/ 24 December 2011

Spending on food and health drops

South Africans are spending less on food and health care compared to the last two years, said debit and credit card distributor Sureswipe on Friday.

‘What we are seeing is an end to strong negative spending patterns of the last two years and a slow but definite improvement in confidence and spending,” said managing director Paul Kent.

He said there was a worrying decrease on spending on food and beverages.

“Consumers can’t cope with high food costs and it is here that many are far more budget conscious…since [November 2010] food sales have reversed, with a 14 percent decline.”

Kent said the decline on food spending was expected to continue.

Sureswipe said another concerning trend was the decreased spending on health care including spa treatments and gym.

It said the downward trend in food spending and gym purchases showed that consumers were not paying enough attention to the preventative measures of health by either eating properly or by exercising.

“That could create longer term problems.”
Sureswipe said areas that showed increased spending included hobbies and crafts, alcohol, pets and printing and stationery.

This trend was expected to continue climbing. — Sapa