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Study Shows the Philippines' Income Inequality Has Become Even More Apparent During the Pandemic

The poor weren't as lucky, obviously.
IMAGE JEROME ASCAÑO
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The pandemic may have affected everyone, but that doesn't mean we're all treading through it the same way. According to Nielsen, while the poor are still trying to get food basics, the rich are indulging in the finer things.

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By finer things, Nielsen's data shows that the wealthy are buying premium items such as snacks, treats, and beverages. Growth, in particular, was seen for Lay's Ruffles, Oreos, chocolate, coffee, and more. Aside from food and drinks, this group indulged in grooming and personal care items.

The study, conducted by Nielsen's Retail Intelligence, showed that Filipino consumers were divided into two types of shoppers: insulated and constrained. If you found your income steady then, chances are, you belong to insulated. Constrained shoppers, however, were those who found money tight or who even lost jobs. 

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The constrained weren't as lucky, obviously. They had to make do with rationing through sachets and smaller quantities of products. "These could be your daily wage earners who lost their jobs because of closure so some of these small businesses … their income is compressed They have to subsist on the basics. So, it’s relatively day to day for them they rely on government support," says Nielsen managing director of retail intelligence John Patrick Cua.

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He continues, "As we talk in the framework of spenders, they have to do more with less. They’re going to be spending more time at home. And, impact will not be equal but there are some opportunities for who still have the money to spend."

READ MORE ABOUT FILIPINO CONSUMERS

Filipino Consumers Are Changing Their Buying Habits, According to Study

Here's What Makes You Poor, Middle Class, or Rich in the Philippines

The data also showed that more people have turned to the internet to shop. A survey has revealed that a large percent used Shopee (86 percent), while others used Lazada (69 percent) and even Facebook (41 percent).

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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