Lebanon’s economic and social breakdown continued to influence sales of staple foods in 2022 as currency devaluation and high unemployment meant severe pressure on spending power. The lack of a reliable electricity supply makes it impossible to store perishable food, which has had a mixed impact on staple foods.
The background factor with the strongest influence on sales of staple foods in 2022 was the economic crisis which continues to plague Lebanon. The economic crisis has led to extremely High inflation, supply chain disruptions, shortages of wheat and grains, reductions in price subsidies on wheat and flour and dramatic declines in consumer purchasing power, among many other adverse factors call many of which had a strong influence on sales of staple foods.
Bread and rice are among the categories of staple foods that are considered to be absolutely essential in virtually all Lebanese households and most consumers have continued to purchase them as their incomes have dwindled and they find that they can no longer purchase other products. the Lebanese are renowned for their baking skills and bread is virtually ubiquitous in all homes throughout the country, resulting in bread remaining a very important category of staple foods.
The ongoing collapse of Lebanon’s economy has led to the severe deterioration of the social situation in the country, resulting in widespread social unrest. Among the main reasons for widespread protests are severe and regular shortages of essential products, including medications, the virtually non-existent power supply, the unaffordable price of fuel and rampant unemployment, among many other issues.
The economic crisis has unfortunately exacerbated Lebanon’s deeply rooted infrastructure problems, especially with regards to the electricity supply. While power cuts were already a common occurrence in the country prior to the onset of the economic crisis, they have now evolved into extended blackouts that can last for weeks or even months at a time.
While the immediate future for Lebanon’s economy and society remain rather uncertain due to the unpredictable the of the current economic situation, it can be then granted that each of the different categories of staple foods will be affected in very different ways. Bread and baked goods more generally are likely to face challenges due to the removal of price subsidies and with the government seemingly reluctant to maintain at least some subsidies to avoid major food security issues in Lebanon, or to create a long-term funding for the country’s commercial bakeries, it is likely that high prices and periodic product shortages will continue to plague baked goods and bread.
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NOTE: Couscous, polenta and quinoa are excluded from staple foods.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Staple Foods research and analysis database.
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