Myanmar consumers shift habits: study
Myanmar consumers in major cities evolved from a generation of necessity to a generation of need for social appearance and lifestyles, according to a Thai-based behavioural consulting research firm, which attributed the shift to the increase of disposable income of workers amid economic growth during the past few years.
Envirosell Thailand, which conducted a study on the behavioural trends of Myanmar consumers in 2018 in three main cities – Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw – said “Myanmar people buy more products for their personal lifestyle and not merely products for necessity.”
The Envirosell study noted that there is more demand for dish washing soap, floor cleaner, fabric softener, hair conditioner, and shower gel, which are categorised as consumable and not strictly necessary.
“Additionally, the rate of using electrical appliances for comfort like washing machines and refrigerators has grown,” read the statement.
Envirosell Thailand remarked that scenes of Myanmar people squatting on stools and sipping their coffee or tea could become a thing of the past as the “new generation prefers to sit in coffee shops to meet their lifestyle.”
“Many coffee shop brands, such as Gloria Jean’s, True Coffee, Black Canyon, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf were launched in Myanmar,” it said.
“Other new lifestyle businesses like Sky Bar Yoga or Fitness are one of the industries growing rapidly in Myanmar,” it added.
It also found that the number of people visiting the Myanmar Build & Decor, House Decoration, and Lifestyle Design fairs rose by 80 percent to 5119 visitors in 2017 from 2879 visitors in 2014.
Envirosell Thailand said the shift in consumption patterns among the Myanmar people have led to a retail business boom with many foreign retailers opening up stores in the country.
It noted that Myanmar retail sector has been growing at an average of 28pc during the last few years and the country’s retail rental area grew from 150,000 square metres in 2013 to 250,000sq m in 2018.
“Myanmar’s behavioural consumption, which now integrates new lifestyles and purchases based more on personal emotions, leads to various business opportunities,” said Sirinporn Jiwanun, chief executive officer of Envirosell (Thailand).
But she warned that not every business could be successful and further research and study are needed in order to determine “the right place, the right time … and the right strategy without wasting time and investment.” Furthermore, the study only targeted the three Myanmar economic hubs, leaving aside the rest of the country.