Around 98% of Saudi consumers have changed the way they shop for daily essentials to get more value for their money, according to a new survey.

When shopping for fast-moving consumer goods (FCMG), Saudi residents use saving strategies, including shopping online (33%) to get better deals, and taking advantage of loyalty schemes (27%) to get more bang for their buck, findings of a NielsenIQ study showed.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of shoppers also turn to digital technology to find the best deals on their preferred brands, but only 17% opt for private-label products.

The findings indicate that consumers have become cost-sensitive and they now tend to value affordability over the allure of premium goods.

“This trend signifies a broader change in purchasing habits, where the allure of premium products has been outweighed by the appeal of affordability and the practical benefits of cost-effective alternatives, the consumer intelligence company said.

The new consumer habits in Saudi reflect a global trend of shoppers exploring options to cut down on their outgoings.

“Over the last two years or more, global consumers have indicated they will seek ways to reduce expenses and prioritise affordability,” said Pavlos Pavlou, NielsenIQ Managing Director in Saudi Arabia.

“These intentions are driving real impact; the whole structure of global pricing has experienced a small shift in favour of lower price tiers.”

However, Pavlou noted that while Saudi consumers are “progressively leaning into selections that prioritise cost-efficiency”, they continue to look for high-quality, premium items – especially the ones promising health and wellness benefits.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)