Kenyan Consumer Spending Habits Over The Holiday Season in 2020

By Leonida Kombo,

Without a doubt, Kenyan consumers have experienced a decline in their expenditure since the first case of Coronavirus was declared in March. As a result, Kenyan consumers have been forced to make a number of tradeoffs which are likely to persist in the coming months even as the festive season approaches.

This year prior to the Easter Holidays in April, Kenyan consumers’ expenditure declined by 21% from an average wallet size of KES. 18,346 in March to KES. 14,542 in April. Ajua ran a study earlier this year that showed that nearly 90% of Kenyans work in a Small & Medium Enterprise (SME). According to the study, up to 63% of SMEs had experienced a loss of market for their goods by April 2020. This resulted in minimal resources to cope with the current economic situation for many Kenyan families.

To gain insight into how Kenyans would possibly spend over the Christmas holidays, we studied the spending trends leading to the Easter holidays in April 2020. We dug into data from Consumer Wallet. a product by Ajua that tracks consumer spending habits to understand some of the costs that Kenyans had decided to cut back on since the onset of the pandemic in Kenya in March.

To gain insight into how Kenyans could possibly spend over the Christmas holidays, we studied the spending trends leading to the Easter holidays in April 2020. Data from Consumer Wallet showed that Kenyans mostly decided to cut back on the following non-essential items since the onset of the pandemic in Kenya in March. The biggest tradeoff Kenyan consumers made was on airtime, spending as much as 7% less than they had in the previous month. This was followed by betting services and alcoholic beverages which decreased in expenditure by 4% and 1% respectively, a possible consequence of the closure of bars and clubs as well as the introduction of the night-time curfew.

These tradeoffs mainly paved way for the following items which recorded an increase in spend between March and April 2020. Bills recorded the highest increase in expenditure, going up by 5%. This was followed closely by expenditure on food which rose by 4%. These could be attributed to the closure of schools forcing people to pay more on utilities. The third highest increase in expenditure was recorded in household and personal care goods such as soap and sanitizers with an increased wallet share of 1% . However, the wallet share of these particular items rose sharply from 13% to 21%, between May and June 2020, making this the category that recorded the highest increase in spend since the onset of the pandemic.

In conclusion, though there is hope that businesses are continuing to recover, the constraints witnessed during the months leading up to April are likely to linger for the coming months. This means that people are more likely to spend only on essential items over this holiday season.


About Ajua

Ajua is Africa’s first Integrated Customer Experience company for businesses on the continent. We exist to bridge the gap between businesses and their customers. Ajua’s technology integrates with businesses at the points that matter most to their customers to measure and optimize their Customer Experience. Our plug and play platform has enabled leading brands of various sizes and industries on the continent to create actionable strategies that drive business growth.

Ajua officially rebranded from mSurvey on July 31st, 2019 to reflect our growth, ambition and African Identity in our corporate brand.



To learn more about Ajua, SME Connect and how to move your business to the next level through Digital Transformation to meet your Integrated Customer Experience objectives, please contact the Marketing team at [email protected] or Leonida Kombo – Communication & Content Manager, Ajua | [email protected] | +254 726 024 751.