The Ruling Middle Class

The Ruling Middle Class

In Egypt today, the middle class represent approximately 39% of country’s 85 million people. While they don’t account for a majority of the country’s total population, new light is shining on them because of how they’re affecting the economy. In fact, studies have shown that they account for the most spending in the economy, largely because they have 45% of the country’s disposable income. And so in today’s landscape, majority rules and the others pay attention.

It’s a Matter of Socialising

Middle class households in Egypt have an average of four people, so food and groceries account for the largest share of wallet (50%). These households spend a relatively equal amount of money on all other items, ranging from cigarettes to clothes and apparel. When we look at phone and Internet use, and even entertainment, specific patterns arise.

When it’s time to socialize, the No. 1 activity among the middle class is going to restaurants and cafés (37%). Notably, those who enjoy restaurants and cafés visit them about six times per week.

In the digital world, the middle class’ use of technology reflects these consumers’ desires to be social. Half of the middle class consumers (51%) are Internet users, 87% of whom are classified as heavy users.* So what are they doing online? The top online activity is social media (81%), followed by checking emails (54%).

The Worth of a Pound

Despite their current contribution to spending, it’s not safe to assume that they are ready to buy just anything.

Marketers have to put into consideration the actual financial capabilities of middle class consumers. Around 80% of the respondents believe that they are just getting by financially, and 75% believe that the cost of living will continue to significantly rise. Their average saving rate stands at just 1% of their income.

As a result, when they shop, they look for brands to deliver a lot more than an innovation that answers a practical need. They look for brands to deliver greater quantity for each pound they spend.

“Our experience across several categories indicated that the main concern when it comes to providing for the family is doing it with the highest value for money,” Zeina Lotfy, Manager, Consumer Insights, Nielsen Egypt. “There is no one answer, everything from supersizing to smaller sachets, from pricing offers to pricing options – there are many ways to go. The key is to discover what value would mean for your brand’s category.”

This article was based on The Rising Class Syndicated Study by Nielsen Egypt. For more information click here.

* Internet subscribers who use the internet over three times per week.  (Internet among Urban Users)