South Africa: Retail Foods

  |   Attaché Report (GAIN)   |   SF2021-0039

South African retail food sales totaled US$ 39.8billion in 2020, a 6 percent decrease from 2019 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A nationwide lockdown in March 2020 brought rapid changes to the South African retail sector, as retail operations adapted to new ways of doing business. Some of the government’s restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 negatively affected for retail sales, constrained consumer spending, slowed GDP growth, and caused massive unemployment, which according to Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), increased to 32.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 30.8 percent in the third quarter. South Africa remains the biggest market for food and beverage products in Southern Africa and is a gateway to other Sub-Saharan African countries, with opportunities for U.S. exporters that can offer quality products at competitive prices.

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