UAE residents are developing a strategy of smart solutions to keep up with high prices

Toluna survey: the impact of inflation on global consumer behavior


Toluna, an international research company, conducted a global study that included the UAE, to understand how high inflation and rising prices are affecting behavioral trends as consumers adapt to price increases and adjust their plans to reduce expenditure in the coming months.

The study showed that despite the increase in prices, 58% of the UAE population plan to increase their activities, but by choosing more affordable alternatives to match their spending budget, compared to 48% globally; for example, 48% of respondents confirmed their commitment to fitness and sports activities compared to 29% globally, and 46% expected to increase spending in dining out compared to 25% globally. However, in the UAE, the level of concern regarding increased online prices is higher than for global markets (49% versus 42%) while 56% of respondents in the country perceive those prices are higher in shops versus online compared to 63% globally.

Adapting by choosing alternatives

UAE residents expected an increase in spending in the coming period, particularly on food (+54%), vitamins and minerals (+47%), clothes (+42%) and eating out (+45%).

To keep pace with the rise in prices, 38% of UAE respondents from confirmed their intention to visit more food stores in search of value compared to 34% globally, while 40% will shop more frequently to avoid waste and get better offers compared to 29% in the global markets. 31% said they were willing to change the brands of food they usually buy, versus 26% globally and 35% said they were willing to shop less frequently, but in bulk, compared to 27% at global level. While 33% globally see the price as the main criteria for shopping for groceries, 24% in the UAE prioritize quality standards as the prime criteria when choosing the food they buy.

Moreover, unlike global markets, 51% of respondents said they will continue to spend on their homes and furnishings, while stating that they are prepared to search for more cost-effective products, compared to 34% globally.

Sakina Mannan, Senior Account Director for Toluna MEA, commented on the study findings: "There is no doubt that global inflation has also caused a hike in the prices for many products in the region, including the UAE market. While consumers see price changes across all product categories, they are determined to adopt spending strategies and smart solutions that will enable them to maintain a comfortable lifestyle, but by choosing cost-effective alternatives to balance the monthly spending budget."

Smart spending solutions.

On a related note, while 75% of respondents in the UAE expressed concern about rising energy bills compared to 69% in global markets, 46% confirmed their intention to invest in smart solutions to reduce energy waste versus 24% globally.

As on how price increases will impact the communication services, 35% of respondents in the UAE intend to keep their cellular devices and have no plans to change them compared to 28% globally, while 31% plan to reduce or change the data package compared to 16% globally.

On whether rationalizing spending to keep pace with rising prices will affect entertainment, Toluna’s study showed that 35% of UAE respondents, intends to keep their Netflix subscription for the next 12 months versus 34% globally and 16% will continue their Apple TV subscription compared to 7% globally.

Global Consumer Barometer

Toluna‘s UAE market study data was extracted from the Global Consumer Barometer - Wave 19 entitled: Inflation’s Impact on Global Consumers. The Barometer surveyed 14100 consumers in 16 countries, including: UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, US, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Korea, China, UAE, New Zealand, Mexico and KSA to understand the changing needs of consumers as they happen.

UAE residents are developing a strategy of smart solutions to keep up with high prices