Cambodian Consumer Trends 2024: Optimism Amid Global Challenges

Cambodia Investment Review

Cambodia’s consumer landscape is rapidly evolving, driven by the country’s impressive economic growth and the unique characteristics of a young, tech-savvy population. The 2024 Consumer Report predicts that: Confluences Publishing The report, published annually by Standard Insight, provides a comprehensive analysis of these trends, highlighting both the optimistic outlook and challenges facing Cambodian consumers.

Economic Growth and Consumer Confidence

Cambodia’s economy is experiencing significant growth, with GDP growing by 5.8% this year, supported by significant foreign direct investment expected to total $4.92 billion by 2023. This economic momentum is inspiring consumer confidence, especially among the younger generation.

“More than 60% of respondents expressed confidence in the direction of the economy, with about 40% saying they were ‘very confident.’ This optimism was particularly strong in regions that are beginning to benefit from investment outside their traditional bases,” said Dara N. Vann, business development manager at Confluence.

The 2024 Consumer Report was published by Confluences in collaboration with Standard Insights.

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However, this confidence is not uniform across all age groups. The report reveals significant pessimism among respondents, especially those aged 18-34, who remain cautious due to lingering economic problems and geopolitical tensions. Dara N. Van stressed that these concerns need to be addressed by both public and private institutions to ensure the role of the young workforce in the future development of Cambodia’s economy.

Spending priorities and financial goals

Cambodian consumers are prioritizing financial stability with an increased focus on debt repayment. Cindy Nguyen, Senior Relationship Manager at BRED Bank Cambodia, highlighted the importance of financial literacy in this context. “Debt has become a growing concern as we deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. Financial literacy is crucial to Cambodia’s economic growth and will help people better understand finances and budget management.”

The 2024 Consumer Report was published by Confluences in collaboration with Standard Insights.

Automobiles, electronics and real estate top the list of major purchases expected in 2024. Younger consumers tend to prefer automobiles and electronics, while older consumers are more focused on real estate and other long-term investments.

Environmental issues and sustainable living

The report shows that environmental concerns are widespread among Cambodian consumers, especially those aged between 18 and 24. Commenting on the trend, Sebastian Ng, director of Asia Data Destruction, said: “It’s encouraging to see widespread awareness of environmental issues across demographic groups. The importance of addressing these concerns cannot be overstated, especially given Cambodia’s vulnerability to the effects of global warming.”

The 2024 Consumer Report was published by Confluences in collaboration with Standard Insights.

Sustainable living is becoming increasingly important to Cambodian consumers, with the majority considering it “important” or “very important”, although this sentiment is less pronounced among older generations.

Health and Wellness Trends

Following the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in the emphasis on health and wellness among Cambodians.

Thierry Chantha Binh, professional footballer for Preah Khan Reach Svay FC, highlighted this positive change: “Most people, regardless of age group or gender, have a positive attitude towards health and wellness. More than three-quarters of respondents consider physical activity and sports to be important, and nearly a quarter frequently engage in physical training or sports activities.”

The 2024 Consumer Report was published by Confluences in collaboration with Standard Insights.

Favourite activities include running, cycling and hiking, with a notable preference for individual sports over team sports. The survey also shows that relaxing at home is the most preferred leisure activity across all age groups, followed by sports and visiting the mall.

The future of work and job security

Job security and opportunities for advancement are key priorities for Cambodian workers. Dennis Valle, Managing Partner at Convergence Executive Search, highlighted key considerations for job seekers: “Job security is one of the most important considerations globally. Younger age groups are looking for opportunities for advancement, while older age groups place more importance on job security. A balance between financial gain and work-life balance is important.”

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Work-life balance is especially valued among people aged 25-44. The majority of respondents prefer to work on-site, despite the global trend towards remote work. This preference is influenced by cultural aspects and the emphasis on relationships at work. Chila Heang, Human Resources and Administration Director at Confluences explains, “More than half of the population has a strong preference for working on-site, due to the cultural importance of relationships and the superiority of the work environment over home life.”

The 2024 Consumer Report was published by Confluences in collaboration with Standard Insights.

Concerns about automation and AI are widespread, with younger generations concerned about efficiency and skills development, while older generations are concerned about job satisfaction and workplace dynamics. Gabriel Tan, chief communications officer at Prince Holding Group, sees AI as a gateway to opportunity. “The integration of AI opens up huge possibilities for those willing to embrace it. In my communications department, AI tools are driving productivity and innovation.”

Strategic Insights for Business

The 2024 Consumer Report by Confluences and Standard Insights provides a detailed and nuanced understanding of Cambodian consumer trends. The insights highlight optimism for economic growth, emphasis on financial stability and environmental sustainability, and changing preferences around media consumption and health and wellness. These findings are essential for businesses and policymakers to develop strategies tailored to the diverse needs and preferences of Cambodian consumers.

For more in-depth analysis and specific insights, read the full report or contact the Confluences team directly. This comprehensive resource will be invaluable for understanding the Cambodian market and making informed decisions to navigate its dynamic landscape.

The full report can be downloaded here. This comprehensive resource will be invaluable in understanding the Cambodian market and making informed decisions to respond to its dynamic landscape.

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