GCC F&B sector to be worth $196bn by 2021

Saudi Arabia and the UAE account for the lion's share of the market
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Fri 16 Feb 2018 04:33 AM

The GCC’s food and beverage sector is expected to grow 7.1 percent annually to reach $196 billion by 2021, up from $130 billion today, according to new statistics from MENA Research Partners.

According to the statistics, Saudi Arabia alone accounts for over half of the market shared, followed by the UAE with 31 percent. The region’s third largest F&B market, Kuwait, is set to grow at 9.6 percent per year.

While the food and beverage product segment accounts for the bulk (70 percent) of the market, the foodservice segment is set to outperform the sector’s growth, growing by around 8.4 percent annually until 2021.

“This surge is driven by the growth in disposable income, a shift from dining-in to dining-out and a trading up in the dining-out habits and preferences,” said MENA Research Partners CEO Anthony Hobeika. “Also, catering concepts fueled by home and office delivery and online food ordering are gaining popularity.”

Hobeika added that higher health awareness in the GCC has “also led to growing demand for healthy foods and allergen-free products.”

The research also shows that consumer attitudes towards food are changing as income rises. The consumption mix is shifting from staple products towards value-added, convenient and healthy options.

Notably, the GCC’s growing population and influx of tourism will continue to influence the rise of the region’s F&B industry.

“The GCC macro outlook remains accommodating to the food and beverage industry, as diversification away from oil remains governments’ primary target for the next decade,” Hobeika added.

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