Consumption culture hollow in Yemen
Yasser Al-Tamimi, a researcher in the field of consumption and environmental affairs, said consumers ought to be fully acquainted with the quality of the commodities purchased; shoppers should not pick up goods accidently while wandering in the market. He urged consumers to examine the contents of the product and to read the label to learn about different brands.
Al-Tamimi said Yemeni consumption culture is low.
“City residents are more careful to buy their necessities in an orderly manner.”
Product labels identify things relevant to shoppers to avoid consuming unnecessary substances that could cause health hazards, particularly for people already plighted by heart disorders, diabetics and high pressure.
Al-Tamimi said each product comes with a label, save homemade products manufactured in local laboratories that don’t match the standards of recognized labs.
Al-Tamimi called for authorities concerned with this business to take action and to prevent products lacking labels from entering the market, in addition to disallowing labels written in foreign languages.
Several individuals interested in defending the rights of consumers say consumption culture falls during attractive shopping seasons such as Eid and Ramadan.
Abdullah Al-Khawlani, the international and Arab administration manager at Al-Thawara, a state-run newspaper, said Yemeni families buy a great deal of food, resulting in the creation of a state of excessive shopping.
Others say, though families flock to markets to excessively purchase commodities, they consume only thirty percent.
Salah Al-Jumaei, a psychology consultant and an academic at Sana’a University, said shoppers are tempted to choose a large number of items based on ads that lead audiences to believe they are obtaining top brands.
Al-Jumari said ads “can psychologically influence people by keeping them interested in attempting to pick up the best products, leading to a “lack or shortage of money.”
He said ads impact women and children; ads are displayed at critical times and in places visited by a large number of consumers.
People with limited incomes attempt to provide their families with all home necessities, regardless of cost, he said.
“Some of the heads of families go in debt or sell some of their possessions in order to bring their families needs,” he said. “On occasion, they resort to buying inexpensive low quality products … Ads open the financial consumption gate to hurt grassroots nationwide. Rural areas make up 70 percent of the Yemeni community suffering from dire economic situation besides the lack of awareness.”
Al-Jumaei said shopping is a desire found in the psyche of all people, but it differs from one person to another.
“The educated can control themselves: what they need to buy and what they don’t. On the contrary, less-educated people pursue shopping without consideration to the production and expiry date.”
Private and government media play a negative role with respect to enlightening people because these media outlets are subject to self-interested gains, Al-Khawlani said, adding that media outlets scarcely focus on topics related to consumption culture because of a desire to build propaganda for products for profiting purposes.
“The heads of the media corporations don’t concentrate on whether the product may benefit or hurt the people,” he said. “Their sole concern is the gains derived from such ads.”
Al-Khawlani said civil society organizations have no authority to spread the consumption culture among people; indeed, these organizations have attempted to propagate awareness, but their attempts remain unconvincing due to insufficient resources.