COVID-19: Spending on eating out falls 70pc, grocery shopping increases 58pc

LAHORE: Consumer spending on groceries post coronavirus lockdown increased by 58pc per cent, whereas the amount spent on eating out fell by 70pc.

This was revealed by fintech solutions provider Hysab Kytab in its webinar to share insights on the impact COVID-19 has had on consumer spending in Pakistan.

Consumer spending on groceries rose further by 10pc during Ramadan, whereas the amount spent on eating out also witnessed a further decline of 21pc following the commencement of the holy month.

The information, which the company claims was gathered using aggregated and anonymised data sets, showed significant shifts in spending in sectors such as food and grocery, fuel and transport, online shopping, telecom and subscriptions and charity and donations. The company further claims that its insights were prepared using a dataset of 360,000 cash spending users. However, it cannot be ascertained if the dataset was truly reflective of the spending habits of the whole population since Hysab Kytab refused to divulge specific details about the age groups of these users and if they were concentrated in urban areas.

Speaking about the online event, Hysab Kytab Founder Veqar Islam said, “In these unprecedented times, how businesses react and learn to unlearn the ways of doing business that are different from any playbook that they have been following so far is absolutely crucial. While doing so, the power of real-time data insights becomes incomparable to any other means of decision making to provide the best value to their customers.”

While the fuel and transport sector witnessed a significant downward trend in spending post-COVID-19 i.e. 31 per cent, a 16pc increase was noted at the start of the Ramadan.

There has also been an upward trend in online shopping.

In the telecom and subscriptions category, the fintech revealed that there has also been a noticeable increase in both, mobile expenditure and subscriptions to online streaming sites, such as Netflix. However, Hysab Kytab shared that while the highest increase had been witnessed in charity and donations with consumers spending 324 per cent more post-COVID-19, the sector saw a 3pc decline in Ramadan.

Hysab Kytab Global Head Yasir Ilyas stated, “Data will play a central role during COVID-19 and beyond in the new normal. Business leaders should strive to make right decisions informed by data. To survive, recover and thrive, businesses will need to know more and guess less.”

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Taimoor Hassan
The author is a staff member and can be reached at [email protected]
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