During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims observe fasting during the daylight hours. After sunset, they break the fast together with family and loved ones and enjoy a sumptuous meal.
The end of Ramadan is observed as Eid-al-fitr which is a 1 to 3 day celebration completing the month of fasting. This is also a festive time where people exchange gifts.
The month of Ramadan normally witnesses high consumption and spending especially in categories such as food, retail and charity. Hence, it’s also the most awaited month for brands and retailers that intend to forge stronger bonds with the 1.2 million Muslim population in Canada.
This year Ramadan, which begins around 23rd April, will see new trends in consumer behaviour, habits and consumption patterns owing to the COVID-19 situation.
Preparations for this month-long festivity commence a week or two prior which includes buying food items for meal preparation at home. Given the lack of inventory in the current situation, Muslim consumers are now required to do more frequent store trips or use online ordering.
Social distancing has reconfigured consumer behaviour leading to a rise in online grocery shopping, ordering and pickup. Also, there’s been a slow shift towards grocery shopping from local stores since big box stores like Walmart are limiting the number of people entering the stores at one time leading to long wait-in-queues outside these stores.
For the after-fast meals, with dine-in options closed at restaurants, take-out and home delivery orders will see an upward trend especially since many restaurants have started offering free home delivery. With families now home-bound and in work-from-home situation, home-cooking too will increase substantially. Grocery stores will need to be nimble and have quick turnaround times, including re-stocking staple foods, packaged water, tea, coffee, ready-to-eat items and traditional treats.
Social gathering for prayers and feasting is yet another ritual carried out during Ramadan. Owing to physical distancing, virtual social gatherings via platforms such as Zoom, Facebook, WhatsApp have become acceptable alternatives.
Eid shopping and gifting will also become an online affair. ‘Stay-at-home’ times have added more options to the gifting list, especially for the home-bound audience, such as fitness equipment, hobby-related gifting, gardening tools, home décor, home office support, etc.
During Ramadan, the timing of media consumption especially TV viewing changes but the consumption is high. Again, owing to staying at home, viewing across all screens has been reshaped. For the Muslim audience, to connect with your brand, your messaging needs to be relevant to them amidst COVID-19. For example, if you are a grocery store, your messaging must be about how they can replenish their grocery requirements easily during Ramadan. For any media tactics, you need to be able to target the Muslim consumer based on their geography, language, preference, and behaviours.
We, at Maple Diversity Communications, can help you with your strategy, design, messaging and media plans to resonate and connect with your Muslim audience. For more information on how we can help, contact us.