The impact of religion on the demand for pork in Pietermaritzburg.
While the rest of the producers of pork enjoy exporting opportunities brought about by free trade agreements of the global village, South African pork producers struggle to enter the global market, let alone remain afloat. This has resulted in the locals focusing their production towards meeting local demands, which one can argue that local pork market has reached its maturity. Moreover, other countries import pork to South Africa, making it even more difficult for local producers to expand and remain profitable if they focus only on their local customers, which are a niche market. South Africa consumes far less pork compared to other countries, particularly those countries, which have a significant percentage of non-believers, such as China. Whereas other macroeconomic factors such as political and economic factors have an impact on limiting the demand for pork, religion is an important socio-cultural factor that has been overlooked when assessing the South African macro-environment. Consequently the oversight of local pork producers has caused them to misread or misunderstand the behaviour and the future trend of consumers. This study sought to establish the impact of religion as a socio-cultural environmental factor on the demand for pork in Pietermaritzburg, the capital city of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province. Non-probability sampling technique was used to identify 400 respondents. Data was collected by means of a pretested questionnaire. Subsequent to elimination of erroneous questionnaires, the total questionnaires were reduced from 400 to 375. Data was computed using Microsoft Excel version 2007. The findings showed that there was an inverse relationship between religion and demand for pork. Data was presented using different types of graphs and tables. The domestic pork market has reached its highest level of maturity; however, the respondents are open-minded about their limited influence for favourable future demands. It is recommended that the South African pork and processed pork producers diversify their reach by tapping strongly to foreign markets to remain sustainable and profitable as a significant percentage of local customers are prohibited by their religion from buying and consuming pork.