UAE shoppers among world’s biggest F&B spenders – research

UAE residents typically spend $18 on food and drink every time they visit a mall
UAE shoppers among world’s biggest F&B spenders – research
By Sarah Townsend
Thu 14 Apr 2016 09:52 AM

UAE residents have been ranked the third highest spenders on food and beverage (F&B) products in the world, after Norway and Switzerland, in a new report by CBRE.

The property consultancy examined the eating behaviours of 22,000 consumers aged between 16 and 65 years old when visiting shopping malls.

It found that UAE residents spend an average of AED68 ($18.5) on F&B per person per mall visit, compared to AED70 ($19) for Norway residents and AED74 ($20.1) for Switzerland residents.

What is more, 60 percent of UAE residents said they visited a mall solely to eat or drink, the report claimed, compared to just 25 percent in the UK. And over two-thirds of UAE residents said they typically choose where to shop based on the availability of F&B. 

Quantifying this impact, the report found that UAE shoppers’ total retail spend reached AED208 ($56.6) per person per visit, positioning the UAE in eighth place behind the biggest overall retail spenders – Belgium (AED281, or $76.5) and Switzerland (AED287, or $78.1).

CBRE argued that the research findings demonstrate the importance of a strong F&B offer to shopping mall developers.

“F&B accounts for approximately 10-20 percent of the retail mix in Dubai, with this weighting expected to grow to around 25-30 percent in the next five years as F&B continues to play a disproportionately important role to shoppers in the Emirates,” said Nick Maclean, managing director of CBRE, Middle East.

“[Our] findings reveal that while the location of a shopping mall is key, the retail mix and F&B facilities are also paramount – a crucial insight for developers of new, large-scale shopping malls, who are placing an increased emphasis on creating a compelling, varied and innovative F&B offering as a means to attract retailers and shoppers, and to boost retail spend.”

The research also found that over half (51 percent) of UAE residents surveyed wanted to see more healthy food, while 23 percent wanted ant to see fewer fast food chains.

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