As Ramadan is well underway, we thought it was only right that we take a closer look at the international holiday and how retailers can play their part. The UK Muslim population is over 3 million, according to the Office for National Statistics. That’s a huge community – too huge to ignore in our opinion. Retailers and brands have started to make more of an effort for Ramadan over the years but we want to see this huge celebration become a part of mainstream marketing in retail.
So, what exactly is Ramadan?
Here’s the lowdown on what Ramadan is and what it means to the Muslim community in the UK. Ramadan is a period of fasting, where Muslims won’t eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. This year, it lasts from May 5th to June 4th. However, the dates change every year based on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which uses the cycles of the moon. There are also exceptions to who can fast – pregnant women, children, elderly people and anyone who falls sick is not expected to.
Ramadan is a time when Muslims feel they can get closer to Allah; it is generally a period of carrying out kind deeds, taking part in spiritual reflection and spending precious time with friends and family.
Once the period of fasting has come to an end, Muslims will celebrate Eid-al-Fitr or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. This is a momentous occasion and many festivities take place, including gift-giving, feasts and gatherings. So, we can see why retailers and brands should take note of this holiday!
Impact of Ramadan on UK supermarkets
Last year, Islamic marketing agency Ogilvy Noor published a fascinating report into Ramadan in the UK. They revealed some very interesting insights directly from the Muslim community and also explored key trends for retailers to take advantage of.
Essentially, the impact of Ramadan on UK supermarkets has the potential to be massive. Ogilvy Noor reported that 78% of Muslims would be interested in brands who stock products specifically for Ramadan and Eid. 62% of these same Muslims think that they are not ‘served well’ by brands and retailers and they’re disappointed in current engagement levels.
Let’s face it: an extra £100m is generated for supermarkets during the Ramadan period… and this figure only has the potential to grow if companies get behind it. According to Ogilvy Noor, footfall in shopping centres increases by 47% during Eid ul Fitr.
In particular, supermarkets and grocery retailers can get involved with catering for Ramadan feasts including Eid celebrations and Iftar throughout, as well as the preparation and stocking-up of food.
So, what can supermarkets and grocery retailers do?
If you’re looking to engage with Ramadan more from now on, there are a few key trends and statistics you need to get on board with. Here’s what you need to know:
- Health, wellness and food preparation are top priorities. Muslims will look for a variety of health-promoting foods, filling foods to last them through the day and frozen foods to stock up on for the entire period
- Recipes and cookbooks are important for preparation with ‘71% of Muslims’ researching new meals to cook for Iftar
- 1 in 5 Muslims taking part in Ramadan (mostly 18-24-year-olds) will ‘go out for an Eid meal’ rather than eat at home
- 71% order takeaway throughout the holiday. This suggests a focus on pre-prepared foods could be beneficial
- 60% of Muslims concerned about Iftar preparation are women in the 35-44 age range
- 59% of Muslims celebrate Eid with a large family get-together. It’s worth bearing in mind multipacks and multi-buy offers that can cater to this
These are the six key trends identified by Ogilvy Noor for British Ramadan: spirituality, charity, celebration, community, food & drink, health & wellness.
Top tip: Remain respectful of tradition when marketing products during Ramadan. Your products or services should centre around enhancing ‘the Ramadan experience’ and not commercialising or exploiting Muslim traditions. It’s worth engaging with the Muslim community all year round, to gain loyalty for the Ramadan period and Eid celebrations.
How Tactical Solutions can help
We help countless brands push their products into UK supermarkets and retailers across the country. So, if you need help engaging with the Muslim community during their festive season, we’d be happy to discuss your ideas!
At Tactical Solutions, we use key sales and demographic data to produce dynamic journey plans and target specific stores. We are experts in focusing in on specific types of festivals and seasonal periods, including Ramadan! Get in touch with us today to start supporting this fantastic time of celebration.