already started major moves into other African markets. Shoprite’s expansion plans aim to generate at least 50 percent of sales from the rest of the continent. Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia already have extensive footprints from South African retail chains. 

Cold meats from South Africa

Feinschmecker, formerly known as Polony King, is one of very few suppliers that do not use mechanically deboned meat in its products. The company will showcase its full range of cold meats and ribs, along with a full scale delicatessen on its stand for visitors to taste-test products. “All our recipes originate from Europe and our meats are prepared in the traditional way, including smoking meats with real wood-chips,” says Alistair Hayward, the company’s Marketing and Sales Director. “Our product range includes bacon, salami, brawns, chicken and turkey, hams, gammon, sausages, patés and spreads. 

“After receiving our export permit, we saw AB7 as a great opportunity to grow our business and export into Africa and the rest of the world,” says Hayward. “We can supply the smallest restaurant and the biggest chain store with equal enthusiasm.” 

Quenching Africa’s thirst

First-time exhibitor National Food Products joins AB7 to introduce its fun range of natural-tasting flavoured powdered soft drinks to potential African distributors. Kool Juz powdered drinks come in convenient, easy-to-prepare 7g aluminium foil sachets, with added vitamin C, no preservatives, and is easy to mix with two litres of water. 

“Our range of Kool Juz powdered soft drinks and energy drinks are available in six flavours, and we will provide taste samples for AB7 visitors,” says owner Wayne Gordon.

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