Lebanon flag Lebanon: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in Lebanon

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
Lebanon has a population of almost 5.3 million people (2022 est.) with a growth rate of 0.66% in 2022 (CIA World Factbook). There are 67.8% Muslims (31.9% Sunni, 31.2% Shia, smaller percentages of Alawites and Ismailis), 32.4% Christians (Maronite Catholics are the largest Christian group), 4.5% Druze, and a very small number of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, and Hindus (CIA).

The median age is 30.8 years (Data Reportal, 2022). 24% of the population is between 0 and 14 years old, 68% is between 15 and 64 years old, and 8% is 65 years old or older (World Bank, 2021). 89.3% of the population lives in urban areas and the urbanisation rate stands at -1.23% (2020-2025 est.); the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favourable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area has a smaller population density. Beirut, the capital city, counts around 2.4 million people (CIA, 2022). The average household counts 4.1 people (CAS, 2022).

The literacy rate stands at 95%, 97% for the male population and 93% for the female population (World Bank, latest data available). In Lebanon, English or French with Arabic are taught from early years in schools. English or French are the mandatory medium of instruction for mathematics and science for all schools. Education is compulsory from age 6 to age 14. In 2022, 22.3% of residents aged 3 and above had completed elementary education (21.1% of women and 23.6% of men), 14.9% completed intermediary education, 15.1% completed secondary education and 12.2% completed university (CAS).

Purchasing Power
The Lebanese GDP per capita (PPP) is estimated at USD 10,691.2 (World Bank, 2021), decreasing for four consecutive years. Against a backdrop of what is the country’s worst economic crisis in history, Lebanon’s unemployment stands close to the 30% mark in 2022. Youth unemployment rate reached 47.8% in January 2022 (CAS). A person working in Lebanon typically earns around LBP 2,284,100 per month (ILO and CAS, January 2022). Due to political and economic crisis, the country is experiencing hyperinflation: annual average inflation reached 154.8% in 2021 (CAS). The World Bank estimates that more than half of the population lives below the poverty line. Gini index in Lebanon was reported at 31.8, according to the latest figure from the World Bank collection of development indicators. According to studies in Lebanon, women and men working in the public sector earn similar wages, but women working in the private sector earn substantially less than their male counterparts, as confirmed by the low Global Gender Gap Index score of the country, which is ranked 119th out of 146 countries (World Economic Forum, 2022).
Consumer Behaviour

Purchasing in Lebanon is marked by a lack of trust between buyers and sellers owing to high price differences among retailers, the prevalence of counterfeit products and the relative weakness of the Consumer Protection Directorate. Marred by political instability, the refugee crisis and the economic downturn, Lebanese consumers have little confidence in their economy.

According to Nielsen reports, “rapid urbanisation and changes in households are also influencing buying decisions of global consumers. Meanwhile, the household continues to shrink at the same time. Therefore, it’s not surprising that consumers say they seek out products which make life easier (31%) and convenient to use (31%), while around one in five consumers are looking for products suitable for small households (18%) and tailored to a specific need (15%)”.

E-commerce is rather weak in Lebanon; a survey conducted by the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade indicates a variety of issues that slow the growth of e-commerce in the country including the high cost of building an online market, lack of confidence on the part of Lebanese buyers in transactions conducted over the internet, high costs of shipping packages and a lack of awareness among the population about the internet and its capabilities. A regulatory framework was only recently put into place for e-commerce, as an attempt to spur its growth in the country.

Data analysis produced from a consumer survey in Lebanon testing the socio-demographic and external factors affecting customer behaviour, demonstrated high-levels of awareness toward the importance of protecting the environment and its resources. Additionally, it showed a great responsibility on the part of Lebanese consumers who expressed their willingness to behave in a responsible manner through their involvement in ecological actions. However, Lebanese society remains conservative and Lebanese consumers are only willing to change their behaviour and habits in a way acceptable by Lebanese society.

In the context of the economic crisis, Covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine, consumers have reduced their consumption and prioritise their basic needs.

Main Advertising Agencies
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Latest Update: July 2024