The Pink Rand: SA’s gay consumer revealed in new report


An overview of the South African gay and lesbian consumer, said to be the first in-depth and statistically relevant report about the Pink Rand in the country, has been released and made available to advertisers.

It seems that we (at least those of us online) like to eat chicken take-outs, are desperate for a gay television channel, like spending money on fragrances and our pets and love to travel overseas.

These and other interesting facts are contained in the independently audited “Gay Consumer Profile,” which was commissioned by marketing and advertising agency Lunch Box Media in April. The online survey ran for a period of three months and was completed by 609 respondents.

Previous similar reports on the Pink Rand had much smaller sample sizes and are generally considered to be out of date.

Supported by four of the largest pink online media owners, the respondents were asked a range of questions on consumer habits, preferences, purchasing patterns and motivations.

Topics included employment, income, shopping, banking, credit cards, home ownership, cars, electronics, pets, television and media consumption were covered.

“The results show that the gay market has a higher than average disposable income – 41% have over R10,000 available per month,” commented Lunch Box Media Owner Donovan Steyl.

“In addition, because the cost of raising children is usually not a factor, a large percentage of this disposable income is spent on luxury items,” he said.

Interestingly, a whopping 81% of those surveyed make regular online purchases – a considerably higher rate compared to mainstream consumers.

Lunch Box Media also found that 44% of respondents travelled to exotic destinations at least once a year; Europe being the top destination. (According to international studies, the gay and lesbian community contributes 10% of the global income in travel and tourism.)

Other interesting results:

  • came out as the top LGBT media brand, used by 53% of those surveyed. (Gay Pages 33%; Exit 24%; Pink Tongue 21%; and Queerlife 18%);
  • 78% said that they would pay to receive a gay channel or network;
  • 92% said that Facebook was their most regularly used social media;
  • 71% of respondents own a pet;
  • The most popular clothing store is Woolworth (44% shop there);
  • When it comes to take-out food, KFC is the leader, favoured by 22%. It was followed by Nandos (19%);
  • Virgin Active is the most popular gym, with a massive 61% working out at their branches.

Lunch Box noted that 60% of the survey respondents describe themselves as being brand loyal. The survey also found that the gay and lesbian community does not feel that it is being effectively reached by advertisers.

  • 57% of the respondents feel that they are being ignored as consumers;
  • 76% say they would prefer to support brands that advertise within the pink media;
  • 45% feel that they are inaccurately portrayed by the media.

“What the survey has shown us is that members of the gay and lesbian market respond particularly well to brands that specifically target them in a medium that understands and respects their lives and reality,” said Steyl.

According to Lunch Box Media, the results are of interest to researchers, marketers, academics, advertising agencies, media buyers, gay and gay-friendly businesses or anyone else interested in the Pink Rand and looking for up-to-date information about the gay and lesbian market.

If you’d like the full results of the 2012 LBM Gay Consumer Profile, download the report here.

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