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Wed 8 Jun 2016 11:40 AM

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More than half to increase spending during Ramadan - survey

Consumers expecting vast majority of extra outlay to go on food and drink

More than half to increase spending during Ramadan - survey

More than half of consumers who answered a regional online survey on Ramadan shopping habits say they will spend more in the next month.

They said the increased spending would come predominantly from a rise in consumption of food and drink.

Online market research firm YouGov asked 1,523 online users in the UAE (505), Saudi Arabia (507) and Egypt (511) how they expected their consumer behaviour to change during Ramadan.

The study found that 53 percent of respondents expect their outlay to increase. Of those, 93 percent said their increases spending on household items such as food, drinks and groceries.

In the UAE, less than half of respondents expect to spend more overall during Ramadan. In Egypt, it was 59 percent of consumers, followed by 56 percent in Saudi Arabia and 46 percent in the emirates. In all three countries, 68 percent expect to cover the extra cost using their regular income, while 29 percent will dig into their savings.

The top products consumers expected to purchase more of were dates (73 percent), laban (62 percent), yogurt (61 percent) and powdered soft drinks, squashes and cordials (all 53 percent).

Price-offs at 43 percent and discounts at 35 percent are the most appealing promotions for consumers in all three countries.

Consumers expect to be less likely to be brand-loyal when it comes to food and drink products, as 40 percent of survey respondents claim they will buy brands that have the best promotions, irrespective of who makes them.

Pranay Dandekar, head of consumer research for YouGov in MENA, 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 cognisance 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 survey will run throughout Ramadan and Eid to capture the changing habits of consumers across a number of different product groups.