By Monita Vohra, Gagan Bhalla and Aurobindo Chowdhury.
Understanding The Islamic Consumer
1.4 billion Muslims worldwide make up one-fifth of the Global Population. About 1/3rd of this population is under 14 years (as compared to 18-20% in Western Markets) – today’s young population translating into tomorrow’s consumers. Islam is a faith that drives the way life is conducted, leading to common habits, practices. Muslims are a majority in 50 countries and also contribute a sizeable population in many other countries. BUT very little attention has been paid by marketers to the global community of Islamic consumers.
In April 2007, Forbes reported the Global Halal food market was worth $580bn annually. There are 250mn women, who are the target for Islamic clothing. For any marketer operating at a global / regional level, these consumers present a huge opportunity which, if targeted rightly, would yield significant benefits. Hence, it is critical to understand how similar and yet how different these consumers are – does religion bind geographically disparate consumers into behaving as one? Do different trends exist across the Muslim Diaspora? Do macro-economic differences across markets have an impact on consumer choices? Is the Muslim world anti-Western products & brands?
A study was jointly conducted by AMRB & JWT across 10 Islamic countries (vast geography covered; predominant Muslim countries – Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, KSA, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia) to understand how Islam as a religion drives the choices of Muslim consumers & understand the values that resonate across the Muslim world and, whether differences in value systems can impact the choices made by consumers.
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