Popular communication trends in Ramadan for Saudi Arabia

By Anisha Gooptu, Director - Qualitative Insights and Kunal Mehta, Director - Quantitative Insights at 4SiGHT Research & Analytics highlight the four communications trends for Ramadan communications in Saudi Arabia

The holy month of Ramadan is considered the most sacred among Muslims.

Communication in the month of Ramadan has traditionally centred around Family gatherings and Socialising occasions – However, recent societal and consumer trends have led to brands adopting subtle changes in their Ramadan communication.

Anisha Gooptu, Director – Qualitative Insights and Kunal Mehta, Director – Quantitative Insights at 4SiGHT Research & Analytics highlight the four communications trends for Ramadan communications in Saudi Arabia.

#1. Women are driving the change:

Saudi Arabia has observed various developments in the economic, social and cultural spheres, which have positively impacted the lives of Saudi Women.

Saudi women now comprise 33.6 percent of the Saudi workforce as of March 2022, according to the General Authority for Statistics. That figure is up from 17.4 percent just five years ago.

Not only do Saudi women have the license to drive, but they also now have the license to drive change in the Kingdom.

This has also led to an increase in the inclusion of women characters in ads, hoardings etc.

#2. Focus on health:

Managing health, especially when it comes to physical fitness and dietary habits, is an area of concern for all consumers during the month of Ramadan.

  • With long fasting hours and limited time to exercise in the day, iftar is generally a time to ‘let loose’.
  • Most of the food eaten during iftar is fried, sugary and carb dense.

48 per cent consumers agree that these days there is a stronger focus on healthy eating during Ramadan than 10 years ago.

Brands are therefore focusing on showcasing healthy eating options (such as whole wheat ingredients, etc.)

#3. Pressure to innovate:

While 67 per cent consumers claim to only eat home cooked food, women feel the pressure to innovate.

8 out of 10 women agree that there is pressure to innovate and cook new recipes during Ramadan, while 50 per cent agree that this pressure has increased over the last 10 years.

Women constantly feel the pressure to balance nutritional needs of the family while following traditional practices.

  • Women come up with innovative but healthy recipes like cheesecakes made with digestive biscuits, peanut butter with dates, pizza on crackers, grilled vegetables and the use of air fryers for samosas and meat.

Others try and experiment with new recipes to break the monotony.

  • With recipes like kunafa milkshakes, variety of jelly in custards, etc.

Therefore, 90 per cent consumers say that cooking shows are very popular during Ramadan, there’s also an increasing viewership of trends on TikTok and Instagram

Brands are increasingly posting content centred around innovative recipes and TikTok trends that help relieve a key consumer tension around Ramadan

#4. Switch to the small screen:

6 out of 10 consumers agree that their mobile phone usage increases during Ramadan.

According to Google Data, during Ramadan people watch more online content, perform more searches and access the Internet on their mobile devices more frequently.

The MENA and specifically Saudi Arabia have one of the highest average paying users in the world. Ramadan has been known to spike up revenue and daily active users.

Mobile gaming is growing in the Kingdom, with 48 per cent of people spending at least 30 minutes — going up to 2 hours — per day playing mobile games. The most preferred time to play mobile games (30 per cent) is during fasting hours between 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

  • 50 per cent in Saudi spend one to three hours on their smartphones.
  • 77 per cent use their smartphone to play mobile games.
  • 75 per cent preferred to shop after iftar, while 33 percent preferred to shop between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • 56 per cent said that mobile ads have a huge impact on their purchase decision compared to TV ads (21 percent).
  • 79 per cent completed Ramadan shopping through a mobile ad.

Increasingly brands are switching towards shorter content (suitable for social media) and reaching out to consumers on mobile phones during Ramadan.