By Abdel Qader Ramadan
Egyptians have begun stocking large quantities of foods in preparation for Ramadan despite high prices and calls by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to reduce spending and embrace austerity.
A large number of Egyptians have purchased food products at small shops and large supermarket chains to take advantage of offers and discounts encouraging buyers to shop.
“Sales are good and turnout is normal,” said Mohamed El Hawary, owner of Hyper One market, “Rates have not fallen from previous years’.”
“Prices are high, but consumers are somewhat receptive to these goods,” Hawary said. He added that talk of austerity and reducing spending may be applied to luxury goods, but not to food and drink.
Talking to Daily News Egypt at the Supermarket Exhibition in Nasr City that began last Thursday, a large number of Egyptians were keen to visit the exhibition. Hawary added that they were also willing to purchase large quantities of various food products.
Many companies offered sales on meats, chicken, rice, sauce, oil, and legumes, motivating a considerable proportion of visitors to buy large quantities of these goods.
Nut prices have increased significantly as a result of a decline in imports from Syria, which are a favourite of Egyptians.
Heba Latif, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Prestige, the exhibition’s organiser, said in a statement last Thursday the volume of sales at last year’s exhibition reached EGP 380m. It is expected to increase by 15% this year.
“Sales are good and prices are not high…We have several offers and discounts on the occasion of the month of Ramadan,” said Mohamed Farag Amer, Chairman of Fargalla Food Industries. He pointed out that he expects his company’s sales to increase this month by no less than 10%.
Mostafa Al-Daw, Chairman of the Foodstuffs division of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, said that turnout in small shops has not been good. It does not match the rates of previous years due to poor economic conditions.
However, he said that demand from high-income earners to prepare “Ramadan bags” containing food goods to be distributed to the poor forms one major catalyst for increased sales.