Cheryl Hunter (research at’s weekly wrap of the latest market and consumer research:

  • Connected consumers
  • Naturally derived sweeteners
  • World of wine

Shaking up the smartphone category

man mobile phone person smartphone courtesy of
Image courtesy of

The growth of smartphones locally is being driven by the greater adoption of entry-level smartphones, according to a new report from Euromonitor. Many second-tier brands are making their devices more desirable based on functionality and, more importantly, on price and this, in turn, is playing a significant role in driving ecommerce in South Africa.

The digital landscape is rapidly changing as consumers become more connected, thanks to an increasing array of digital products and services. Sales of premium devices decline as consumers continue to migrate to entry-level alternatives and increasingly become more open to trying affordable brands which are attempting to make gains locally. Developments in the mid-tier smartphones offering are set to shake up the category as these devices become more affordable and more popular, with end-users expecting innovation and invention from smartphones, regardless of price.

Huawei is in the process of implementing a local strategy to compete with the leading names in smartphones: Samsung and iPhone. SA has been identified as a key market and plans are being implemented whereby more localised services, along with cheaper flagship devices, will be introduced.

The next year will see the introduction of mid-to-low-range phones that bring the kind of user experience, camera quality and operating system technology that are associated with higher-end or premium smartphones to a broader group of consumers.

Buy this report at Euromonitor.


Awareness impacts naturally derived sweeteners market

Increasing consumer awareness about the consumption of naturally derived food ingredients is expected to continue underpinning the demand for naturally derived sweeteners over the upcoming years, with this market anticipated to be worth more than US$37bn by 2028, according to a recent intelligence outlook released by Future Market Insights (FMI).

FMI naturally derived sweeteners marketDemand for plant-based sweeteners or sweetening agents containing only naturally sourced ingredients is expected to create new opportunities in the marketplace, especially since governments are extending financial support to encourage natural ingredient cultivation, creating a favorable scenario for farmers — particularly in developing countries. Expensive pricing and an unfamiliar aftertaste are currently restricting consumer acceptance, but a growing population base is gradually developing the taste for these unconventional natural sweeteners.

The naturally derived sweeteners industry is still in its early phase of development, as most of the products are yet to be approved or have been recently approved by the authoritative regulatory organisations for usage in various food products. Currently, molasses, honey, and coconut sugar are enjoying higher sales in the market for naturally derived sweeteners. FMI predicts that, within the next few years, palm sugar, stevia, and other naturally derived sweeteners will showcase rapid growth. This includes positive growth prospects for organic certified products, as the escalating consumer demand for non-GMO, chemical-free, organically cultivated, and fresh and natural products continue to push the growth of the naturally derived sweeteners market globally.

A high price-point continues to act as a barrier to widespread adoption of natural sweeteners by soft-drinks manufacturers. Besides the expensive cost, strict regulatory norms regarding the inclusion of naturally derived sweeteners as an ingredient in food products may also remain a major factor expected to restrict adoption in the near future, especially in end-use sectors such as bakery and confectionery.

Buy this report at Future Market Insights.


US drives wine sales

Technavio Global Wine Market 2018-2022According to researcher at Technavio, the high demand for wine in the US is anticipated to be one of the major factors driving the global wine market and is expected to impact the market significantly during the next few years.

In order to provide a clear understanding of niche markets globally, the report — due to be published in September 2018 — will present a detailed analysis of multiple segments and their market evaluation, examining product type, geography, and end-user application. Also considerered are the factors that impacting the growth of similar markets, such as the global whiskey market, which is expected to grow at a steady 7% during the next few years.

Buy this report at Technavio.


Cheryl Hunter

Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison. She now does the new weekly “Market Research Wrap” column for

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