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Clean living in emerging markets

Thirty nine percent of South Africans pay someone else to clean their homes, according to a global study conducted by market research company Synovate. This is compared to a 27% average in emerging markets and a 12% average in developed markets.
These findings were derived from Synovate's second annual global Hotspots study, which contrasts ten emerging markets with four benchmark developed markets. The study, which has been conducted over the last two years, asks respondents about cars, charity, technology, media consumption, attitudes to brands, health and much more.

Which countries do the least work around their homes?

Saudi Arabian homemakers do the least cleaning work around their homes compared to the rest of the globe, with 48% saying that they pay someone else to do these chores. Following them was India (41%) with South Africa ranking third (39%).

Globally, who is doing more of their own cleaning than anyone else?

Brits are the most hands-on when it comes to cleaning their own homes. Only eight percent of Britons splurge on cleaning help around the home. Romanians are also less likely to have hired help around the home (10%) followed by Denmark (13%) and Germany (13%).

Is a house cleaner more of a luxury in developed markets than it is in emerging markets? When one considers the relative low cost of labour in emerging markets, this may not be so hard to believe.

This raises the question as to whether cleaning product purchase decisions are made by householders or by hired help. Are divergent marketing strategies needed within markets as well as across markets?

One common finding globally is that housewives remain the ultimate decision-makers but household helpers can heavily influence these decisions. It could be that those responsible for household chores play the most influential role in purchasing decisions.

According to this survey, general cleaning of the house in South Africa is performed by mothers (22%) and hired helpers (21%). Moms still do most of the cooking (39%), with 8% of female siblings assisting with this chore and only 4% of domestic helpers. Mothers also take the reins when it comes to laundry (28%) with 18% of domestic helpers assisting in this area.

As might be expected, male members of the household are more involved in taking out the trash, with 16% of fathers performing this chore, along with 11% of brothers.

When it comes to cleaning the dishes, children (12%) seem to play a larger role compared to other chores, with 21% of mothers performing this task followed by 12% of domestic helpers.

Emerging markets make up a huge percentage of the world's population and present a wealth of opportunities for business. For this reason it is essential that we not only know the figures but that we gain actionable insights into these valuable markets.

Here are a further few curiosities exposed by Synovate's most recent Hotspots study:
Nearly every country in the world reported a majority belief that there is age discrimination in the workplace. Looking at our own nation, 63% of South African respondents agreed that workers faced age discrimination.
Sixty-two percent (62%) of China's auto owners are the first person in their family to have ever owned a car. And 20% of urban Chinese consumers plan to buy a car in the next 12 months, 71% of them for the first time.
Proving to be a fairly charitable nation, 46% of South Africans have donated money, food or clothing in the last three months.
The world's hotspots are cooking up a storm. Indian households spend more than 12 hours a week cooking and Moroccans are not far behind, while the four developed nations surveyed (US, UK, Denmark and Germany) each spend less than half that time in the kitchen.
Koreans are twice as likely to have given blood in the past three months as any other nation surveyed.
People in developed countries are twice as likely as those in emerging markets to have life insurance. Forty-three percent (43%) of South African respondents claimed that both they and their partners have life insurance cover.


As a global, full-service market research provider, Synovate is well-positioned to conduct online, telephonic and in-person research on a local, regional or global basis.

21 Feb 2008 17:03

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