Strategy: Africa Life decrypts the African consumer

The Kantar Group, which is specializing in market research, launched its new « Africa Life » report in early May. Focusing on African consumers, it reveals many trends, one of which is strong confidence in the future and an ever increasing use of the Internet.

Two mornings of discussion in Dakar, then in Abidjan on May 3 and 5 respectively, between the African Kantar group Unit and the professionals of the sector, allowed to present the main trends of consumers in the continent: an ever increasing confidence, an exponential use of ICTs, a central creativity, a need for innovation. All these data are to be found in the « Africa Life » Kantar report, for the 3 main French-speaking African countries.

Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon

« Africa Life » proposes a country-by-country consumer analysis to better consider local specificities, although some trends appear to be widespread across the continent. In the francophone zone, for example, insights are primarily concerned with Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Cameroon. For Ndeye Diagne, Managing Director – Insights, French-speaking West Africa Kantar – it was necessary to take into account the national dimensions to provide the study: « We live in Africa, talk to thousands of African consumers every week and continuously share their daily life. We clearly understand the experience they are telling us and analyze it in light of the local realities and the global prospect that our group offers us. »

A panel of 800 consumers

In each of the countries, a panel of 800 consumers was formed: lifestyle, state of mind, food consumption, digital, beauty, health … This reveals a great confidence in the future (85% for Senegal, 89% for the Ivory Coast and 89% for Cameroon) and the use of ICTs exploding (on average 90% of Internet users are mobile users). The need for creativity seems equally crucial (+/- 60% of the populations interviewed prefer an « original » lifestyle). This is confirmed by Valéry Martin, Director of Kantar Millward Brown, for whom « the brands that draw their game are those that inspire and have a true affective dimension.” Idriss El Ganari, Development Director – Kantar Worldpanel, Africa and the Middle East, reminds us that « if all growth ambitions converge in Africa, successes can only be achieved with a real adaptation.” And thus an understanding of the environment

An expected answer

During the May meetings, the Kantar group invited a number of professionals from the sector, who were obviously attentive to the results of the study. The communication director of Patisen, a Senegalese food group, welcomed the meeting: « I was very impressed by this study, which partly confirms our vision of consumers, but also teaches us a lot. » Another area, broadcasting. For Diarri, in charge of Canal + customer loyalty, « this study presents real novelties and differs from the one we are used to seeing … it is very satisfactory. »

There is no doubt, then, that it is a desire for innovation that drives « Africa Life » – to reflect at best the transformations of the African markets. And Ndeye Diagne, responsible for the organization of the meetings, concluded: « We live the transformation of our continent in the same way as consumers. And if Africa’s desire gets stronger, the brands must learn to exploit it sufficiently. »


Author : ANA // Photo : Ndeye Diagne, Directrice Générale – Insights, Afrique de l’Ouest Francophone © KANTAR

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