UAE consumers ditch luxury brands for groceries

Toluna, a market research and consumer insights group, found that UAE consumers are changing their priorities when it comes to expenditure.

UAE consumers are allocating bigger budgets for essentials such as groceries and personal care, while cutting back on social activities and luxury products.

35 per cent have opted to reduce spending on luxury products or services. 27 per have cut on going out to eat or drink, and 34 per cent on ordering takeout.

When it comes to spending, UAE consumers have allocated increased budgets for groceries (56 per cent), and personal care products (49 per cent), reflecting shifting consumer priorities amidst economic uncertainties.

This finding was a part of Toluna’s Global Consumer Barometer Wave 24 report. The report revealed the differences in consumer sentiment and spending behaviours between the UAE and global markets.

The shift in consumers’ priorities is attributed to the rise in the cost-of-living.

Georges Akkaoui, Regional Director, Middle East and Africa at Toluna stated: “The findings from our Global Barometer Wave 24 report underscore a significant paradigm shift in consumer behaviour and priorities, particularly in the UAE market.

“As financial pressures continue to influence consumer behavior, brands must keep insights at the forefront of their decisions, ensuring they evolve with shifting consumer sentiment.

“Consumers are making deliberate choices to manage their finances, evident in their reduced spending on social activities and luxury items.”

Many UAE consumers (69 per cent) are also avoiding large-scale expenditures until the economy stablises,
mirroring the global sentiment at 66 per cent.

More than half of UAE consumers (53 per cent) are prioritising savings and 42 per cent are resorting to cash payments to rein in spending.

Greater optimism than global counterparts

The report also found that while UAE consumers were cutting back on spending, they are more optimistic about financial improvements than global figures.

60 per cent of UAE consumers are expecting an improvement in their finances over the next three months, compared to the global figure of 37 per cent.

It also found that more UAE consumers are confident in spending their money than the global average.

In exact figures, 42 per cent of UAE consumers show confidence in spending money, a notable surge compared to 22 per cent globally.

Toluna finds that the outlook in general is more positive in UAE. 43 per cent of global consumers feel very satisfied with their lives (stable vs. last wave and last year) compared to 60 per cent in UAE.