A silver lining amid Egypt\'s economic gloom lies in the country\'s booming consumer market. Big retail firms have capitalised on rising demand from the country\'s 80 million consumers. Multinational companies are reaping the benefits, says Hisham Fahmy, the chief executive of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt. \"It\'s quite strange the consumer markets have not suffered tremendously. Those that have suffered have been companies with big government contracts, or those in tourism and real estate,\" he says. \"But if you\'re talking about the likes of Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and General Motors, these types of companies are continuing in investments and even expanding.\" Coca-Cola, which just last week said it would invest US$5 billion (Dh18.36bn) in India, is among those companies turning to fast-growing emerging markets to drive sales as consumers in Europe and the United States cut back on non-essential items. Consumers in Egypt spent close to 8bn Egyptian pounds (Dh4.84bn), on salty snacks, sweets and other treats last year, data from the US agriculture department showed. Sales grew 5 per cent last year from a year earlier. Five new brands entered the salty-snacks market last year.