South Africa: Retail Foods
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The South African retail food sector is well-developed and continues to expand into other African countries. In 2021, South African retail food sales totaled $40 billion, a 0.2 percent increase from 2020 as the South African economy began to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth followed the easing of COVID-19 regulations and rising rates of in-store shopping. South Africa remains the gateway for trade to other countries in Southern Africa, and the strength and resilience of the food retail industry in South Africa was evident during the pandemic and the civil unrest in July 2021. The COVID-19 crisis seems to be subsiding, but its effects hit household incomes and jobs, especially in poorer communities. South Africa’s economy recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2022, but unemployment remains at near-record levels and supply chain disruptions and food price inflation have drastically increased food security concerns in recent months.