The need to be spend-thrifty and economical is rising among Egyptian consumers.
With 20 percent of Egypt's population living below the poverty line, consumer purchasing power has dropped noticeably in recent times. This trend is changing shopping habits, as more consumers are opting to buy smaller packs that offer immediate financial gratification rather than buying larger quantities with bulk discounts. This strategy has reduced sachet size and allowed consumers to spend less per item. These smaller sachets represent an opportunity for retailers, as they allow consumers to match the cash in their pockets with the items they need.
The personal care sector has experienced notable growth in smaller sachets. For instance, the shampoo sector has shown gaining importance of sachets (such as 5, 7 and 9 ml sizes). This sachet segment, valued at L.E. 85.4 million for the past 12 months, has grown 44 percent year-on-year. Given the affordability of the smaller packs, many consumers have shifted to purchasing sachets at 25 P.T. per item instead of spending L.E. 18 for a 400 ml pack. Following the same trend, the face care sector’s 9 grams per ml sachet priced at L.E. 1 is also showing significant growth of 50 percent, valued alone at L.E. 20.4 million in the past 12 months.
The trend and growth among personal care suggest a growth opportunity for other personal care categories. These are the types of opportunities that focus on giving consumer’s access to items that meet a short-term need at an affordable price.
The nature of some food industries encourages the idea of sachets such as ketchup. To date however, sachet packs have been used more among unconventional food industries. For example, Tehina L.E. 1 sachets have grown by 21 percent allowing not only for affordable purchases, but also for sales of Tehina to reach a larger audience. The same applies to halawa, ghee, tomato paste and milk, all of which can now be purchased in sachets.
It’s important to note that sachets aren’t just serving an affordability need among consumers. They’re also attractive to on-the-go consumers. Time is of the essence for the fast-paced Egyptian consumer, and in that way, the sachet pack pertains to that consumer need. Instant coffee and powdered beverages (both priced at around L.E. 1) are among the beverage segments that are best suited for sachets, given their needed portability. The instant coffee sachet now represents over 35 percent of the coffee market and is driving growth in the category. Powdered beverage sachets also play a role with fast and easy preparation for thirst quenching purposes, having seen growth of 48 percent over the past year.
So where are consumers shopping for smaller sachets? For the most part, consumers buy them in small groceries and occasionally at supermarkets (for milk) and pharmacies (for personal care items). This could possibly be attributed to the idea that groceries hold less expensively priced items on the shelf, as is evident for most categories.
Different consumers have different spending habits and reasons for their purchases, so smaller sachet sizes will be appealing to various consumer groups. In that way, it’s important to recognize that this trend has manifested across several markets and is a budding opportunity.