FMCG: Top Insights for the UAE

Trends / Sustainability
Darah Ghanem
Carolina Sampaio Lechner
Apr 17, 2024
How can CPG/FMCG brands connect more authentically with their target audiences in 2024 and beyond? Here are the top three insights from Getty Images' latest VisualGPS research on how brands in UAE can use visuals to show more care for people and the planet.
Sustainable transformation
Going forward, it is important for CPG brands to show how they are sustainably transforming for the climate to connect with today's consumers. Why? 82% of people in UAE say companies have a moral obligation to use their resources to improve society and the environment.1 Additionally, our research shows consciousness about one’s own impact on the environment has risen in the past year in this region. However, brand cynicism about implementing ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) actions persists. This presents an opportunity for brands to show their commitment through visuals.

When choosing visuals to depict sustainable transformation, consider visuals that show mindful consumption with practical actions for today's consumers. Introduce new sustainable concepts to educate and engage. Inspire with visuals that mix technology and nature to speak to environment‑first innovation. Think about highlighting interesting textures of bio‑materials or mixing organic forms with tech symbolism.
Consumer wellness
With climate change and technological transformation advancing at a fast pace, it is no surprise that nearly 6 in 10 people in UAE find it very difficult to keep pace with today’s world. This change overload can be jarring, and brands can connect with consumers by showing care for their wellbeing. With today's consumers in UAE being happiness seekers and finding escape in joyful experiences, there is an increased preference for seeing meaningful connections around consumption. According to our research, 63% say they have to feel happy about a purchase in order for it to feel worth it.

When choosing visuals to depict consumer wellness, appeal with playful colours and textures. Embrace imperfections and the messiness of life. Build those intentional connections by showing how small actions and meaningful gestures in everyday situations enhance personal connections between people.
With the rise of AI and social commerce, the shopping experience is becoming hyperpersonalised as brands turn shopping into an immersive experience. Our research shows that nearly 6 in 10 consumers say AI can recommend things tailored to their interests, making it easier to find what they like. Consumers in UAE are generally less skeptical about tech advancements and privacy than the global average. Still, the vast majority say they want to see companies taking more measures to protect their identity and privacy. Selecting visuals that depict transparency around AI by showing transparent elements and humanised experiences is key.

With hyperpersonalisation also comes hyperempathy. Why? 90% of consumers in UAE appreciate when companies they do business with acknowledge the challenges they personally face. Our VisualGPS research also shows that nearly 7 in 10 people in UAE prefer to express their identity regardless of what people think and they want to see brands act accordingly. From beauty visuals that tell a homogenous story, to the lack of diversity in food visuals, to the underrepresentation of people of determination, our research reveals CPG brands have a way to go. To address this, Getty Images and Citi have partnered to create Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Imagery Toolkits to provide actionable insights on authentic and multifaceted depictions of people in brand communication that helps drive more relatable and empathetic visual storytelling. 
1 Getty Images VisualGPS. Consumer survey conducted across 25 countries worldwide, n=7.000 adults aged 18+
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