South Africa’s Food & Beverage Sector Defies Odds: Surprising Resilience Amid Economic Downturn

  • Survey Overview: The article discusses a comprehensive survey conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on the food and beverage industry in South Africa for April 2023. The survey, which includes businesses registered for VAT, aims to monitor trends in the industry and contribute to the development of government policy.

  • Income Trends and Enterprise Breakdown: The report provides a detailed analysis of the income trends in the industry, with a year-on-year percentage change in food and beverages income at constant 2019 prices. It also classifies enterprises by size, based on their turnover, and provides a range for the total income of the industry within 95% confidence limits for April 2023.

  • Methodology and Future Outlook: The survey methodology is explained, highlighting the use of stratified simple random sampling and the efforts to minimize non-sampling errors. The article concludes by emphasizing the significant role of the food and beverage industry in South Africa's economy, its resilience amidst economic challenges, and the importance of the survey data for future strategic planning and decision-making.

Food and Beverage

Johannesburg, South Africa – The latest report from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) provides an in-depth analysis of the country’s food and beverage industry for April 2023. The report, based on a monthly survey of public and private enterprises involved in the preparation of meals and drinks for immediate consumption, offers valuable insights into the industry’s performance and trends.

The survey, which is part of the government’s efforts to monitor and develop policy, is based on a sample drawn from the 2022 business sampling frame (BSF) that contains businesses registered for value-added tax (VAT). The results are used to compile estimates of the tourism satellite accounts (TSA) and the gross domestic product (GDP) and its components.

Key Findings

The food and beverages industry in South Africa is primarily made up of restaurants and coffee shops, takeaway and fast-food outlets, and catering services. The survey’s preliminary collection rate for April 2023 was 79.8%, with a revised collection rate for March 2023 at 83.3%.

The report also provides a breakdown of enterprises by size, classified according to their turnover. Large and medium enterprises (size group one and two) are completely enumerated, while small and very small enterprises (size groups three and four) are sampled.

The report provides a year-on-year percentage change in food and beverages income at constant 2019 prices. The data is estimated by deflating income at current prices using the relevant components of the consumer price index for restaurants.

The total income for the food and beverages industry within 95% confidence limits for April 2023 ranged from R5,532.4 million to R7,983.8 million, with a relative standard error of 9.3%.

Methodology and Reliability

The survey was conducted by mail, email, fax, and telephone, with a sample of 960 enterprises drawn from a population of 7,736 enterprises using stratified simple random sampling. The enterprises were first stratified at the five-digit level according to the Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (SIC) and then by size.

The data presented in the publication are based on information obtained from a sample and are, therefore, subject to sampling variability. However, every effort is made to minimise non-sampling errors by careful design of questionnaires, testing them in pilot studies, editing reported data, and implementing efficient operating procedures.

Looking Ahead

The food and beverages industry plays a vital role in South Africa’s economy, contributing significantly to the GDP and providing employment opportunities. Despite the challenges posed by the current economic climate, the industry has shown resilience and adaptability.

The data from the Stats SA survey will continue to be a valuable tool for policymakers, industry stakeholders, and analysts in understanding the industry’s performance and identifying trends for strategic planning and decision-making.

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