African consumer industries set for US$400 billion growth

Factory workers AfricaConsumer industries in Africa are projected to grow by US$400bn, which equates to 50 per cent of the total profits all businesses are likely to gain in Africa by the end of the decade

The survey, conducted by consultancy McKinsey and published on 6 November 2012, was based on African consumer behaviour and revealed a "surging consumer market" that is contributing to the rapid economic growth in the continent.

"Poverty and unemployment are still widespread on the continent, more so than in other emerging markets," the report stated.

"But fundamental macro-level trends are encouraging the emergence of more prosperous consumers, who in turn are contributing to rapid economic growth and employment in Africa," it added. 

In a bid to support companies targeting markets in Africa, the survey involved 13,000 partcipants and was rolled out in 10 countries.

According to the survey, both population growth and rising incomes will mean that by 2020 more than half of African households are projected to have a discretionary income and have money for basic necessities such as food.

Bill Russo, a director of Johannesburg-based McKinsey and Company, said that the survey revealed the extent to which consumer industries will be the driving force for the continent’s future growth.

Another key insight is to be found in the preferences and expectations of African consumers, said Russo.

"The price, quality and brand combination is very interesting. While it is not a surprise that price is important, what is surprising is how important quality and brand are," he commented.

McKinsey is one of the leading players supporting the view that Africa represents global economic growth and business opportunities.

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