New study shows changing lifestyles and habits of Kenyan consumers

By our News Team | 2022

Report details how the pandemic has changed the daily habits of many people in the East African nation.

Ipsos Kenya recently released a new report detailing how the pandemic has led to changes in Kenyans’ lifestyles. 

The study, titled Pulse on Kenyans and Covid-19, shows Kenyans have become more aware of their budgeting and have been pushed to seek financial stability in case of future crises.

It reveals that 54% of Kenyans are planning to spend less post-pandemic, 15% the same, while 31% will spend more. It also shows a strong uptick on the purchase of hygienic and cleaning products, an increase in purchasing of essential foods and a decrease in non-essential food items such as confectionaries.

The need to budget and save money has also led to changes in the types of purchases, with many people buying in smaller quantities, seeking cheaper brands, and a shift towards local and homemade products.

Research was conducted by Ipsos Kenya Understanding Unlimited (UU) among online communities in February 2022.

Consumer Lifestyles

Woodvale Grove in Westlands, Nairobi. Photo credit: Nairobi123 via Wikimedia Commons

Stronger family bonds in wake of pandemic

Some Kenyans surveyed by Ipsos reported forming a stronger bond with their families after having to move back in and isolate with them. This was in the context of the tough times they faced together, which allowed Kenyans to take stock and appreciate their families. Some even adopted new habits – exercising together, playing family games etc. – to foster this bond and pass the time.

On finances and banking, the study shows the pandemic had a negative effect, with rampant loss of jobs and income – leading to an increase in side-hustles to make ends meet. 

Some Kenyans had to survive on their savings and therefore depleted them. This scenario also saw many downsizing in terms of lifestyle and spending in order to save money, while loan acquisitions to boost businesses increased.

“Although Kenyans’ interactions with banks remain minimal for the mass market, we observe a stronger focus on digital platforms. More digital payments and cashless transactions – virtual relationships have become more of a preference,” said Ipsos Kenya UU Lead, Ruth Ruigu.

On media consumption, the study shows many Kenyans were stuck at home with little to do, other than consuming media due to the lockdown directives.

Television is listed top of the media most consumed. Internet – especially social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok) and entertainment apps such as Netflix and YouTube – were also popular. Search engines such as Google recorded an upsurge in consumption among Kenyans.

“Covid-19 has made Kenyans more reliant on online communication channels for human interactions since social activities were discouraged. Some have spent more time consuming media to stay informed on Covid-19 and its impact on society,” reads part of the report.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.