Q&A: Why bulk-buying is worth it for consumers

Bulk-buying of non-perishable items is a retailer strategy to help consumers to save money and stock up their pantry, says Tanya Sigamoney, Makro brand manager.

South Africa is experiencing the effects of its highest inflation in five years as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine continue to impact on the cost of food, fuel and electricity. This volatility is causing havoc for many families who are having to rethink their shopping behaviour, says Tanya Sigamoney, Makro brand manager. Makro’s strategy is to promote its bulk-buying of non-perishable items as an easy way for consumers to save money and stock up their pantry, she explains.

Please elaborate on your strategy.

Not only does it prevent top-up basket shopping, but it enables shoppers to secure staple items like oat flour and maize bread that are expected to rise by 20%, at today’s prices. Here are more reasons why bulk-buying is a smart way to beat rising food costs.

Does it bring real cost-savings to the consumer?

It’s often cheaper to buy pantry-fillers in bulk because you save on excessive packaging, which is a big plus for the environment. Many stores often have major deals for products bought in bulk which you can cash in on. And should prices rise in the near future you won’t be affected.

Why does this assist with reducing wastage and time?

Buying in bulk means you get exactly what you need for stocking your pantry. At first it will take some monitoring to work out how many items you consume on a monthly basis, for example toilet paper, toothpaste, washing powder, or even breakfast cereal. However, once you figure it out you can easily calculate the amount you’ll need for a longer period of time. What has become somewhat of a trend for in-store shoppers, is buying different products from different stores during one shopping trip. Having the ease of shopping for all your goods, under one roof, will also save you money in the long run.

Can bulk-buying also save money on well-known brands?

When bulk-buying, consider exclusive brands as they can save you a considerable amount of money. Research conducted by Nielsen HQ shows that private label products represent 24% of total basket value in South Africa. On average, private brands pricing is 27% lower than national brand pricing across items such as maize meal, rice, UHT milk, sunflower oil, tinned pilchards, and dishwashing liquid. Not only are these household items in the private brand category seeing an uptick in demand, but also in other categories such as small appliances and health equipment. It’s a great way to enjoy quality and value.

How are you advising consumers to save?

Many retailers offer loyalty or rewards programmes and if you are looking for ways to save, it’s important you pay close attention to how they work especially if you are loyal to a particular retailer. MRewards for example can save customers money on their monthly shop. With Christmas just six months away, it’s an ideal time to start earning rewards. To save money requires planning and changing shopping behaviour. Bulk-buying has been known to save families up to 10% of their usual household goods. Consumers need to lookout for the best deals and when you find them, stock up for the long haul.


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