The Myanmar Consumer Survey
Golden land, golden opportunities
Myanmar’s rapid economic ascent and its equally fast growth in consumption have captured the attention and imaginations of many consumer products and retail companies. It is, in more ways than one, the Golden Land. But winning in this market is not just about identifying the opportunity: it is about knowing why, where, and how to capitalise on it.
As we will explore later in this publication, it is sometimes the little nuances that can make the most difference. Knowing how to cater to the varied local tastes in Myanmar’s ethnically diverse market, for instance, can go a long way towards capturing consumer loyalty. Then there is also the fact that Myanmar’s economy remains a predominantly cash-based one. While there are signs that this may change in the future, companies will need to tweak the way they conduct their business transactions in order to accommodate this phenomenon.
In our first-ever consumer survey conducted in the two cities of Yangon and Mandalay earlier this year, we observed a profound sense of optimism amongst consumers across the board, and especially amongst the rising middle-income segment. As income levels rise, these consumers are increasingly allocating expenditures towards discretionary items. Myanmar consumers have, for instance, shown a particular inclination for entertainment-related expenditures, a likely result of the country’s many seasonal festivals and public holidays.
We also explore the buying behaviour and brand preferences of the Myanmar consumer. One key trend has been the decreasing price-sensitivity as consumers increasingly prioritise other product attributes, especially during the purchase of higher-end items. Later, we will also take a look at the communications and buying channels in Myanmar’s retail landscape. While Traditional Trade channels continue to dominate, we are starting to witness the inevitable shift towards Modern Trade channels in the urban cities.
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