A growing consumer demand for convenience foods is driving up imports of consumer-oriented products.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number:
South Africa - Republic of
South Africa, with a population of about 51 million has a market-oriented economy with a well
developed infrastructure. In addition, a growing consumer demand for convenience foods is driving up
imports of consumer-oriented products. This report highlights important factors for exporters to keep in
mind when engaging in this market.
SECTION 1: MARKET OVERVIEW
The Republic of South Africa (RSA) with a population of about 51 million has a market-oriented
economy with a well developed infrastructure. The commercial agriculture sector is highly diversified
and is self sufficient in primary foods with the exceptions of wheat, oilseeds and rice. South Africa has
a well-developed processed food and competitive horticultural sectors such as wine, fresh fruits, and
South Africa is a net exporter of agricultural, fish and forestry products. In the past three years, from
January to September 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively, imports of agriculture, fish, and forestry
products to South Africa totaled $3.7 million, $4.9 million, and $5.1 million respectively, whereas
exports totaled $5.7 million, $6.4, and $6.1 million. Limitations in some of South Africa’s agro-
processing sector has driven import growth for consumer-oriented foods/beverages including food
ingredients for further processing, and edible fishery products. The United States is the third largest
consumer-oriented products trading partner with South Africa after the Netherlands and Brazil. While
South Africa produces diverse, world-class agricultural products for export, it is also a major
agricultural importer from most countries including the United States.
1.1: South Africa’s Top 10 Imports of Consumer-Oriented Products
South Africa Import Statistics From World - Consumer-Oriented Products
Year To Date: January – September
Commodity Description US Dollars % Share % change
2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012 2012/2011
World 1,071,971,211 1,392,328,316 1,537023882 10.39
020714 Chicken cuts & edible offal 105,390,226 171,386,179 201,232,565 9.83 12.31 13.09 17.41
210690 Food preparations 94,151,091 118,131,862 119,456,019 8.78 8.48 7.77 1.12
020329 Meat of swine, nesoi, frozen 39,184,666 55,221,444 61,659,100 3.66 3.97 4.01 11.66
020712 Meat & offal of chickens 45,147,030 64,502,846 57,590,401 4.21 4.63 3.75 -10.72
220210 Waters, incl mineral & 23,415,914 25,841,053 45,696,498 2.18 1.86 2.97 76.84
aerated, sweetened or
200979 Apple juice, nesoi, nt 23,096,881 19,377,898 43,917,721 2.15 1.39 2.86 126.64
fortified w vitamins, unferm
180690 Cocoa preparations, not in 19,548,907 28,628,661 38,568,973 1.82 2.06 2.51 34.72
bulk form, nesoi
230910 Dog & cat food, put up for 29,540,507 37,106,955 37,658,851 2.76 2.67 2.45 1.49
350790 Enzymes & prepared 29,680,317 29,386,353 34,698,572 2.77 2.11 2.26 18.08
040690 Cheese, nesoi, including 15,394,961 15,534,867 31,746,364 1.44 1.12 2.07 104.36
cheddar & colby
1.2: South Africa’s Top 10 Trading Partners of Consumer-Oriented Products
South Africa Import Statistics From World - Consumer-Oriented Products
Year To Date: January – September
US Dollars % Share % Change
2010 2011 2012 2010 2011 2012 2012/2011
World 1,071,971,211 1,392,328,316 1,537023882 10.39
Netherlands 67,895,039 106,308,762 145,851,457 6.33 7.64 9.49 37.20
Brazil 148,779,084 165,768,251 138,66,242 13.88 11.91 9.02 - 16.35
United States 72,443,371 87,342,837 115,132,955 6.76 6.27 7.49 31.82
Germany 57,825,867 88,218,557 111,944,109 5.39 6.34 7.28 26.89
France 64,641,426 82,947,681 85,285,922 6.03 5.96 5.55 2.82
China 66,989,862 74,987,828 85,158,464 6.25 5.39 5.54 13.56
Italy 47,690,770 69,600,171 79,171,205 4.45 5.00 5.15 13.75
United Kingdom 25,348,786 54,511,956 71,301,807 2.36 3.92 4.64 30.80
Ireland 33,156,397 49,802,039 63,180,886 3.09 3.58 4.11 26.86
Argentina 30,739,766 46,513,802 62,447,407 2.87 3.34 4.06 34.26
1.3: The United States Trade Position with South Africa
South Africa’s Consumer-Oriented Agricultural Imports from the South Africa’s Consumer-Oriented Agricultural Exports to the
United States United States
Product Jan-Sept Jan-Sept Product Jan-Sept Jan-Sept
2011 2012 2011 2012
(Thousands (Thousands Of (Thousands (Thousands
Of Dollars) Of Of
Dollars) Dollars) Dollars)
Consumer-Oriented Totals: 87,343 115,133 Consumer-Oriented Totals: 123,086 113,375
Snack Foods 1,646 1,150 2,208 Snack Foods (excl nuts) 723 586
Breakfast Cereals/Pancake Mix 279 1,377 Cheese 0 4
Red Meats, FR/CH/FR 15 227 Other Dairy Products 0 0
Red Meats, Prep/Pres 6,728 8 Other Fresh Fruit 0 0
Poultry Meat 9,895 14,640 Fresh Vegetables 669 130
Dairy Products 158 10,393 Processed Fruit & Vegetables 6,616 5,782
Eggs & Products 184 293 Fruit & Vegetables Juices 12,723 12,304
Fresh Fruit 194 0 Tree Nuts 19,865 23,366
Fresh Vegetables 7,971 21 Wine and Beer 29,409 36,126
Processed Fruit & Vegetables 439 6,956 Nursery Products 2,445 2,000
Fruit & Vegetable Juices 39 333 Roasted & Instant Coffee 0 0
Tree Nuts 453 43 Spices 0 0
Wine and Beer 70 54 Other Consumer Oriented 9,284 9,049
Nursery Products 1,806 45
P et Foods (Dog & Cat Foods) 48,719 2,330
Other Consumer Oriented 64,385
Source: BICO Trade Data
1.4: Advantages and Challenges Facing U.S. Products in South Africa
South Africans are developing a Consumers need to be educated in preparing and eating products.
taste for U.S. foods and are
willing to try new products.
Growing consumer demand for Acquired tastes and preferences for traditional, locally produced products.
convenience foods and packaging
will drive imported food and
Favorable exchange rate, strong Competition from other countries and locally produced products. About 85 percent
rand with the weak dollar make of products in the retail outlets are locally produced. In order to create jobs and
American products more foster economic growth the South Africa’s major retailers have joined a continuous
affordable. forces with the Proudly South African (PSA) www.proudlysa.co.za campaign
launched by the government since 2001 to give PSA suppliers preferential
tendering for shelf space, and to promote South African products.
South Africa presents Consumers are price-conscious and low income earners do not exhibit brand
opportunities as a gateway for loyalty. Products must constantly be promoted.
South African importers seek U.S. suppliers have difficulty in responding to trade lead inquiries in a timely
suppliers who can offer reliable fashion.
and quality products,
consolidators of mixed containers
at competitive prices.
Importers and distributors can Continued promotional and marketing related activities.
help develop brand loyalty.
SECTION II: EXPORTER BUSINESS TIPS
2.1: Local Business Practices and Customs
Standard Time in South Africa is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and seven hours ahead of
Eastern Standard Time throughout the U.S. daylight savings. South Africa does not follow daylight
savings time. Generally, business hours are weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a lunch hour in
between, ranging between 11:00 – 2:00 p.m. Most offices observe a five-day week, but shops are
generally open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays,
with few open on Sundays, especially those located at major shopping malls. Banks are open weekdays
from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The monetary unit of South
Africa is the Rand (R), which is divided into 100 cents (c).
Shopping is similar to the United States, with large and modern shopping centers providing diverse
product lines similar to those found in the United States. There are only a few stores open 24-hours per
day. South African business people tend to dress conservatively, particularly in the banking sector.
However, “Smart Casual” clothing has become increasingly popular with executives in the IT and
tourism industries. Terminology used in business invitations are as follows:
Black Tie (dark suit and tie or tuxedo or formal evening dress)
Business (jacket and tie or a business dress)
Smart Casual (casual clothing with or without tie, but no jeans and no sneakers)
Casual (includes jeans but no sport shorts)
Business cards are usually simple, including only the basics such as company logo, name, business title,
address, telephone number, fax number, e-mail, and web-address. South Africans are typically
punctual, and appointments should be made in advance for a business visit.
There are eleven official languages in South Africa, but English is the principal language used in
2.2: Trade and Marketing Services Including Establishing an Office:
The newly formed Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), herewith referred to as the
Commission was established through the merger of the Office of Companies and Intellectual Property
Enforcement (OCIPE) and the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO).
Amongst the functions of the Commission is Registration of Companies, Co-operatives and Intellectual
Property Rights such as trademarks, patents, designs and copyright and maintenance thereof.
The Commission, and as mandated by the Companies Act, 2008 (Act 71 of 2008), has jurisdiction
throughout the Republic, is independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law and any policy
statement, directive or request issued to it by the Minister of Trade and Industry in terms of this Act.
For more information on company formation and registration contact CIPC at:
Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)
Postal Address: P O Box 429, Pretoria, 0001
Physical Address: The DTI Campus, Block F, 77 Meintjies Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria
Tel: +27 12 394 9973 or 27 86 100 2472; Fax: 27 12 394 1015 or 27 86 517 7224
Email: or email@example.com
Franchising: It is estimated that in South Africa, less that 20 percent of retail business is conducted
through franchising. Franchise concepts continue to grow in the retail, food and service businesses.
Recent years have seen the popularity of franchises increase significantly, emerging in South Africa due
to the service orientation of franchises. Franchising sectors such as fast food, forecourts (convenience
stores linked to gas stations) also play an important role in furthering the development of small and
medium businesses. Restaurant franchises are joining with gas stations to create an enticing atmosphere
and to encourage customers to purchase food while refueling their vehicles. Franchising, with its
advantages of skills-transfer, start-up support and ongoing operational assistance, is becoming a
preferred type of business to address job creation, poverty alleviation, economic growth and black
empowerment. Business format franchising, in particular, is a proven concept offering potential
opportunities for U.S. franchises to reap the benefits in profit from the convenience provided for
consumers in forecourts. This business concept is when the franchisor permits the franchisee the use of
product, service and trademark, including marketing, selling, inventory, accounting and personnel force.
More information about the sector including Member listing can be found at:
Franchise Association of Southern Africa (FASA)
Postnet 256, Private Bag X4, Bedfordview, 2008
Tel: +27 0 11 615 0359; Fax: +27 0 11 615 3679
Other additional resources include: www.whichfranchise.co.za
Joint Venture/Licensing: Exchange control regulations stipulate that the South African Reserve Bank
(SARB) must approve the payment of royalties. When a licensing agreement involves no
manufacturing, the request for exchange control approval is sent directly to SARB. For a company
interested in entering into a licensing agreement with a local company to manufacture a product in
South Africa, the South African licensee must submit an application to the industrial Development
Branch of the Department of Trade and Industry. The Department of Trade and Industry, in turn, will
make a recommendation to the SARB. Exchange control regulations stipulate that SARB’s Exchange
Control Section must approve payment of royalties. When a licensing agreement involves no
manufacturing, the request for exchange control approval is sent directly to SARB.
Additional information on licensing regulations can be obtained from:
Department of Trade and Industry
Directorate of Licensing
Private Bag X84, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 12 394 9500; Fax: +27 12 394 9501
Selling to the Government: Government purchasing is a significant factor in the South African
economy. Nearly all such purchasing (at all three levels of government, i.e. national, regional, and
provincial) is done through competitive bidding on invitations for tenders, which are published in an
official state publication, the State Tender Bulletin
http://www.info.gov.za/documents/tenders/index.htm, including online government gazette at
www.greengazette.co.za, and sometimes in leading newspapers. Although the purchasing procedures of
the central government and parastatal institutions favor products of local manufacturers, an overseas
firm is not precluded from bidding if the firm has an agent in South Africa to act on its behalf. As a
general practice, payment is made to the local agent.
For more information, contact the SA Department of Finance (Treasury) who administers the
government procurement process at:
South African National Treasury
Public Private Partnership Unit
Private Bag X115, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 0 12 315 5455 or 315 5741
2.3: Consumer Behavior, Tastes and Preferences
The South African consumer is becoming increasingly health conscious, whereby wellness
foods, health and convenience continue to be key drivers.
There is increased demand for house or private labeled-brands as consumers see these products
as providing good value.
Convenience is expected to remain popular with consumers, as supermarkets will increase the
amount of ready-to eat food items offered at their fresh food departments, deli, home-meal-
replacement, and bakery department.
There is demand for longer store hours or even 24-hour shopping.
Environmental awareness and ethical behavior such as recycling, waster reduction and organic
farming and produce are important to South African consumers.
Increased consumption of dairy products such as drinking yoghurt, smoothies and ice cream.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes are increasingly part of the daily diet for
middle to high-income consumers.
Major supermarket retail chains increasingly have organic sections.
Food labeling is growing in importance, as consumers want to be informed about what they are
eating. (Please see South Africa’s new draft Consumer Protection Act).
Trends show that bottled water either premium, imported, flavored, enhanced and oxygenated
has achieved success and account for a large portion of the beverage market.
Supermarket retail chains continue to their less successful store brands to a more targeted
consumer base in order to boost sales.
Supermarket chains buying back their franchised outlets to improve quality control.
2.4: Food Standards and Regulations
FAS/Pretoria has prepared a GAIN Report on Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards
for South Africa, which can be found at the following links:
Consumer Protection Act: The South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published
regulations in the Gazette that bring the R 293 Consumer Protection Act (68/2008) into enforcement on
April 1, 2011. Implementation of the Act was delayed for some time as the legislation generated
significant comments from the private sector over the basis of many provisions and uncertainty in how
the Act would be enforced.
Under the Act however, are several genetically engineered (GE) labeling provisions that appear to have
no scientific basis. In response to the outpouring of comments from the business community and trade
partners, on October 9, 2012, DTI proposed amendments to the regulations of the Consumer Protection
Act, in particular the product labeling and trade descriptions of genetically engineered (GE)
ingredients in products. The DTI proposed changing the wording “genetically modified organisms” in
the regulation to “genetically modified ingredients or components”. Exporters must read more
information about the Act before engraining in this market. (GAIN: Consumer Protection Act).
2.5: General Import and Inspection Procedures
Import Permits: All food consignments are subject to random inspection and sampling at all points of
entry in South Africa to ensure food items imported into the country are safe and comply with the
prescribed standards and regulations. International freight forwarders normally handle documentation
and other formalities with authorities at entry points. Provided all necessary documents are in order, no
problems or delays should occur with customs clearance. Note that under the Import and Export Control
Act of 1963, the Minister of Trade and Industry may control the import of certain goods into South
Africa. The list of restricted goods has decreased in recent years. Products that still require import
permits are fish and fish products.
Customs Procedures: South Africa introduced the Single Administrative Document (SAD) for all
customs clearances purposes. All clearances with Customs are done on a SAD form 500; continuation
sheet - SAD 501; and transit control form - SAD 502.
The SAD is also capable of being used to clear a consignment through Customs in two or more
countries. Such use of the SAD form will expedite Customs clearance and enhance the effectiveness of
SAD forms and additional information is available at this link:
Tariffs: Since 1994, South Africa continues to reform and simplify its tariff structure in order to
comply with its WTO commitments. It has reduced tariff rates from an import-weighted average tariff
rate of more than 20 percent to 7 percent. Notwithstanding these reforms, importers have complained
that South Africa’s tariff schedule remains complex and can create uncertainty. Tariff rates mostly fall
within eight levels ranging from 0 percent to 30 percent, but some are higher.
The importer must consult the relevant schedules to the Customs and Excise Act to determine whether
the potential imports are eligible for rebate duty. Information can be found on the International Trade
Administration Commission (ITAC) of South Africa’s website at: www.itac.org.za
Department of Trade and Industry
International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC)
Private Bag X773, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 0 12 394 3590/1; Fax: +27 0 12 394 0517
Biotechnology: South Africa is seen as a leader in the biotechnology front in Africa, and many
neighboring countries look to South Africa for guidance and direction. South African biotechnology
policy is formulated under the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Act of 1977. This act was
modified by cabinet in 2005 to bring it in line with the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol and again in 2006
in order to address some economic and environmental concerns. In June 2001, the South African
government published the National Biotechnology Strategy for South Africa, expressing the South
African government’s intent to stimulate the growth of biotechnological industries. The document
states that biotechnology can make an important contribution to national priorities, particularly in the
area of human health, food security, and environmental sustainability.
For more information, refer to FAS’s Pretoria annual Biotechnology report.
SECTION III: MARKET SECTOR STRUCTURE AND TRENDS
Imports: South Africa’s January – September 2012 of agriculture, fish, and forestry imports from the
world totaled $5.1 million compared to $4.8 million in 2011. Whereas South Africa January –
September 2012 of agriculture, fish, and forestry imports from the United States totaled $208 million
compared to $356 million in 2011. A decline was due to lower wheat imports from the United States.
Major imported products include edible preparations, beverage spirits and vinegar, and sugar and sugar
Argentina is South Africa’s largest supplier of agricultural products with 12 percent market share
between January – September 2012. The top five leading suppliers were Argentina ($640 million),
Brazil ($438 million), China ($409 million), Thailand ($328 million), and the United Kingdom ($287
million). South Africa’s major imported agricultural commodities from Argentina were prepared
animal feed, cereals, and animal or vegetable fats; from Brazil were meat and edible meat offal, cereals,
and sugar and sugar confectionery; from China were cereals, edible vegetable and certain roots and
tubers, and prepared vegetables, fruit, nuts or other plant parts; from Thailand were cereals, edible
prepared of meat, fish, and crustaceans, meat and edible meat offal; and from the United Kingdom were
beverage, spirit, and vinegar, meat and edible meat offal, and miscellaneous edible preparations.
Exports: South Africa’s January – September 2012 of agriculture, fish, and forestry exports to the
world totaled $6.1 million compared to $6.4 million in 2011. South Africa exports to the United States
totaled $197 million compared to $205 million in 2011. Major exported products include edible fruits
and nuts, citrus or melon peel; beverage, spirits and vinegar; and fish, crustaceans and aquatic
The top five South Africa trade export countries were Netherlands ($606 million), the United Kingdom
($500 million), Zimbabwe ($437 million), Japan ($282 million), and Mexico ($271 million). South
Africa’s major exported agricultural commodities to Netherlands were edible fruits and nuts, beverages,
spirit and vinegar, and prepared vegetables fruit, nuts or other plant parts; to the United Kingdom were
edible fruits and nuts, beverage, spirit and vinegar, and prepared vegetables fruit, nuts or other plant
parts; to Zimbabwe were animal or vegetable fats, oils etc and waxes, milling products, and
miscellaneous edible preparations; to Japan were fuel wood in logs, prepared vegetable fruits nuts or
other, and edible fruit, nuts, citrus fruit or melon; and to Mexico cereals, raw hides and skins (no fur
skins) and leather, and beverage spirit and vinegar.
3.2: Distribution Systems for Processed Food Products
Channels of Distribution: In South Africa, only a few importers specialize in one product. Most
importers are generalists who import a wide range of food products. It is important for an exporter to
work with someone locally who knows the market well for the specific product in question. Agents
who represent one foreign supplier are also relatively rare.
Retail trade outlets in South Africa offer the full spectrum available in the United States. These range
from the neighborhood convenience drugstore (called cafés), to the small general dealer, specialty stores
handling a single product line (for example, clothing, electronics, furniture), exclusive boutiques, chain
stores (groceries, clothing, toiletries, household goods), department stores, cash and carry wholesale-
retail outlets, to co-operative stores serving rural areas. About 90 percent of inventories of consumer-
ready products in these stores are domestically sourced. A major phenomenon in South Africa has been
the evolution of hypermarkets, which sell large quantities of almost all consumer goods, similar to a
Price Club retail store in the United States. The hypermarkets, located in suburban shopping
centers/malls, have disrupted the traditional distribution chain by purchasing directly from
manufacturers and bypassing the wholesaler, and with low margins achieving high turnover, thereby
placing price pressure on all competing outlets. Most U.S. exporters of consumer goods sell directly to
South African retail organizations, such as department stores, chain stores, and cooperative groups of
independent retailers, which assume the functions of wholesale buying, selling, and warehousing.
It may be necessary to appoint an official after-sales agent for products of a technical nature in South
Africa. This may be a company that does not import or market the product in question, but rather,
because of its geographical reach, technical abilities, and goodwill in the market, acts as the certified
service agent. Appointing an appropriate after sales agent is crucial in ensuring that the product
develops a respected reputation in the country through the correct channels.
Importer/Distributor: Performs the first leg of the selling in a given country, and is the brand’s
ambassador in that country and therefore carries a certain amount of prestige as the country
representative of your company and brand. They will negotiate the total deal with the exporter, import
the goods (which will be pre-paid) and then re-sell the products to retailers (their main customer base)
and to smaller wholesalers, mostly in the rural areas. They physically take orders from customers,
invoice out the goods, and deliver the goods with their own or third-party transport for re-sale. They
will also be responsible for the marketing, after-sale service and promotional activity of the brand in that
Import Agents: These company or individuals usually operate by having a showroom only. They
invite their customer base to view the products on display and then institute the orders once
confirmation has been received. They also actively go into the trade, where they make appointments
with their customers, present the relevant products or samples, and collect the confirmed orders. Agents
could offer after sales service, either themselves or by out-sourcing from a specialist service company,
operating in the relevant country.
Delivery is usually done via drop shipments www.dropshipping.co.za (country-to-country shipments)
to-foreign shipments) from the supplier and a commission is paid to the agent. It is also quite common
for an agent to carry more than one brand or product line, either in the same genre or a mix.
Export Broker or Brokers: These individuals work with multiple brands and multiple genres of
products. They operate on both sides of the border, for example, they could be based in South Africa
and have been tasked by a customer of theirs to look for products in another country, or they could be
based in a foreign country and tasked either by retailers, wholesalers or government departments to find
products, at the best price for a supplier in, say South Africa. They usually work on a commission or
profit-share basis. Broker Agents are mostly involved with government or other large food supply
contracts. They tender for government contracts on behalf of different manufacturers. Some agents
have their own warehouses and distribution facilities.
Importer/Distributor/Retailer: This type of company is very similar to Importer/Distributor, except
that they have their own retail arm linked to their distribution system. In this case, they will usually
have a number of retail chains throughout the city, town or country areas. They will then distribute
exported products from a central warehouse, and/or bond store to their own retail stores, and to other
retailers and wholesalers who are their customers. The other responsibilities are the same as those
mentioned in the Importer/Distributor above.
Importer/Wholesaler: This type of company is similar to a distributor in that their orders are also pre-
paid to the supplier, and deliveries to their customers are dependent on their own local and/or prior
arrangements. They generally import the goods and other customers come to them to select, pay for and
collect the stock. The wholesaler may provide after sales service or outsource to a local service agent,
who already has an existing service operation.
Catering Wholesalers: Catering wholesalers purchase food products from various manufacturers and
resell these products predominantly to catering establishments. Catering wholesalers offer the
establishments a variety of food products, and some carry a select product range of specially packed
"house brands". They also import large volumes of products that are sold to catering establishments.
Distributor Agents: The distributor agent distributes food products on behalf of manufacturers without
necessarily taking ownership of the actual products. A distributor is usually required to adhere to prices
determined by the manufacturer and is paid a fee to distribute the products.
3.3: Trends in Advertizing and Trade Promotion
South Africa has a sophisticated advertising industry. The four key players in South Africa’s
advertising industry are the Association of Advertising Agencies (AAA), the Association of Marketers
(ASOM), and the two major media bodies, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the
Print Media Association (PMA). Additional information can be obtained from the Association of
Marketers and the Association of Advertising Agencies (see contact details at the end of the report).
More recently, food promotions have moved towards advertising goods based on health related issues
and “nutrition function” claims. Some South African consumers are becoming diet and health
conscious, and are becoming more responsive to products that address issues such as weight loss or
disease prevention. Also, American television and culture is having an increasing influence on South
Africans, leading to the adoption of social morays like “thin is beautiful.”
3.4: Trend in Tourism
Tourism, South Africa’s fastest growing industry, with an estimated annual growth rate of 12 percent, is
the fourth largest industry in South Africa, supporting about 700 hotels, 2800 guesthouses and 10,000
restaurants. The Travel and Tourism industry in South Africa is a major contributor to the economy
and presently accounts for 8.2 percent of GDP. Tourism contributes about 8 percent to South Africa’s
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creates about one million jobs both directly and indirectly.
According to Statistics South Africa, the volume of arrivals for foreign travelers increased by 11.9
percent from July 2011 to July 2012. Benefiting from this growth in terms of increased trade and
investment opportunities is the hospitality industry, which includes a vast array of well-developed and
sophisticated hotels, game lodges, guest houses, self-catering, camping and caravanning, bed and
breakfasts, restaurants, cafes, resorts, country clubs, fast food outlets, bars, airlines, hospitals,
supermarkets and convenience stores. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
www.environment.co.za and www.deat.gov.za is responsible for the growth and the development of
South Africa tourism and the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa is responsible to grade tourism
establishment in the country.
Tourism is central to growth and development in South Africa. In responding to this, the South African
government has launched the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (ASGISA), whose ultimate
objective is to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014. The ASGISA aims to create at least 500,000
tourism jobs by 2014.
South Africa, with an expanding middle class and a relatively stable economy, presents growing
opportunities for U.S. niche food products. In addition, globally there has been a significant
improvement in South Africa’s brand following the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Again, South Africa with
its well-developed transportation infrastructure is ideally placed to serve as an export hub to markets
throughout the region.
Source of statistics on South Africa tourism is available at, www.southafrica.net/research.
SECTION IV: BEST CONSUMER-ORIENTED PRODUCT PROSPECTS
BICO Fiscal Years (October – September) Five-year data trends show that some U.S. Consumer-
Oriented Agricultural exports to South Africa are growing. Of interest are categories which reached the
highest export levels in Fiscal Years (October – September 2012), such as consumer-oriented products,
snack foods, dairy products, fruit and vegetable juices, tree nuts, and other consumer oriented. Within
this category, sauces and condiments (HS 210390), fruit prepared and preserved (HS 200899), food
preparations (HS 210690) have shown consistent and substantial increases. Other high value exports
that have shown sustained growth are almonds (HS 080212), and canned salmon (HS 160411). The
United States enjoys a dominant position in the almond, canned salmon and other food preparations
markets, holding the highest market shares of 94 percent, 59 percent and 19 percent respectively.
Product Jan – Sept Jan – Sept Percentage of Import Key Constraints Market Attractiveness for
Category 2012 South 2012 U.S. Annual Import Tariff Over Market U.S.
Africa Imports Exports to Growth U.S. Rate Development
from the S.A. ($1,000)
Almonds 9 8 74 Free U.S. has largest market share
HS 080212 of 94%.
Salmon 730 427 -61 25% U.S. has the largest market
HS 160411 share of 59%.
Other Food 119 23 3.08 Varied U.S. has the largest market
Preparations share of 19%. American
HS210690 brands are becoming
increasingly popular given
their high quality attributes.
Whiskies 216 13 -21 1.54 United Kingdom with American brands lack brand
HS220830 84% market share and awareness among South
first move advantage, African consumers.
and US 6%.
Source: Global Trade Atlas (GTA)
SECTION V: KEY CONTACTS AND FURTHER INFORMATION
5.1: Additional Sources and Links:
The US Foreign Commercial Service has an annual South Africa Country Commercial Guide that
presents a comprehensive look at South Africa's commercial environment, using economic, political and
market analysis. To get copies call the US Foreign Commercial Service at +27 11 290 3000, or for more
information visit their website at www.buyusa.gov/Southafrica.
Grant Thornton South Africa’s site (www.gt.co.za) contains information on different aspect of South
Africa including guides on establishing a presence in South Africa. They may also be contacted at +27
11 322 4500.
5.2: Post Contact
If you have any questions or comments regarding this report or need further assistance, please contact
AgPretoria at the following address:
Office of Agricultural Affairs
U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa
Washington, D.C., 20521-9300
Tel: + 27 0 12 431 4057
Fax: + 27 0 12 342 2264
For more information on exporting U.S. agricultural products to other countries, please visit the Foreign
Agricultural Service’s website at: http://www.fas.usda.gov
APPENDIX I: STATISTICS
TABLE A: KEY TRADE & DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
2012 Total Population (Millions) / Annual Growth Rate (%) 50/2%
Urban Population (Millions) Annual Growth Rate (%) 30,675.2/1.4%
Number of Major Metropolitan Areas 9
Size of the Middle Class (millions) 12 million
Unemployment Rate (%) 25.2%
Percent of Female Population Employed 51%
Exchange Rate as of December 2012 US$1 = R8.50
2) Statistics South Africa Link: http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0302/P03022010.pdf
3) Euromonitor International www.euromonitor.com
TABLE B: SOUTH AFRICA CONSUMER FOOD & EDIBLE FISHERY PRODUCT
South Africa Imports January – December January – December January – December
Imports from World Imports from U.S. U.S. Market Share %
In Millions of Dollars 2008 2009 2010 2008 2009 2010 2008 2009 2010
CONSUMER-ORIENTED AGRICULTURAL TOTAL 7,411 4,939 6,688 285 157 206 3.84 3.17 3.09
Snack Foods (excl. nuts) 118 104 114 2,0 1,6 2,7 1.78 1.56 2.38
Breakfast Cereals/pancake mix 8,3 20 25 349 226 2,0 4.18 1.13 8.01
Red Meats, Fresh/Chilled/Frozen 105 108 120 531 585 102 0.51 0.54 0.08
Red meats, Prepared/Preserved 11 4 5 16 7 29 0.15 0.19 0.55
Poultry Meat 190 189 240 6,1 6,0 4,8 3.22 3.22 2.03
Dairy Products (excl. cheese) 4,5 6,5 8,9 190 399 978 4.23 6.15 11.03
Eggs & Products 2,8 2,2 1,9 637 267 369 22.89 12.36 18.97
Fresh Fruit 22 31 24 1,2 221 440 0.01 0.99 1.42
Fresh Vegetables 6,5 5,2 9,2 679 98 130 10.45 1.89 1.41
Processed Fruit & Vegetables 113 114 145 8,3 7,4 12,3 7.33 6.49 8,49
Fruit & Vegetables Juices 55 59 55 949 412 489 1.72 0.70 0.89
Tree Nuts 39 32 38 5,9 6,2 7,0 15.18 19.61 18.39
Wine & Beer 117 164 40 259 89 1,5 0.22 0.05 3.67
Nursery Products & Cut flowers 11 11 13 133 140 248 1.24 1.30 1.89
Pet Foods (Dog & Cat food) 27 30 40 2,7 2,6 2,9 9.88 8.79 7.22
Other Consumer-Oriented 6,455 3,984 5,683 238 125 161 3.69 3.15 2.83
FISH & SEAFOOD PRODUCTS 224 251 234 12 3,3 3,7 5.31 1.30 1.59
Salmon 11 9,2 13 3,9 1,0 1,7 35.63 11.46 13.09
Crustaceans 47 59 53 403 184 201 0.85 0.31 0.38
Groundfish & Flatfish 16 17 19 36 497 846 0.22 2.95 4.39
Molluscs 22 14 17 2,2 151 646 10.38 1.12 3.70
Other Fishery Products 127 153 130 5,3 843 289 4.14 0.91 0.22
AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS TOTAL 10,715 7,770 9,966 491 236 357 4.58 3.03 3.58
AG, FISH & FORESTRY TOTAL 5,221 4,697 5,264 328 178 270 6.27 3.80 5.13
Source: Global Trade Atlas
TABLE C: TOP 15 SUPPLIERS OF CONSUMER FOODS & EDIBLE FISHERY PRODUCTS
South Africa – Top 15 Suppliers Import Import Import Import Import Import
2008 2009 2010 2008 2009 2010
Jan- Jan- Jan- Jan- Jan- Jan-
Dec Dec Dec Dec Dec Dec
CONSUMER-ORIENTED Value Value Value FISH & SEAFOOD Value Value Value
AGR ICULTURAL IMPORTS $1000 $1000 $1000 PRODUCTS $1000 $1000 $1000
Germany 2,191 1,380 2,076 Thailand 95 124 104
Japan 1,502 778 1,147 China 16 17 25
Brazil 600 423 508 India 26 29 24
Thailand 561 405 490 New Zealand 11 10 12
Spain 140 153 269 Norway 8 8 11
United States 285 157 206 Argentina 2 5 6
United Kingdom 296 147 178 Spain 4 3 6
Netherlands 149 194 151 Indonesia 2 4 4
Sweden 81 51 142 United States 11 3 4
Czech Republic 58 62 140 Mozambique 5 6 3
Austria 159 127 136 Chile 4 5 3
China 119 105 131 Peru 8 3 3
France 161 119 116 Falkland Islands 3 2 3
Italy 80 74 86 Malaysia 1 4 2
India 90 53 84 Portugal 2 2 2
Other 6,455 3,984 5,683 Other 127 153 130
World 7,411 4,939 6,688 World 224 251 234
Source: Global Trade Atlas