Consumer Pulse
- Ramadan in
Indonesia
Sanaya Sinha

Ramadan is meant to be a time of piety, a time of renewing one’s faith and reconnecting with the Muslim brotherhood. In Indonesia, the festival has evolved into a space of indulgence; adhering to the day’s fast is rewarded with sumptuous feasts. The atmosphere in Jakarta transforms during the month of Ramadan; large evening food markets spring up, offering a variety of mouth-watering delicacies. The food bazaars offer a variety of Ramadan-specific dishes such as kolak, an Indonesian dessert made with palm sugar. Breaking fast is a social affair; the month of Ramadan is filled with social engagements as people break fast with family, friends and neighbours. The street food markets and malls are a popular point of congregation for youngsters to break fast with their friends

  1. Kolak -Banana, sweet potato, cassava, red sugar and coconut milk
  2. Gorengan/ fried snack (fried banana, fried risol and fried pastel)
  3. Bubur sumsum biji salak Tepung beras with red sugar and coconut milk

Interestingly we have noticed some shifts in behaviour around Ramadan

  1. A shift towards breaking fast outdoors at the street markets with friends as opposed to breaking fast at home with family; Jakarta has a rapidly growing youth segment, who prefer to break fast with their friends outdoors.
  2. Traditionally, staple food items such as oil, sugar etc. were gifted during Ramadan. Increasingly, people choose to give modern ‘gift hampers’ such as Oreo biscuit or Royal Choice biscuit tins, assorted hampers with sweets, chocolates and so on.

The reason for the shift seems to be two-fold:

  • To elevate one’s perceived status in society by gifting something that seems more expensive; we see this played out in the packaging of Ramadan gift hampers, where there is a preference for something that seems more expensive, for example gold colour package.
  • Gifting something more durable and long lasting that the recipient can remember you by such as biscuit tins.

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