On Shelf
On Shelf

#OnShelf: Accelerated digital innovation

by Louise Burgers. Shoprite is leading the retail innovation pack right now with its masterful pivot to online shopping and grocery vouchers; and we feature Fair Cape Dairies new long life fruit juice range.

by Louise Burgers. No prizes for guessing that the alcohol category will show a massive jump in sales in the first week of June. But in the meantime, it is encouraging to see how brands are slowly going ahead with brand relaunches, packaging updates and unveiling new products, as lockdown eases. Shoprite is leading the retail innovation pack right now with its masterful pivot to online shopping and grocery vouchers; and we feature Fair Cape Dairies new long life fruit juice range.

Pandemic drives digital innovation

In a recent webinar with marketing heads of Africa’s top brands, it was mentioned that “chaos and crisis are an entrepreneur’s friend”. History will record that this pandemic accelerated digital innovation across the globe; no where more so, than in Africa. Shoprite has highlighted the basket of services it launched during lockdown, which the group says, “are here to stay – even beyond national lockdown”. These services are: virtual grocery vouchers; medicine delivery; and the various grocery delivery options:

  • Virtual Vouchers: South Africans who wish to reach out and help those in need can now purchase virtual grocery vouchers from Computicket. These vouchers are sent via SMS to a recipient’s mobile phone within an hour of being purchased; and are valid for three years and can be redeemed at any Shoprite, Checkers or Usave supermarket nationwide.
  • Medicine Delivery: Checkers teamed up with Mr D Food to deliver medicine to its MediRite pharmacy customer’ homes.
  • Grocery Delivery: Checkers now offers customers three different delivery services – via the Sixty60 app (delivery fee R35); Sixty60 Boxed, offering bulk same-day delivery of groceries and household supplies via a collaboration between Sixty60 and CFS, servicing selected parts of the Western Cape and Gauteng; and customers can also now order groceries for home delivery in select areas of the Western Cape and Gauteng through Checkers Food Services (CFS), with a minimum order of R1000.
New long life fruit juice range

Fair Cape Dairies’ fruit juices are now available in long life packaging. Like their fresh counterparts, the long life juices are made from 100% juice and are preservative free with no added sugar. The one litre packs are available in 100% apple, 100% orange, cranberry (cranberry, apple and aronia blend), and fruit cocktail (apple, orange, guava and passionfruit blend). The 1 litre pack size is available for R19.95.

Trolley dash

While the continued ban on tobacco under #lockdownSA level 3 enrages South Africans; alcohol drinkers are stocking up on ice, creating memes like this one, and redrawing household budgets to stockpile for at least three months. It is feared that further hard lockdowns in the future will outlaw booze sales again. As winter bites and cheer will be needed in the coming months, the reopening of bottle stores on June 1, 2020, has been widely celebrated, by everyone except pineapple farmers who received an unexpected windfall when South Africans turned to brewing pineapple beer instead of baking banana bread, during the Great Prohibition of 2020. In the words of a traditional Irish drinking toast: “May your bank account always be bigger than your troubles. Sláinte is táinte!”


Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.

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