A profile on the consumption patterns of Indians in KwaZulu-Natal.
This study focused on the consumption patterns of Indians in Kwazulu-Natal. As a group Indians' consumption patterns differ sufficiently to have strong implications for marketers targeting this sector of the market. Marketers need to take cognisance of their consumption patterns to implement effective marketing strategies. The consumption behaviour of Indians was compared to and contrasted with the other race groups - Whites and Blacks - in terms of their main expenditure items by type of outlet to determine significant differences. The basic unit of study was the household - multiple and single. Demographic and cultural factors were examined closely since the researcher made the assumption that these factors would highlight differences in consumption patterns between and within communities. Several findings which could have a bearing on marketing of products in this segment have emerged from this study: • There are more income earners among the Indian households when compared to Whites and Blacks. • The majority of the respondents belong to the baby-boomer subculture, a group that has tremendous buying and spending power. • This study reinforces the view that there is a clear link between improved education, occupation and higher income as well as LSM groupings. • Another significant trend for marketers to note is that the increasing number of Indian females entering the workforce is changing the traditional roles within the household. They are becoming more active in the decision-making process. • The increasing forces of westernisation and improving education have contributed to the Indian consumer becoming more sophisticated in terms of their consumption habits. • The household unit itself is caught in a process of transition. The traditional large joint family system is giving way to the small nuclear family. All these developments have implications for marketers. Indian consumers' main expenditure was on food, followed by housing and electricity. They spent relatively more than the other race groups on purchases from informal outlets in the retail sector.