Ramadan month brings brisk business for Israeli Arabs

Food purchases increase and advertisers beef up their campaigns during the holy month, similar to the rush during Jewish holidays in Israel.

May 7, 2019 06:35
1 minute read.

Traditional pastries being prepared ahead of the month of Ramadan in the Hebron May 16, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)

It may seem counter-intuitive that the holy month of fasting on the Islamic calendar sees an increase in food sales, but that's exactly what the numbers show according to figures obtained by Maariv, the Hebrew-language sister publication of The Jerusalem Post

Arab affairs reporter Yasser Okbi said that Ramadan, which began Sunday evening, sees a 50% rise in food purchases. Each morning Muslims have a pre-fast meal called Suhoor, before the first prayer of the day. The fast ends each day at sundown with iftar, a break-fast meal.
The rate of gift purchases rises dramatically every year similar to the shopping craze before Passover and other holidays in the Jewish sector. A family in the Arab sector spends an average of NIS 2,700 a month on food, while during the month of Ramadan the expenditure is twice that - about NIS 5,500 on average.

Advertiser and strategic adviser Musa Hassadia notes that the month of Ramadan is not only characterized by fasting and prayer, but a month in which the Arab sector works less and buys more.

The volume of purchases amounts to between NIS 700 million and NIS 1 billion. Ramadan consumption habits vary. The celebration at the end of each day brings with it a festive atmosphere.

Popular purchases include meat, vegetables, dried fruits, soft drinks, rice and sweets. But Ramadan, like Jewish holidays is also an opportunity for companies to offer sales on electrical appliances, fashion items, vacations, and other things not necessarily related to the holiday.

Hassadia notes that the advertising industry also enjoys an increase in the volume of activity - about a quarter of the advertising budget of food companies and retail chains is invested for Ramadan. 

As the most important month for Muslims who make up a majority of Israeli Arabs, most companies are truly careful to participate in the celebration of advertising and shopping.

At the end of the month of Ramadan, the holiday of Eid al-Fitr is celebrated, which was celebrated which brings more festive gatherings, and more sales.

Arabs make up about 21% of the Israeli population, the vast majority of which are Muslim.

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