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Redefining Convenience: New Nielsen Report Reveals Six Factors Driving Consumers’ Quest For Convenience

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Aug. 16, 2018 – Consumers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and around the world are displaying burgeoning demand for convenient solutions that can help simplify their lives, with busy lifestyles and rising connectivity playing an increasingly pivotal role in buying decisions, according to a new report by performance management company, Nielsen.

The Nielsen Quest for Convenience Report, which explores changing global consumer needs, highlights the rapidly growing demand for convenience in markets around the world including in Saudi Arabia. According to the report, one in five consumers say they seek out products which are convenient to use (21%) and make their life easier (20%). Consumers are also looking for products which are suitable for small households (17%).

While demand for convenience varies by region, the Nielsen report reveals six key factors driving consumers’ increasing need for convenience globally:

●      Urbanization

●      Shrinking household sizes

●      Crowded urban transport

●      Evolving gender roles

●      Generational needs

●      Increasing uptake of technology

These drivers of convenience and increasing demand for products and solutions, which help to simplify lifestyles, are having an impact across a number of industries, particularly the highly consumer-dependent FMCG sector. The Nielsen report illustrates that consumers’ grocery and packaged goods product choices are underpinned by their experiences in three areas: shopping, consumption and brand engagement.

The evolving demand for convenience has given rise to a slew of life-simplifying products such as prepared food and on-the-go meal solutions, home or office grocery delivery offerings, and tech-driven “on-demand” services. Almost one third (30%) of the Kingdom’s consumers use restaurant or meal delivery services, an increase of 8% from 2017. Grab-and-go meals from quick-service, fast food, and street vendors are also on the rise — 49% of consumers in the country have visited a fast food outlet in the past six months. Lunch and dinner are the meals most likely to be substituted with out-of-home dining options, with 45% of Saudi Arabia’s online consumers opting to eat outside on a weekly basis, higher than the global average (39%) and the Middle East and Africa regional average (32%).

Shopping experiences for global consumers are driven by an evolving retail landscape, e-commerce and omnichannel facilities. A Nielsen e-commerce study across 30 countries indicates that FMCG online sales are growing an estimated five times faster than offline sales, and by 2020, global FMCG e-commerce will be worth more than US$400 billion and comprise 10%-12% of overall FMCG market share.

Mobile devices and digital platforms are also shaping consumer experiences and transforming brand-to-consumer engagement. Around six in 10 consumers say they enjoy the freedom of being connected anytime and anywhere (64%) while 70% feel that mobile connected devices have made their lives better. Around three in 10 consumers are already using online channels for home delivery (29%) while 38% that have not yet used online home delivery services are willing to do so.

“The increased connectivity today provides multiple touchpoints for FMCG companies to interact with consumers. In order to stay relevant to consumers’ changing lifestyles and evolving needs, manufacturers and retailers should continue innovating their business models to offer convenience solutions and improve engagement with consumers through personalised and authentic recommendations,” said Andrey Dvoychenkov, Group Managing Director for Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan, Nielsen. “It’s also important to note that offering convenience solutions is not only about simplifying store formats, products, packaging or using the latest technologies for efficiency but it is also about every interaction that could make shopping a joyful experience for consumers.”

“Convenience means different things to different consumers around the world, depending on their circumstances, culture, location, market maturity and access to technology,” observes Ailsa Wingfield, Executive Director, Thought Leadership, Global Markets, Nielsen. These are key influencers that are driving the need for FMCG companies to offer solutions that address the growing need for convenience.

“Equally important, the widespread adoption of technology is providing an ever-increasing array of consumer data, enabling greater customization,” Wingfield continues. “FMCG players need to adapt to circumstances and provide integrated shopping experiences that allow consumers the freedom of greater choice of solutions that meet their needs.”


The Nielsen Quest for Convenience report looks at changing consumer needs around the world, specifically focusing on factors driving consumers’ increasing need for convenience, such as high-density urban living, increasing commuting times and changing roles in our society. Around the globe, consumers need and look for different types of convenience – whether simplicity, time-saving or suitability. The report combines global perspectives, regional deep dives, and a number of market highlights to compare and contrast interesting and noteworthy differences in convenience trends around the world.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit