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flag Morocco Morocco: Reaching the Consumers

In this page: Consumer Profile | Marketing opportunities

 

Consumer Profile

Consumer Profile
Morocco has a young population (median age of 29.1 years in 2020) and large households (4.6 people on average). 27% of the population is below 15 years old, 16.5% are between 15-24, 40.6% between 25 and 54, 8.6% are between 55-64 years and 7.1% are 65 or older. However, the population growth rates stands at only 0.96%.
In recent decades the urban population has increased substantially, reaching 63.5% of the total in 2020, with an annual urbanization rate estimated at 2.14% between 2015-2020. The territorial distribution of urbanization is particularly unequal, with one in three residents in two regions, Greater Casablanca and Rabat Salé Zemour Saer. Literacy among men aged 15 or more reached 83.3%, while that of their female counterparts is much lower, at 64.6% (CIA estimates). School is compulsory from 6 to 14 year olds and the number of out-of-school children has dropped sharply in recent years.
Most of the population is active in the services sector (44%), although the agricultural sector also has an important share - at 34% - followed by the industrial sector (22% - World Bank, 2020).
Purchasing Power
Morocco’s GDP per capita (PPP) was estimated at only USD 7,826 in 2019 by the World Bank. According to the latest figures released by the National Security Fund (CNSS), the average salary of Moroccans in 2018 stood at MAD 5,188. Divided by sectors, the average wages vary: civil servants average monthly wages sat at MAD 7,549. The highest paid workers were employed in the financial and insurance sectors (MAD 14,749), followed by the IT and communications sector (MAD 10,953). The lowest paid workers were employed in the agriculture (MAD 3,028 per month) and hospitality (MAD 3,963) sectors. The median salary stood at MAD 2,723.
It is estimated that  ¾ of the total mass of consumption expenditure is made by the wealthiest half of the population, and five out of twelve regions contribute to 74% of total consumption, i.e. Casablanca Settat, Rabat Salé Kenitra, Tangier Tetouan Al Hoceima, Fes Meknes and Marrakech Safi. The level of inequality in the distribution of wealth is indeed quite high in Morocco, with the highest Gini Index coefficient in North Africa according to a study by the OECD. This disparity is particularly significant at the gender level, the country ranking 143rd out of 153 in the latest report of the World Economic Forum on gender parity. Moroccan women earn about 17% less than men according to a study conducted by the Moroccan Directorate of Financial Studies and Forecasting (DEPF).
Consumer Behaviour
For purchases the Moroccan consumer favours neighbourhood establishments where there is a relationship of trust built on contact with the seller. Some 55% of women are responsible for household purchases, 47% of whom seek information before buying and 54% choose brands over the price, according to an Ipsos study. In general, Moroccan consumers prefer to turn to local brands and products. But they are increasingly numerous, especially young people, in turning to foreign brands belonging to large multinationals. In addition, Moroccans are not particularly loyal to brands and this trend is continuing. Non-monetary offers such as loyalty programs providing priority services and product customisation are particularly popular, especially with millennials. Thus, only 55% of women surveyed responsible for household purchases say they are loyal to brands and 53% say they are on the lookout for the best offers and promotions.
E-commerce is still underdeveloped in Morocco: while internet penetration has grown considerably over the past few years, now reaching approximately 70% of the total population, only 7% of internet users currently shop online. Only 4% of women responsible for household purchases say they have already done their shopping online and 20% say they look for information on the internet (they are 80% to rely on conventional media). Only a minority of Moroccan consumers use social networks, and among them, many do not want to have contact with a brand through this medium. However, the participation rate of Moroccan communities on brand fan pages is increasing. Thus, consumers who have chosen to follow one or more brands on social networks are investing more and more in their relationship with them, which tends to influence their purchasing decisions. Child-related spending is a top priority for 90% of parents, compared to 76% for travel, 75% for adult clothing and 59% leisure time, according to the Wafasalaf Observatory. Child participation in purchase decisions for food products is 71% and clothes 60% with 50% of kids valuing different brands of clothing.
In recent years we have seen a change in the eating habits of Moroccan consumers who are increasingly turning to healthy and organic products. This turning point concerns mainly young people and pregnant women. The country's major cities have seen many specialty stores flourish and some retailers have even expanded their networks from a dozen to some 700 outlets in 2-3 years.
 

Household Consumption Expenditure

Sector Percentage
Food 37.0%
Housing and energy 23.0%
Other expenses 9.9%
Hygiene and medical care 8.7%
Transport 7.1%
Teaching 3.7%
Clothing 3.2%
Household appliances 3.2%
Communication 2.2%
Leisure 1.9%

Source: Enquête Nationale sur la consommation et les dépenses des ménages 2013 - 2014 _ HCP 
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Consumer Recourse to Credit

The use of household credit has been steadily increasing in recent years. According to the latest report by Bank Al Maghrib (Morocco’s central bank), household debt increased by 5.1% y-o-y in 2019, reaching MAD 358.6 billion. Of the total debt, around 63% is composed of home loans (+3.8% y-o-y), while 37% (+1% y-o-y) is destined to consumer credit.
Concerning home loans, the average credit in 2019 stood at around MAD 391,000, with 58% of the loans having a repayment term of 20 years or more. The beneficiaries of this type of credit were over 40 years in more than 60% of cases.
When it comes to consumer credit, more than over 75% of loans have a duration of more than 5 years. Bank Al Maghrib estimates the average amount at MAD 54,000 in 2019.  Over one-third (36%) of consumers recurring to credit had a monthly income below MAD 4,000, whereas 41% had monthly revenues above MAD 6,000. Out of all the people that recurred to consumer credit, 49% were employees, 34% civil servants, 7% retirees, 5% artisans and tradesmen and 5% freelancers.
In 2019, the risk credit for home loans reached 6.8%, from 6.5% one year before; and the consumer credit risk also increased from 10.3% to 10.7%.

Growing Sectors
Infrastructure, agriculture, agribusiness, construction, as well as sports and tourism represent promising sectors according to the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Morocco. Added to this is the still-young ICT sector, which represents one of the strategic axes of development put forward by the National Pact for Industrial Emergence.
Consumers Associations
Consumer Portal of Morroco
 

Population in Figures

Total Population:
36,910,558
Urban Population:
63.5%
Rural Population:
36.5%
Density of Population:
83 Inhab./km²
Men (in %)
49.2%
Women (in %)
50.4%
Natural increase:
1.20%
Medium Age:
25.0
Ethnic Origins:
According to the High Commission for Planning of the Kingdom of Morocco, 99.75% of the Moroccan population are Moroccan nationals, which means that only 0.25% are foreign nationals (mainly nationals of France, Senegal, Algeria, Syria, Spain, Ivory Coast, Libya, and Italy). A large majority of the population has Amazigh (Berber) and/or Arab origins, but other ethnicities are also present in Morocco.
 

Population of main cities

City Population
Casablanca 3,563,000
Fez 1,187,000
Tangier 1,087,000
Salé 996,000
Marrakech 971,000
Oujda 572,000
Meknes 571,000
Rabat 533,000
Agadir 498,000
Kenitra 495,000

Source: Citypopulation.de, Latest available data - Latest available data.

 

Age of the Population

Life Expectancy in Years
Men:
75.4
Women:
77.9

Source: World Bank, last available data., 2009 - Latest available data.

 
Distribution of the Population By Age Bracket in %
Under 5:
9.6%
6 to 14:
18.4%
16 to 24:
19.7%
25 to 69:
48.8%
Over 70:
3.5%
Over 80:
0.8%

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Prospects 2010 - Latest available data.

 

Household Composition

Average Age of the Head of the Household 40.0 Years
Total Number of Households (in million) 5.7
Average Size of the Households 5.2 Persons
Percent of Households of 1 Person 4.3%
Percent of Households of 2 Persons 11.4%
Percent of Households of 3 or 4 Persons 25.0%
Percent of Households of 5 Persons and More 59.3%

Source: High Commissioner for Planning, 2004 ; High Commissioner for Planning, 2004 - Latest available data.

 

Consumption Expenditure

Purchasing Power Parity 2019202020212022 (e)2023 (e)
Purchasing Power Parity (Local Currency Unit per USD) 3.963.943.843.783.75

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, Latest Available Data

Definition: Purchasing Power Parity is the Number of Units of a Country's Currency Required to Buy the Same Amounts of Goods and Services in the Domestic Market as USD Would Buy in the United States.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
Household Final Consumption Expenditure 201820192020
Household Final Consumption Expenditure
(Million USD, Constant Price 2000)
64,76565,92860,256
Household Final Consumption Expenditure
(Annual Growth, %)
3.41.8-8.6
Household Final Consumption Expenditure per Capita
(USD, Constant Price 2000)
1,9932,0031,809

Source: World Bank, Latest Available Data

 
Consumption Expenditure By Product Category as % of Total Expenditure 2013-2014
Food 37.0%
Housing and energy 23.0%
Hygiene and medical care 8.0%
Transport 7.0%
Education 3.0%
Clothing 3.0%
Domestic appliances 3.2%
Communication 2.2%
Culture and spare time activities 1.9%
Other expenses 9.0%

Source: High Commissioner for Planning, Latest available data

 
Information Technology and Communication Equipment, per 100 Inhabitants 2012
Telephone Subscribers 113.3
Main Telephone Lines 10.1
Cellular mobile subscribers 113.3
Internet Users 55.0
PCs 2.5

Source: International Telecommunication Union, Latest available data

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Marketing opportunities

 

Media in Which to Advertise

Television
The state ended its monopoly of TV broadcasting only in 2002 and many private channels have been operational since that date. Nonetheless, state-run Al Aoula and partly state-owned 2M continue to capture nearly half of audience (Ciaumed).
Television advertising continues to takes the lion's share, however its importance ahead of outdoor and digital advertising has been declining steadily. Once representing about half of the advertising market, TV advertising expenditure now accounts for 40% and recorded a deep decline in 2017 (-6.2%, USD 224 million). TV advertising could recover slightly in 2018 with Morocco competing in 2018 FIFA World Cup.


Main Televisions
National Radio broadcasting and Television Company of Morocco
2M
Medi 1 TV
Press
While the country boasts a wide variety of daily, weekly and monthly newspapers, the Press Code imposes significant restrictions on any coverage of affairs related to religion, the king and the territorial integrity of Morocco, and provides for prison terms. Newspaper readership has been on constant decline since 2013 as the top three dailies (Al Massae, Assabah and Alakhbar) have lost as much as 30% of their readership in four years (OJD Morocco - Organisme de Justification de la Diffusion). This decline is also reflected in the share of print advertising in total advertising expenditure. Press advertising accounts for 14% of total advertising expenditure and fell by 4% in 2017 (USD 80.6 million) despite the Moroccan advertising market growing steadily overall (Moroccan Group of Advertisers).

Main Newspapers
L' économiste
Aujourd'hui
Al Massae
As Sabah
Al Akhbar
Mail
Direct mail advertising needs to be carried out taking into consideration various contrasts of the Moroccan market (urban wealth and middle class and poorer rural communities where the adult literacy rate is significantly lower). More and more agencies offer direct mail advertising services. Moroccan Mail (Poste Maroc) provides three different mail advertising services for companies.
In Transportation Venues
Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is one of the most rapidly growing types of advertising in Morocco along with digital. Its market share is as high as 28% (this rate is thought to be even higher in reality as the Moroccan Group of Advertisers does not count tram unit and gas station advertising as outdoor advertising) and is among the most vibrant in its region. Outdoor advertising expenditure reached USD 179.6 million in 2017, recording the highest year-on-year increase (+19.3%). This form of advertising is expected to maintain its steady growth in 2018 with Morocco competing in 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Market Leaders:
Publicité Maroc
FC COM
NMN
Maxyes Communication
Radio
The state ended its monopoly of radio broadcasting only in 2002 and radio listenership figures have been on the rise since that date. Quran Radio (Radio Coran, state-owned) is the most popular station in the country (13.72% of listenership in the 4th quarter of 2017- Radiométrie Maroc), followed by the privately-owned Med Radio (12.30%). Radio penetration is among the highest in the region (54.5% of Moroccans listen to a radio station on a daily basis) and time spent listening to the radio stood at 2 hours 52 minutes (per day). Radio advertising accounted for 16% of total advertising expenditure (ahead of print) with USD 104.31 million in 2017 (8.6% year-on-year increase) (Moroccan Group of Advertisers).

Main Radios
Radio-Television Marocaine (RTM) (state-run)
Medi 1
Med Radio
Web
This market has exploded these last few years, more generally the online advertising market, owing to the rise of Internet in Morocco. Internet penetration rate rose by 30.1% in 2017 and reached 63.67%, third highest rate in Africa (National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency- 2018). The number of mobile Internet users grew by 31.69% in 2017 and stood at 20.83 million. Digital advertising expenditure, while considerably smaller than traditional forms of advertising, continues to grow considerably. It rose by 60% and reached USD 54.1 million in 2017 (Moroccan Group of Advertisers).

Market Leaders:
Artmedia
WikiDigital
Webeuz
Main Advertising Agencies
Engagia
Best Creative
Taktil Communication
Alter Way Group
 

Main Principles of Advertising Regulations

Beverages/Alcohol
Article 64 of the Press Code strictly forbids all forms of alcohol advertising (including sponsorship).
Cigarettes
Article 64 of the Press Code strictly forbids all forms of tobacco advertising in the media. Law No. 15-91 further forbids sponsorship and point-of-sale advertising of tobacco products.
Pharmaceuticals/Drugs
Law No. 17-04 regulates pharmaceutical advertising in Morocco. As such, only medicinal products that are issued with a marketing license can be advertised and their advertisement is subject to a prior approval by the Ministry of Health. Ministry's approval is only valid for a year and can be renewed as long as the product holds a valid marketing license. Advertising of prescription drugs is not allowed.
Other Rules
Law No. 03-77 on Audiovisual Communication sets forth guidelines for advertising companies and as such advertisements cannot be inconsistent with religious values, public order, public morals and national defence purposes.
Use of Foreign Languages in Advertisement
No specific regulation on the use of language in advertising. Advertising in French is common owing to the country's past relationship with the language while TV spots in Moroccan Arabic (Darija) are increasingly popular (especially during prime time). Advertising in Berber languages (Amazigh) is less common despite its official language status.
Organizations Regulating Advertising
High Authority of Audiovisual Communication

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Latest update: June 2022

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