UAE Consumers Find Brand Origin As Important As Product Benefits


Nielsen Study: 73% of UAE Consumers Find Brand Origin As Important As Product Benefits

In a recent online survey conducted by Nielsen, a leading provider of information and insights, respondents say a brand’s country of origin is more important than other purchasing drivers, including selection/choice, price, function and quality, but sentiment varies by category.

Respondents in the UAE say they prefer local brands for dairy products milk (55% vs 25%), yogurt (55% vs 23%) and healthier beverage categories such as juices (47% vs 27%), and water (57% vs 20%). On the other hand in personal and beauty care products global brands are consumers’ preferred choice [tooth pastes (61% vs 17%), shampoo/ conditioner (59% vs 18%), deodorant (56% vs 21%), cosmetics (56% vs 17%)].

Perceived specialization of a country is also a factor when it comes to brand origin. Some product categories have become almost synonymous with certain countries: in this case, coffee and tea from Colombia, India and Vietnam and chocolate from Belgium and Switzerland; which explains the preference for global brands when it comes to sweets and chocolates (55% vs 22%).

Around 7 out of 10 respondents perceive that global brands are generally more expensive than local brands though 6 out of 10 also reckon that the former offer better quality products.

“As UAE consumers are optimizing their spend in sluggish economy, findings show that the decision in choosing global or local is slowly diminishing in the UAE as respondents tend to go for products with better value/promotion, regardless of the brand origin,” noted Arslan Ashraf, Managing Director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula & Pakistan. “It is also important to note that the general makeup of the UAE population includes expats from across many nations in the world, which could contribute to preferences for non-local brands in certain categories.”

When asked to select the top three decision factors for selecting a product, respondents say that a sale or promotion on the brand, better product benefits and positive experience with the brand are among the important factors when deciding to buy a product.

The Nielsen Global Brand-Origin Survey polled more than 30,000 online respondents in 61 countries to understand consumer sentiment about product origin across 40 categories, from consumables to durables. We examined whether consumers prefer goods produced by global/multinational brands (defined as those that operate in many markets) or by local players (those operating only in a single market—the respondent’s home country). While respondents were asked to consider these definitions in their selections, preexisting notions about brand origin could prevail—a global brand might be so pervasive in a local market that a respondent may think it is a dominant local brand. We also explored the factors driving brand preference and examined what local and global players can learn from each other, so we can offer insights into how each can succeed in the changing retail landscape.


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