Ghanaians are shifting spending habits as inflation bites, study finds

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

Change in food spending priorities, as consumers increasingly buy staple accompaniments like bread, fresh fruits, snacks and canned goods.

Despite a 52% increase in value for the Ghanaian FMCG market in 2023 compared to 2022, volume remained flat. The apparent discrepancy reveals a shift in consumer spending patterns as Ghanaians grapple with rising inflation. 


This is according to data from market research firm Maverick Research, based on retail audits of 60 FMCG categories in Ghana. It revealed a 3% decline in food volume contribution compared to 2022, while value only dropped by 1%. 


“The trend extends to home and personal care and non-alcoholic beverages categories, which also saw flat volume, indicating tightened spending across essential goods,” says Ato Micah, CEO of Maverick Research. 


Survey of 1,000 Ghanaians 


To understand this trend further, the agency partnered with Yannick Lefang, CEO of decision-intelligence firm Kasi Insight, to conduct a survey of 1,000 Ghanaians. The survey aimed to determine whether Ghanaians are eating less, or simply shifting their food consumption patterns.

Photo by Greta Hoffman from Pexels


The study findings suggest a shift in food spending priorities. Ghanaians are increasingly purchasing staple accompaniments like bread, fresh fruits, snacks and canned goods, suggesting a focus on affordable options that offer greater satiety. 


Analysts at Maverick and Kasi believe this trend reflects consumers’ adaptation to inflationary pressures by prioritising essential goods and seeking value for money in their food choices.  


They believe the findings highlight the resilience and resourcefulness of Ghanaian consumers in the face of economic challenges. 


What does this mean for businesses? 


According to the research team, the following are key points for Ghanaian businesses to take note of: 


  • Understanding changing priorities: Adapting product offerings and communication strategies to cater to value-conscious consumers seeking essential and affordable options. 


  • Focus on affordability: Highlighting value propositions and cost-effective options can resonate with consumers during these times. 


  • Invest in essential categories: While overall volume might be down, categories like staple accompaniments might offer growth potential. 


Key Takeaways: 


  • FMCG value grew by 52%, despite flat volume, indicating higher prices. 


  • Food volume declined by 3%, while value fell by only 1%. 


  • Consumers prioritise staple accompaniments for affordability and satiety. 


  • Both in-home and out-of-home eating frequencies declined. 


“The ability of FMCG to pass on cost increases provides resilience for this sector for now. The question is how far consumers can go before they adapt and become even more creative,” concludes Lefang

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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.