This month’s KSA food index, compiled by ACNielsen in Sharjah, UAE, reveals some interesting trends. Food sales in KSA have certainly been buoyant (see food index). The food products that experienced the most rapid growth in the year-to-date 2006 compared with the same period in 2005 included infant formula, which experienced growth of 20.8%, and chewing gum, which saw sales increase by 16.6%. Chocolate meanwhile, experienced growth of 15.2%, and beans 14.7%. Canned vegetables saw growth of 13.4%.
In terms of the channels that sold these products, the modern trade (supermarkets and self service outlets) experienced sales value trade growth of 4.5% in the year-to-date 2006, compared with the same period in 2005. The traditional trade (large and small groceries) was almost stagnant, with growth of just 0.4%, while other channels (mainly pharmacies, eateries and catering outlets), experienced growth of 30.8%.
ACNielsen’s food index tracks a variety of foods including confectionery, dairy products, beverages and grocery items. The data is compiled from about 880 stores, which is then projected outwards to reflect a universe of almost 36,000 stores.
Show of strength in KSA’s non-food sector
Growth in Saudi Arabia’s non-food category continued apace in the year-to-date 2006 (January to August 2006), with an increase in value sales of 4.3%, with sales reaching US $6.12 billion in the year-to-date 2006, from US $5.87 billion in the same period in 2005.
However, this represents a slight slowdown compared with the level of growth – 5% – that was achieved between the full year 2004 (January to December 2004) and the full year 2005. In terms of the categories that contributed to this growth, disinfectant products achieved a massive 36.6% growth in the year-to-date 2006, compared with the same period last year. Tablets increased by 24%, and depilatories experienced a sales increase of 17.5% in the year-to-date 2006, versus the year-to-date 2005. Pest control turned in growth of 15.6%, and razors 14.2%. ACNielsen’s KSA drug index is based on sales in 21 non-food categories, consisting of personal care and household items, taken from a sample of 900 stores, of all sizes, across Saudi Arabia.
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