Saudi Arabia is a significant center for the global Muslim population, with the cities of Mecca and Medina being two of the most important religious sites in Islam. The country's population of approximately 36.5 million people is overwhelmingly Muslim, and the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca draws millions of Muslims from around the world each year. The country has experienced significant population growth over the past few decades, with an annual growth rate of approximately 1.3%. The population is concentrated in urban areas, with the largest city being Riyadh. As the birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia is a significant cultural and religious center, and the country's population has a strong connection to their faith and religious practices.
TGM 2023 Ramadan Insights in Saudi Arabia
Population of Saudi Arabia
Ramadan is a time of great significance for Muslims in Saudi Arabia and is observed with great importance
Fasting is a key aspect of this month, and Muslims in Saudi Arabia abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn until dusk each day. At sunset, the fast is traditionally broken with a communal meal known as Iftar, which is often shared with family, friends, and those in need. In Saudi Arabia, mosques and other public areas are often set up to provide free Iftar meals to the community. The country's role as the center for Islam also plays an important role in Ramadan celebrations, with the cities of Mecca and Medina being two of the most important religious sites in Islam. Millions of Muslims from around the world travel to Saudi Arabia each year to perform the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, making it a time of great significance for the global Muslim community.
2023 Ramadan around the country
How Ramadan celebrated in Saudi Arabia ?
Ramadan is a time of great significance for Muslims in Saudi Arabia and is observed with great importance. Fasting is a key aspect of this month, and Muslims in Saudi Arabia abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn until dusk each day. At sunset, the fast is traditionally broken with a communal meal known as Iftar, which is often shared with family, friends, and those in need. In Saudi Arabia, mosques and other public areas are often set up to provide free Iftar meals to the community. The country's role as the center for Islam also plays an important role in Ramadan celebrations, with the cities of Mecca and Medina being two of the most important religious sites in Islam. Millions of Muslims from around the world travel to Saudi Arabia each year to perform the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, making it a time of great significance for the global Muslim community.
Selected insights from the survey
Key highlights from the TGM Ramadan 2023 Insights in Saudi Arabia
How is Ramadan in Saudi Arabia going to look like this year?Ramadan is a momentous occasion celebrated by Muslims worldwide, with an astounding 97% of the Muslim population expected to participate in this year's festivities. Many Muslims utilize this holy month to cultivate self-discipline and self-control that can have a lasting impact on their lives. It is the most awaited season for 96% of Saudi respondents, who will also take out time to spend with their families (95%).
According to the survey, 62% of respondents across all age groups in the Middle East expressed a desire to prioritize both charitable activities and worship equally. The study also found that middle-aged adults are slightly a little more active in traditional Ramadan practices such as worship, communal gatherings, and charitable work.
The Holy month also signifies the spirit of giving, with 62% of KSA's Muslim population being enthusiastic about contributing to charities and supporting those in need, reflecting a culture of generosity and compassion.
Muslims, who had been isolated earlier, are excited about the upcoming Ramadan, which will be an occasion to enjoy the community's traditions, warmth, and generosity. With only 16% of Muslims in Saudi Arabia feeling that the COVID-19 threat would affect their celebration, this Ramadan will be a time of celebration and togetherness, highlighting the community's strength.
Ramadan is not only a sacred month for Muslims worldwide, but it is also a profitable period for businesses, with an increasing number of brands seeking to associate themselves with this special month each year. The holy month presents an opportunity for brands to demonstrate their appreciation and reverence for the religious and cultural importance of Ramadan. Vimto is the most popular choice among F&B brands in Saudi Arabia, followed by Almarai, Tang, Panda and Quaker.
Food behaviours & habits in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan 2023 FastingRamadan is a significant event for Muslims, and fasting is essential to this celebration. 99.2% of surveyed Muslims in the KSA participate in the fast, making it the most prominent religious season that unites Muslim communities in spiritual and compassionate practices. Daily gatherings, communal prayers, charitable events, and Iftar or Suhoor outings are all integral to the month of Ramadan, and it's a time of year that Saudi Muslims eagerly anticipate.
Increased Budget for Food Expenses
Saudi Arabia is anticipated to experience a significant increase in food spending this year, with 51% of respondents planning to spend more on food and drinks compared to previous years. This trend may be due to rising consumer prices in the region. The surge in food spending during Ramadan emphasizes the significance of food shopping during this season and highlights its role in enhancing the overall experience for individuals.
Ramadan embraces convenience
Cooking at home remains the primary method of consuming food during Ramadan in Jordan, accounting for 83% of meals. However, nearly half of the consumers now prefer to purchase ready-made meals through mobile app delivery services (38%) or online delivery (32%), followed by phone call delivery (27%). This shift towards pre-prepared foods allows busy families to participate in traditional Ramadan feasts, even if they do not have time to cook.
Mobile devices are indispensable for Muslims in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan in 2023.Saudi Arabia's media consumption habits reveal that mobile devices have become an essential tool for the Muslim community's observance of Ramadan. With the increasing popularity of smartphones and social media, more people are turning to digital platforms to access daily news, entertainment, and spiritual guidance during this sacred month.
Media consumption in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan is increasingly leaning towards mobile devices and digital platforms, leaving behind traditional media channels such as TV, newspaper, and radio. This shift can be easily pointed at the convenience, accessibility, and interactivity of digital platforms. From the respondents surveyed, mobile devices are the preferred media form for 84% of people in Saudi Arabia, with online social media platforms ranked as the second most popular medium (76%), followed by Online Video platforms (69%). In contrast, traditional media channels such as radio are also used by (43%) of people during the month. Despite the increasing attention towards digital media channels, traditional media still holds a crucial role during Ramadan. Therefore, to optimize the impact of marketing efforts, it is essential to consider both digital and traditional media channels to reach the target audience during this period.
Social media is of great importance to Muslims during Ramadan as it allows them to stay connected with loved ones and deepen their understanding of their faith. Social media platforms also offer opportunities for individuals to share personal experiences, seek guidance from religious leaders, and enhance their knowledge. In Saudi Arabia, social media connectivity is crucial for Muslims, with the majority (85%) using it to expand their knowledge, 86% using it to stay informed about things they are interested in, and 76% to keep up-to-date with the news.
The prevalent use of technology has led many Muslims to utilize mobile apps to stay connected with their faith and enhance their spiritual practices. In Saudi Arabia, 75% of people plan on using Islamic Apps and Websites during this Ramadan. Alongside Quran (13.2%) and The Holy Quran (7.1%), Muslims rely on My Prayer (5.5%) and Athkar (5.1%). All of this data highlights the importance of mobile apps in facilitating spiritual growth and religious connections among Saudi Muslims.
What is the outlook for Ramadan shopping in Saudi Arabia this year?Ramadan is a time of vibrant markets and activity in the Muslim world, with shoppers eagerly indulging in retail therapy. Retailers seize the opportunity to offer exclusive deals and extend their store hours to cater to the high demand. During the holy month, consumers are more open to discovering new products and supporting local businesses that align with their values. In Saudi Arabia, a whopping 83% of survey respondents expressed their desire to explore new brands during Ramadan shopping expeditions.
Hunting for the best deals
While Pakistanis may be willing to experiment with new products, price and discounts are the main factors driving their purchasing decisions. TGM's 2023 Ramadan Survey for Saudi Arabia reveals that 95% of surveyed shoppers prioritize good prices during this festive period. Promotions also play a pivotal role in shaping their buying behavior, with 93% of respondents indicating its importance in making their final purchase decision.
The gift that keeps on giving
Ramadan gift-giving is an eagerly anticipated tradition, and this year's spending on gifts is expected to rise throughout the Middle East. 43% of Saudi Arabians have revealed their intention to increase their Ramadan gifting budget more than last year.
An intriguing development has been the emergence of mobile phones as a popular means for discovering new ideas and inspiration for Ramadan purchases. 77% of respondents discover ideas and inspiration for Ramadan purchases through their mobile. Instagram is the platform where people get the most amount of inspiration for gifts (30%). As a result, it has become increasingly critical for businesses to leverage digital media during Ramadan to reach out and engage with customers. By doing so, they can capitalize on the growing demand for gift-giving options and establish a strong foothold in this highly competitive market.
Shopping Online vs. Offline
Ramadan is widely regarded as an occasion for socializing with loved ones, and in-store shopping allows people to relish this experience together. Additionally, many individuals attach great importance to charitable acts and community support by patronizing local markets and small businesses instead of high-end malls and supermarkets. 35% of Saudi Arabia participants have revealed their inclination towards in-store shopping, with some online to fulfill their Ramadan needs and 35% equally inclined towards both online and offline stores.
Dealing with the costs of Ramadan 2023: Bank loan / Credit planning
Ramadan is a time of increased spending for many Muslims, which has led to a surge in demand for personal loans from banks and financial institutions. According to the TGM 2023 Ramadan Survey, 24% of participants in Saudi Arabia will seek loan options to support their Ramadan expenditure this year.
Ramadan 2023 celebration
The industry that appears to primary beneficiary of E-commerce is fashion and apparel. In all surveyed countries, clothing and accessories are the most often purchased goods across all age groups (62%). Food also became a popular category in e-commerce, although it has traditionally been more challenging for e-commerce companies to break into compared to other categories such as fashion and electronics. This is because food is a perishable product that requires special handling and transportation. However, online grocery delivery and pickup services, as well as meal kit delivery services, have become more popular in many markets during the pandemic as people look for ways to get groceries and meals while minimizing exposure to the virus.
Smart shopping pattern tends to be more common. Consumers nowadays are motivated by direct savings more than ever, they don’t want to miss out on any chance to save money. They prefer to get a direct price discount than get free shipping or additional gifts. Also, when shopping online consumers prefer to pay for their online shopping with credit cards (27%) to get more advantages such as points, cashback, or additional buyer protection.
There are many strong brands in e-commerce, and their success can be attributed to various factors such as the quality and uniqueness of their products, their reputation and brand recognition, the effectiveness of their marketing and advertising efforts, and the overall customer experience they provide. Some examples of well-known and successful e-commerce brands include Amazon, which is one of the largest and most successful e-commerce companies in the world; in our, study Amazon is considered the strongest eCommerce brand worldwide.
Ramadan and food habits
Particularly, people from all age groups and genders shopped online 2-3 times per month. 18% of people in the 25-to-34 age group made an online purchase every week, whereas most people in the 55-to-64 age group only did that once per month (23%).
Media consumption over Ramadan
The most popular device for making online purchases tends to vary depending on the specific market and the preferences of the segment \ individual consumer. However, smartphones are generally the most popular devices for making online purchases. In total, 75% of Internet purchases are made via phones, making them the most popular tool of choice.
2023 Ramadan and consumer spending
The industry that appears to benefit the most from the growth of the E-commerce channel is fashion and apparel. In all surveyed countries, clothing and accessories are the most-purchased goods across all age groups. It is not only the female domain, both men and women claimed to make online purchases in this category most. For other categories, gender preferences reflect the overall shopping patterns for categories. The percentage of respondents who purchased electronics online was significantly higher for males (51%) than for women (29%). Meanwhile, women purchased more beauty and personal care products online, accounting for 54% and 51%, respectively.
What is noticeable, is the frequency of food and grocery: 40% of respondents worldwide claimed that they tend to make their food purchases online. While this category has traditionally been more challenging for e-commerce companies to crack, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in online food and grocery shopping, and it is likely to continue to be a popular category in e-commerce.
Read the full report for Saudi Arabia from the TGM 2023 Ramadan Global Survey
TGM Saudi Arabia Ramadan Report 2023
Find it Interesting? Download our public Saudi Arabia Ramadan Consumers Insights Report for free.
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What you will get
from the TGM Global Ramadan Report 2023?
Comprehensive data on consumer trends and preferences during Ramadan across different regions, allowing a better understanding of consumer needs.
Insights into consumer behavior which can help businesses develop more effective marketing strategies
Results of worldwide independent survey of over 1 billion consumers in 15 countries, providing a broad and representative sample.
Table of contents
TGM Ramadan International Survey 2023
Pages: 77 with detailed references
Document: country xls tables with demographics, pdf report
Access after purchase: check your email
Approximately 750 interviews were completed in each of 14 countries participating. In Saudi Arabia sample size was N=771. with sample being nationally representative of online adults ages 18-55 based on age, gender and region in that market.