The EY Future Consumer Index on MENA consumer behavior shows that people are cautious about the changing market trends emerging as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pioneering technologies, innovative business models and nimble market entrants are revolutionizing the way people shop and how they live. In this complex environment, with the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer interests and focus are shifting substantially. This is causing companies to switch their focus from maintaining what they already have to creating what they need to become.
The day-to-day lives of people around the world have changed tremendously due to the pandemic, which would have been unimaginable a few weeks before it all started. But as consumer-facing organizations try to find their way through, it is important to note that the MENA consumer was already evolving at great speed. That process is now playing out faster than anyone imagined.
The EY Future Consumer Index helps leaders understand and track consumer sentiment and behavior across the world, including KSA and UAE in the MENA region. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are concerned about their family, finances, freedom, jobs, the way they shop, the products they buy and the availability of essentials.
Understanding “now” and the anxious consumer
The EY Future Consumer Index answers concerns regarding consumer consumption with distinctive, valuable and actionable insights. At this stage of the pandemic, around 34% of the MENA market versus 35% in the rest of the world belongs to the “save and stockpile” segment. Consumers in this segment are not so concerned about the pandemic but are worried about their families and pessimistic about the long-term effects. They are more likely to spend on household and home hygiene and are less likely to spend on clothing, footwear and cosmetics. The 31% of consumers in the “hibernate and spend” segment are those most concerned about the impact of the pandemic. On the other hand, they are optimistic about the future, as they are in the best position to deal with the pandemic. They concentrate on spending more on fresh food and continue to spend more on personal care items and electronics. This segment of the MENA market is larger than the rest of the world (only 24% of global consumers).