Listen to the article

Millions of practicing Muslims have observed fasting throughout the concluding days of Ramadan. Beyond its sacred significance, Ramadan heralds a surge in consumption, presenting a lucrative opportunity for businesses in the food and hospitality sectors, especially in Lebanon, where the economic situation is far from stable.

While Ramadan is a month of fasting, it also signals a change in the consumption habits of fasting households, leading to a notable uptick in purchasing volume that stimulates commerce. According to estimates, Muslim families see their expenses rise by approximately 40%, making it an undoubtedly significant commercial period.

During Ramadan, more elaborate dishes are prepared, and breaking the fast becomes a cherished moment for gathering with family and friends, whether at home or in restaurants. Throughout these 30 days, households pull out all the stops, making the most of the abundance at hand.

According to Nabil Fahed, Head of the Syndicate of Supermarket Owners, there has been “a noticeable increase in consumption during this year’s Ramadan, especially for vegetables, grains and basic products. However, the demand for meat and chicken has seen a lesser rise.” Nevertheless, he highlights that before the 2019 crisis, this surge was also significant in terms of chicken and meat sales.

“During this month, we find ourselves buying more cakes, sweets, meat, chicken and fish. We consume items that aren’t typically part of our diet for the rest of the year,” explains Mona, a Muslim mother and housewife.

Hani Bohsali, President of the Union of Food Importers, estimates that Ramadan is a time when imports are expected to rise. However, he highlights a lack of data for this year, as customs have not released figures since August 2023. “We have no insight into our import activities,” he emphasizes.

Attendance at restaurants, shisha bars and pastry shops saw a notable improvement compared to last year, with the union reporting an increase of approximately 30%. Moreover, NGOs, associations and businesses resumed organizing iftar gatherings this year, which significantly boosted business activity. According to the Union, iftars were available for all budgets, ranging from $35 to $70 per person.

Marketing Strategies

During this month, merchants employ marketing strategies to address increased demand, including promotional offers. This encompasses a wide range of products such as clothing, cosmetic products, decorations, Ramadan-specific foods, pastries and gifts. Social media and online marketing play a significant role in consumer engagement during this period.

“Supermarkets have been proactive in encouraging consumption through daily and weekly promotions,” Fahed indicates.

Ultimately, Ramadan is not immune to the influence of consumer culture and constitutes a significant commercial boon.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Newsletter signup

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!