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Tue 1 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Short life goods retain their dominance

Despite the growing popularity of long life milk, fresh brands from numerous players continue to dominate the market in the UAE.

Short-life milk accounts for 67% of the total liquid milk market in the UAE, according to IMES, a UAE-based market research organisation.

The growth of long-life milk averaged at close to 19% a year since 2002, short-life products have shown slight improvements in growth volumes averaging 7% a year over the last five years. The latter however still represent more than two thirds of supply in terms of volume.

‘Others' consists of Saudi dairy companies such as Nadec, Nada and Al-Safi Danone as well as local suppliers such as Unikai, Milco and Digdaga. Milco has made market progress in 2006 and maintained its shares in the growing short-life milk market.

Al Safi-Danone has become a prominent supplier of short-life milk although its distribution is focused entirely within the foodservice sector, i.e. restaurants, coffee shops and quick service restaurants.

In the juice category meanwhile, short-life products account for 34% of the total juice products market in the UAE, according to IMES. Short-life products are becoming increasingly popular with an average growth of 13% since 2002. This represents a shift towards supermarket shopping and also a shift towards higher quality premium juices and nectar products. Long-life is seen to be growing similarly at 14%.

‘Other Regional' brands consist mainly of local brands such as Barakat, Gulf & Safa and Marmum. Saudi brands such as Nada and Nadec are also present in this category. ‘Other International' short-life juice brands are imported mainly from Europe.

In Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, milk is the third largest dairy product sector, according to Euromonitor International, a UK-based market research organisation. Saudi Arabia experienced milk sales of more than SR 1.7 billion (US $453.2 million in 2006, according to Euromonitor International. This represents value sales growth of 5% between 2005 and 2006.

Sales of fresh milk dominate the sector, accounting for sales of more than SR 1.1 billion in 2006. Fresh milk enjoys universal penetration in Saudi Arabia and is consumed on a daily basis by people of all ages, the research from Euromonitor International revealed.

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