In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a third wave in Tunisia, with 29 April seeing a record 119 COVID-19 deaths. The severe economic impact of measures introduced to limit the spread of the disease have pushed Tunisian consumers to be significantly more budget-conscious during the year, with many households cutting products from their shopping lists or shifting towards inexpensive local brands.
In contrast to other markets, sugar confectionery has not been held back by consumers’ awareness of the role that sugar consumption plays in the development of a wide range of health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Similarly, concerns about sugar’s potential to interfere with the effective functioning of the immune system and the fact that obesity and diabetes are major risk factors in the development of severe COVID-19 did not have a significant impact on demand during the pandemic.
Sugar confectionery is characterised by well-established local production and a very limited number of imported brands. This lack of reliance on imported brands and products enabled the category to remain relatively resilient during the COVID-19 crisis.
The enduring economic impact of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 is set to have a significant influence on demand in sugar confectionery during the forecast period. Consumer purchasing power decreased markedly in 2021, with the unemployment rate increasing to 20% as a result of the pandemic.
The further easing of COVID-19 related restrictions will play an important part in generating demand in sugar confectionery. The revival of busy, away-from-home lifestyles and the return to workplaces and educational establishments will create conditions for impulse purchases and on-the-go consumption, while extended store hours will also support rising sales.
Sugar confectionery products will continue to mainly be purchased through traditional grocery retailers thanks to their offering of a wide variety of brands and low prices. Products in most sugar confectionery categories will continue to benefit from wide availability and the fact that they are mostly sold in independent small grocers in local neighbourhoods, where both children and young adults can purchase these products.
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This report originates from Passport, our Sugar Confectionery research and analysis database.
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