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Food brands tweak their social messaging during Ramadan

Research by Kantar finds gradual changes in regional consumers’ preferences

Gulf News


Food marketers have been quick to acquire a taste of exposure on social media. But come Ramadan, they will need to make some changes to their usual marketing mix.

They need to account for the growth in consumption of healthy food the region has seen between 2012-17, to 17 per cent from 10 per cent, and fruits, laban, green tea, juices, soups and salads have a more visible presence on the dining table.

“The key consumer concerns that homemakers face in Ramadan focus on how to create a perfect meal without compromising on taste, quality and presentation,” said Edwin Coutinho, Associate Vice-President, Kantar AMRB, the market research firm. “For example, in Saudi Arabia, there is a 56 per cent decrease in kitchen help in the last four years.”

Kantar AMRB recently completed a study on behavioural changes towards during the holy month. It was done to guide marketers to design their Ramadan specific strategies.

One of the takeaways from the study was the growing focus on balanced meals to avoid the negative effects of ailments. Another was the regional consumer’s “reassessment of choices” to minimise wastage in line with Ramadan’s spirit of austerity and simplicity.

More women are finding cookery ideas and more on Pintrest or Instagram. “Driven by peer pressure, particularly on virtual platforms, women are also finding it a constant challenge to reinvent their style,” the consultancy says. “Innovative, yet economic menus, smarter cutlery, captivating presentation and a creative home décor add to the overall experience as well as feel of festive dining. This reflects a “woman’s sense of sophistication and finesse regarding food display and their sense of personality and creativity to a larger audience virtually”.


What F&B marketers should keep an eye out for during Ramadan-specific marketing

• Coffee consumption increases by 22 per cent, while tea consumption reduces by 19 per cent, the Kantar AMRB survey finds. Arabic coffee remains the favourite.

• Sambousek is one of the key dishes consumed during Ramadan, with a 71 per cent increase.

• Dessert consumption increases significantly (by 30 per cent); sweets like kunafah that require more effort to prepare are mostly bought from shops/restaurants.

• Chocolate and shawarma are seeing an increase with chips and biscuits showing a decline.

• Consumers prefer more cold beverages; soda consumption decreases by 9 per cent while that of laban increases 6 per cent among all cold beverages.