Demand in retail for edible oils grew during the periods of 2020 that Tunisian consumers spent in lockdown, as people began to prepare more meals at home. However, rising unit prices mean that although there will be strong growth in current value terms, retail volume sales will decline overall.
While overall retail volume sales will decline in 2020, there were periods during the year when demand was higher than usual. Households stockpiled olive oil at the beginning of the lockdown in March, and then topped up their purchases during April, which was the month of Ramadan.
Tunisians were increasingly eating outside the home during the review period as a whole, with the popularity of restaurants and fast food outlets continuing to grow throughout the country. This was linked to the increasingly hectic pace of modern life and the fact that a growing number of women in Tunisia now participate in the workforce and thus have less time to prepare traditional home cooked meals.
Over the forecast period ongoing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to cause further decreases in consumption of edible oils. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to look after their health, and so are cutting down on products with high fat and cholesterol content, such as olive oil and sunflower oil.
Traditionally, local consumers have used unbranded cheap varieties of edible oils, which are broadly available across the country. People generally prefer to buy edible oils in large package sizes, particularly 5 litre bottles, and especially during Ramadan when greater quantities of food are prepared at home.
It is expected that during the forecast period edible oils producers will start to launch new, lighter brands, in response to consumers’ growing desire to limit their fat and cholesterol intake. Consumer health concerns related to the use of unbranded edible oils are likely to increase, resulting in a rise in demand for packaged branded edible oils, which state information on the production process, calorie content and nutritional value, thus providing consumers with reassurance.
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This report originates from Passport, our Edible Oils research and analysis database.
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