Consumers shun premium products as inflation bites

Thursday, July 7th, 2022 01:33 | By
A Customer buys milk at a supermarket in Nairobi. PD/John Ochieng

Kenyans are now embracing low value goods to cope with the biting economic times as they shun expensive products.

A new survey by Kantar  TNS which was commissioned by Superbrands revealed that the Kenyan consumer has been gravitating towards low-cost, high value offerings.

“Low-value brands are now no longer solely for the mass market and are much more visible to even the middle-class consumer,” says the report.

The findings say that consumers across different purchasing classes are going for affordable brands because of budget constraints on the back of a tough economic environment.

Less disposable income

With the increasingly difficult economic times, the report says, some brands cease to be as relevant as they were since consumers no longer have the luxury of spending disposable incomes.

David Ogara, Manager, Kantar TNS said: “With the middle-class consumer now experiencing brands across different price points in search of low-cost, higher value alternatives, they are better informed and more selective.”

The survey conducted in the first half of 2022 across key cities of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu showed that with increased adoption of e-commerce throughout the Covid-19 era, consumers are now increasingly researching about products before they make their purchase decisions.

Some consumers are starting to place emphasis on differentiation, and punishing brands that are more premium or value, but not differentiated from the low-priced mainstream brands.

“The Kenyan consumer is a savvy decision-maker. They want brands to deliver value and purpose,” noted Jawad Jaffer, Project Manager, Superbrands East Africa (pictured).

In the latest rankings Kenyan mobile payment brand M-PESA has for the fifth year been voted Kenya’s leading Superbrand ahead of parent company Safaricom, which placed second.

No a single betting firm featured in the top 20 ranking compared to 2020 when Betika appeared 10th in the rankings in the Superbrands rankings.

Other notable shifts are for brands playing in the hygiene and medical space, Jik is up from rank 36 in 2020 to 3, St. Johns Ambulance from rank 51 in 2020 to 19, and Dettol up from rank 9 in 2020 to 6.

Kenpoly went up from rank 17 to 5. The firm which makes disposable cups, which were common at informal social meet-ups for quick consumption of alcohol and other beverages. Not having the luxury to go out and grab fast foods pushed brands like Nescafe from number 116 in 2020 to 16 and Jumia Foods from nowhere in 2020 to rank 18.

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