17th July, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR: The rising costs of living and raw materials may have prompted almost one-fifth of Muslim consumers in Peninsular Malaysia to buy non-perishable items earlier than July to counter the possibility of rising cost in the months to follow, said Nielsen in a statement here yesterday.
Nielsen Malaysia Retail Measurement Services, Associate Director, Sandipan Sinha said ongoing promotional offers by hypermarkets are one of the pull factors for buying items at lower prices whenever they have some additional budget prior to Ramadan.
“Most importantly, to better observe their religious responsibilities and to spend time together with family, for example having pre-dawn meals and breaking fast, half of Muslim consumers were probably driven to purchase both perishable and non-perishable items, frozen food and ambient food products for cooking meals at home,” he said.
Almost nine in 10 Muslim respondents said they consumed home-cooked food for most meals during the last Ramadan.
Stocking behaviour also occurs closer to Hari Raya in anticipation of the celebration, and concerns over shortage of festive promotional items could be one of the pull factors, he added.
Sinha said staple foods such as rice, cooking oil, and stocks, seasoning and sauces were the top three most stocked products.
In terms of expenditure during Ramadan, 44 per cent of Muslim respondents have increased their budget year-on-year, 43 per cent maintained the status quo while 13 per cent managed to reduce their spending.
According to the study, Malaysians are the second most prolific promotion-seekers in Asia Pacific, and three in five Muslim respondents said they bought items on discount.
The Nielsen Household Omnibus Survey 2011 was conducted between Oct 14 and Nov 9,2011 and polled 600 primary grocery shoppers aged 15 and above in rural and urban areas in Peninsular Malaysia.
The understanding of Ramadan trends is based on Muslim households, which comprise about 61 per cent of the population.
Muslims are likely to start fasting this Saturday.