Country Reports - Saudi Arabia

The Consumer Foodservice Industry

Continues to Expand in Saudi Arabia

January 2018

Country Reports - Saudi Arabia

The Consumer Foodservice Industry

Continues to Expand in Saudi Arabia

January 2018
Saudi Arabia had a gross domestic product (GDP) of USD646.0 billion in 2015 and declined by 0.5 percent at the end of 2016 due to low oil prices affecting public finances and export revenues. Saudi Arabia is the 41st most populous country in the world with 31.5 million people, 83.2 percent of which live in urban areas. The population is expected to reach 34.4 million by 2020.Per capital consumer expenditure was USD7,826.9 in 2015, with food and non-alcoholic beverages representing USD1,954.1 (or 25 percent) of total expenditure.

The consumer foodservice industry continues to expand due to the growing number of women in the workforce and is expected to see a volume compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4 percent during the forecasted period from 2016 to 2021. Package food sales saw slower growth due to rising prices, inflation, and reduction in government subsidies. As a result, Saudi consumers are cautious about spending. However, young consumers are increasingly shopping online. The top packaged food company in the market is currently, Almarai Co. Ltd., with 8 percent market value share, followed by Nestl SA (5.1 percent), and Mars Inc. (3.8 percent). Rising rate of obesity and health problems are driving the growth of health and wellness in both package food and beverages. In 2015, Saudi Arabia's agri-food and seafood trade deficit were USD19.7 billion with imports valued at USD23.1 billion and USD3.8 billion in exports. Within the last five years from 2011 to 2015, imports grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5 percent, while exports grew at a CAGR of 1.8 percent. The top five suppliers of agri-food and seafood products in 2015 were Brazil, India, Germany, United Arab Emirates, and the United States; altogether accounting for 38 percent of Saudi Arabia's imports. The top agri-food and seafood imports in 2015 were barley, rice, frozen fowls, cigarettes, and food preparations. Altogether, these products account for 27.3 percent of Saudi Arabia's agri-food and seafood imports from the world. Imports of processed foods were USD14.6 billion in 2015 with a CAGR of 2.2 percent from 2011 to 2015. Canada's share was 0.4 percent. The top five suppliers of agri-food and seafood products were Brazil (worth USD2.2 billion), India (worth USD2.1 billion), Germany worth (USD1.6 billion), United Arabs Emirates (worth USD1.4 billion), and the United States (worth USD1.4 billion). Canada's agri-food and seafood exports to Saudi Arabia were USD166.3 million in 2015. Top export products were wheat, frozen boneless meat, groundnuts, food preparations, and cheese. Packaged food continue to experience positive growth with a CAGR of 9 percent from 2012 to 2016. In part due to women entering the work force and an increase in religious visitors according to Euromonitor. Artisanal companies still maintain the lead in packaged food sales. However, they are slowly losing sales to large manufacturers that are expanding their product ranges and distribution networks. The packaged food categories to see the highest growth throughout the review period were edible oils, baby food, breakfast cereals, ice cream, frozen desserts, sweet biscuits, snack bars, and fruit snacks. All of which saw period growths above 10 percent. The packaged food sector is expected to see a slightly lower period growth of 8.6 percent (CAGR) over the forecasted period from 2017 to 2021. Baby food is expected to see the strongest period growth of 11.7 percent in the forecast period, followed by breakfast cereals at a CAGR of 10.2 percent. Despite the decline in birth rates, the rise in working women and growing availability of products is likely to boost the demand for baby food and children's breakfast cereals.

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