Over the years, Egyptians have used the same strategies repeatedly in order to adjust to the changes in the economy and to cope with inflation. They have:
- Cut down on apparel purchases
- Reduced out of home entertainment
- Tried to save on gas and electricity
With the extreme change in economy over the past year due to the aftermaths of the Egyptian pound floatation, Egyptian consumers have dramatically shifted their behavior, with the greatest focus now being the cost of the products they buy.
In looking at how consumers have adjusted over the past year, we can see the greatest change in their efforts to take on a simpler way of life. Not only have they cut down only on luxury items, but they have also shifted away from buying preferred brands. In the second quarter of 2016, only 16% of respondents were willing to purchase lower-priced products, and 14% say they would start buying them if matters got worse. In the second quarter of 2017, when matters did get tougher, 88% of respondents took the step of going for less expensive products.
The data also illustrates a significant shift in consumer appetite where promotions are concerned. Notably, 71% of Egyptian consumers say they’re currently looking for promotions, up from 20% in second-quarter 2016.
What’s Next for FMCG in Egypt?
Generally, there is an incredible shift in the lifestyles of the majority of Egyptians, likely the greatest since the revolution of 2011. The currency devaluation has been a challenge for consumers and brands alike. Consumers have found innovative ways around the new status quo, but what about brands?
Manufacturers and retailers will need to demonstrate ongoing agility, adaptability and resilience, through relentless change and innovation, to match the shifting consumer needs. Those who are able to retain or regain relevance will be more successful in enduring the transforming landscape to capture profitable growth.
A recent study into Egypt’s consumer outlook identified three major trends around which manufacturers and retailers can develop winning strategies for the country’s evolving marketplace
More on the effects of devaluation and suggested success strategies can be found here.