23 September 2016
Rose Unveils The New Cuban Consumer Survey At Their Presentation In Havana
A new national survey conducted by Rose Marketing Ltd. among Cuban residents has been presented on 20 September in Havana to the leading Cuban and international companies operating in Cuba. The survey results show that many Cubans earn much more than the official government average monthly wage of 687 pesos ($29USD). The average standard of living is improving, the private sector is growing and most have at least some access to the Internet.
The Rose study reveals that many Cubans earn far more than the figures widely reported in international media. According to the survey, 34% of Cubans earn the equivalent of $50 - $100 per month. Also, 20% earn $101 - $200, 12% earn $201 - $500 and nearly 4% earn over $500 per month (including 1.5% who earn over $1000). Most interesting, 70% of Cubans expect their incomes to further increase in the next six to twelve months – evidence of the optimism that has been spreading across the island over the past few years – and especially since the announcement of a renewed relationship with the USA. While these income figures are relatively low in contrast to other nations and the average Cuban still struggles to make ends meet, it should be taken in context that Cubans receive free healthcare and education, as well as minimally subsidized living expenses.
The survey debunks the myth that Cubans are entirely cut off from the Internet. While high-speed connectivity is rare in Cuba, 80% of respondents have some access to the Internet. They mostly connect from their smartphones at the local hotspots popping up across the island (66%), but also from their homes (12%) or offices (16%). They may not connect as frequently as in other countries or have the capacity to stream or download significant content, but Cubans are very much online – albeit at a hefty 2 CUC ($2 USD) per hour. To keep up with the latest entertainment and world news Cubans without broadband, 62% of citizens purchase the Paquette Semanal (Weekly Package), which is a collection of (mostly pirated) movies, television (yes, Cubans also eagerly await the next episode Game of Thrones!), games, magazines and other digital content distributed on hard drives that act as a surrogate for the worldwide web. It is interesting to note that, in all fairness, 62% of Cubans would be willing to pay even more for legal quality content if it were available and accessible.
Social media engagement is also growing and has become a part of normal life in Cuba with 68% of Cubans claiming they have a Facebook account, Instagram (20%), Twitter (13%) and Google+ (20%). Approximately 57% of Cubans have an email address.
The survey results also reveal that consumer buying habits in Cuba for a variety of goods and services is evolving as incomes grow. With their newfound optimism and higher incomes, Cubans plan to buy home appliances (16%), fashion cloths (13%), perfume (15%), airplane tickets (12%), shoes (12%), automobiles (7%), laptops (6%), smartphones (5%) and a variety of other goods and services over the next six to twelve months.
80% of the respondents claimed that advertising, which is very limited in Cuba, would influence their choice of brands or products.
"Our research provides much needed data to prove that there have been significant changes in earning, spending and Internet access in Cuba," said Rose founder, John Rose, who spoke at the event. "We believe this is good news for the Cuban government since it demonstrates that its policies are resulting in a healthier economy without sacrificing its social ideology. It's good news for companies in Cuba who depend on optimistic and higher earning customers. And most important, it's good news for the Cuban people who will benefit from an improved quality of life."
SOURCE: The Survey was conducted by Rose Marketing Ltd. among 1067 Cuban citizens in May and June 2016, in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Camaguey, Pinar del Rio, Cienfuegos. The survey has a 95% level of confidence with a margin of error of +/- 3%.