Dubai – MENA Herald: Fresh research from YouGov in the lead up to Ramadan 2016 shows that over half (53%) of consumers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will spend more money during the Holy month, of which 93% expect to increase their spend specifically on regular household items such as food, drinks and groceries.
The initial outputs from the Ramadan Consumer Behvaviour study, which will continue to run throughout Ramadan and Eid to capture the changing habits of consumers across a number of different product groups, found that the increase in expenditure will come predominantly from an increase in the consumption of food and drink. Due to the perishability of these items, consumers are likely to buy them regularly rather than in bulk and therefore price offs (43%) and discounts (35%) are the most appealing promotions for 78% of consumers in all three countries. Offers related to bulk purchases have higher appeal for personal care and household care products.
Almost two thirds (59%) of consumers in Egypt expect to spend more overall during the Holy month, followed by 56% of consumers in Saudi Arabia and 46% in the UAE. Most consumers in all three countries (68%) expect to cover the extra cost using their regular income, whilst 29% will dig into their savings.
The top products consumers intend to increase their consumption of during Ramadan are dates (73%), Laban (62%), Yogurt (61%) and powdered soft drinks, squashes and cordials (all 53% respectively).
Given the attraction of promotions/offers during Ramadan, the findings show that consumers are less likely to be brand loyal when it comes to food and drink products. 40% of respondents overall claim they will always buy from brands that have the best offer/promotion irrespective of who makes them. Marginally fewer will stay loyal to a select set of brands and only buy from those that have the best offer/ promotion among them (38%). 22% will always stay brand loyal whether there are offers and promotions or not.
Commenting on the findings, head of consumer research for YouGov in MENA, Pranay Dandekar said, “It is evident that although there is an increase in consumption and expenditure during Ramadan, consumers’ purchase patterns differ according to the type of product they are buying which impacts the offers they look out for. Brands need to take cognizance of this fact and design the right promotions tailored to specific product categories in order to stand out from the crowd and win the fight for consumer attention”.
The research also looked at consumers’ intended travel plans during Ramadan and Eid in 2016. When asked if they expect to travel during Ramadan, 72% of respondents claimed they don’t have any travel plans at all, predominantly because they prefer to spend the Holy month in their country of residence (63%).
Respondents in Egypt (69%) and Saudi Arabia (66%) claimed they prefer to stay in their home country the most, compared to the UAE (52%). The second highest proportion of respondents in all three countries claimed they won’t be travelling because they have work commitments (17%). This was most prevalent in the UAE (23%), compared to 16% of respondents in Egypt and 12% in Saudi Arabia.
Despite low levels of travel during Ramadan, 43% of respondents in all three countries expect to travel during Eid this year. Of those that are travelling, 56% intend to travel within their home country compared to 30% who intend to travel aboard. The most appealing promotions for travelers during Eid are discounted promotional offers on flights (62%), followed by discounts on hotel stays (57%).