What role do South African kids play in influencing household purchases?

Here’s what we know about this question, based on data on South African kids aged 6 to 12 and their parents from our global Kidfluence study:

South African families help each other out. Almost all kids in South Africa (96%) participate in household tasks, most commonly cleaning and playing with kids. Almost two-thirds regularly help relatives outside their home – substantially above the global average of 40%. And in return, 62% of South African families receive help from other relatives, especially babysitting and purchases for kids.

South African kids influence what their families buy. 7 in 10 South African parents say their child plays a role in household purchase decisions – and 11% say it’s a big role. The main categories that kids influence are entertainment (97%), food and groceries (94%), restaurant (89%), vacations and day trips (80%, and electronics (75%). Additionally, 65% of kids participate in decisions about the gifts their family buys for others.  

When kids in South Africa want their parents to buy something, they make a case. They don’t just advise their parents on purchase decisions – just over half have made a presentation to their parents to ask for something they really wanted.

They have money of their own and spend it across a variety of categories. Most South African kids (84%) have their own money and 76% have saved up to buy something. Most of them get money in cash – from a regular allowance (63%), for life events like birthdays (71%), or randomly from parents (75%) or other family members (63%). When they spend their money, kids 6 to 9 are most likely to buy toys (84%), followed by food, snacks, and drinks (71%). Kids 10 to 12 spend a little more broadly, with food, snacks, and drinks #1 at 76%, followed by toys (59%), clothes and shoes (49%), video games and in-game purchases (48%), and game consoles and accessories (32%).

They are engaged with brands. South African kids understand and value brands – 85% say they really like certain brands and 67% think it’s worth paying more for brands or products that they like. They are substantially more likely than their global peers to enjoy watching ads for things they like (83% in South Africa vs. 77% globally) and to follow certain brands (73% vs. 67%).

And they love shopping in stores. Kids in South Africa are more likely than kids globally to ask their parents to take them to stores they like (90% in South Africa vs. 83% globally) and to think it’s more fun to visit a store than to shop online (85% vs. 75%).