Easter in South Africa, like in many parts of the world, is a time of reflection, celebration, and an opportunity to gather with family and friends. The way South Africans commemorate this occasion, however, is as diverse as the country itself, influenced by a rich tapestry of traditions and contemporary lifestyles. 

To delve deeper into these celebrations, a series of polls were conducted on YourView, shedding light on when South Africans shop for Easter, what they buy, and their preferred shopping methods. This article presents a detailed analysis of these polls, offering a glimpse into the prevailing consumer behaviours and trends as South Africans prepare for Easter 2024.

When South Africans Shop for Easter Products

The gathering of Easter products is a ritual for many, but the timing of this shopping spree varies. According to the YourView poll; 

  • a majority (32%) of South Africans begin their Easter shopping one week before Easter Sunday, indicating a significant trend towards last-minute shopping. 
  • A notable 26% shop a few weeks in advance
  • and 18% shop throughout the entire Easter season, suggesting a more prolonged period of preparation and celebration for some. 
  • Interestingly, 16% wait until the week of Easter to make their purchases, highlighting a segment of consumers who procrastinate. 

This distribution reveals critical insights for retailers and marketers. There’s a clear indication of peak shopping times, which could guide inventory management and targeted advertising campaigns. Retailers might consider ramping up their stock levels and marketing efforts a week before Easter, catering to the majority’s shopping habits. Additionally, early and season-long promotions could captivate the early birds and the consistent shoppers, respectively.

What South Africans Buy for Easter

The items filling South African shopping baskets during Easter are telling of the holiday’s spirit and evolving consumer preferences. 

  • Dominating the purchases are chocolate Easter eggs and candies, with 48.3% of respondents naming them as their top buy. 
  • Traditional Easter foods such as hot cross buns, lamb, and ham also play a significant role, accounting for 27.7% of purchases. 
  • Specialty Easter beverages, including sparkling wines and themed cocktails, are preferred by 9.1%
  • On the other hand, Easter-themed home decorations capture a smaller market share, with 6.3%
  • Similarly, craft supplies for Easter activities also hold a modest portion, accounting for 5.4%.

The preference for consumables over decorations suggests that South Africans are perhaps more invested in the culinary and indulgent aspects of Easter. 

This trend offers an avenue for businesses to innovate and expand their range of traditional food items and specialty beverages. The relatively low interest in decorations and crafts indicates a potential growth area, should retailers and suppliers find unique ways to tie these products to South African traditions and consumer interests.

Shopping Preferences: Online vs Offline

The rise of digital commerce globally has undeniably influenced shopping habits in South Africa. According to the poll; 

  • A significant 56.4% of respondents utilise both online and offline channels, depending on convenience. This omnichannel approach is indicative of the modern shopper’s desire for flexibility and efficiency. 
  • In contrast, 31.3% prefer shopping in physical stores, valuing the tangible experience of selecting Easter products firsthand. 
  • Online shopping exclusively attracts 9.5%, hinting at the barriers still existing in the digital shopping experience, whether they be trust, accessibility, or preference. 

This trend towards a hybrid shopping model underscores the necessity for retailers to maintain a robust online presence while still investing in the physical shopping experience.

An omnichannel approach not only meets the diverse preferences of the consumer base but also leverages the strengths of both platforms. For instance, online platforms can offer the convenience and breadth of selection, while physical stores can provide the tactile and personal experience that many shoppers still crave.

Consumer Insights and Trends

The findings from these polls illuminate several pivotal trends shaping how South Africans celebrate Easter. The tendency towards last-minute shopping, a clear preference for consumables, and the embrace of omnichannel shopping are all signs of a consumer base that values tradition, convenience, and flexibility. For businesses, understanding these trends is crucial in aligning their offerings and strategies with consumer expectations.

The predominance of food-related purchases suggests that Easter in South Africa is celebrated with a strong emphasis on shared meals and indulgence, a trend that retailers can capitalise on by diversifying their food and beverage offerings. The low interest in Easter crafts and decorations might prompt creative marketing strategies to make these categories more appealing or relevant. 

Moreover, the mixed preference for online and offline shopping indicates a broad market opportunity for retailers to enhance their omnichannel experiences, ensuring that both digital and physical storefronts are optimised for convenience, engagement, and satisfaction.


The way South Africans shop and celebrate Easter is a dynamic interplay of tradition and modern consumer behaviour. The insights gathered from the YourView polls offer a valuable snapshot into these trends, reflecting last-minute shopping habits, a strong preference for edible treats over decorative items, and a balanced approach to online and offline shopping. 

For businesses, these insights not only underscore the importance of understanding consumer preferences but also highlight the opportunities that exist in catering to these behaviours. As South Africa gears up for Easter 2024, the findings from these polls provide a roadmap for both consumers and retailers alike, promising a celebration that reflects contemporary tastes and is deeply rooted in tradition.


YourView Consumer Panel: YourView is maintained and administered by KLA, which provides research services and insights to numerous South African companies, including blue chip clients in the financial services, telecommunications and FMCG industries.

Panel size: ~100 000-110 000

Data Collection:   2024/03/18 – 2024/03/19

Population: No quotas applied with a natural fall-out across demographics.

Question 1: When do you typically shop for Easter products? n – 128

Question 2: What products do you buy most during Easter? n- 725

Question 3: When it comes to shopping for Easter products, do you prefer to shop online or offline? n- 367