Leading GCC FMCG importer Truebell, has highlighted Saudi Arabia as a potential region for distribution expansion as the Kingdom looks set to invest approximately US$ 59 billion into its food industry by 2021, according to the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
At present, Truebell has more than 60 global brands in its portfolio and has started exclusively distributing a number of these popular products to Saudi Arabia with plans to gradually introduce more of these brands to the Kingdom during the first quarter of 2020.
Truebell Divisional Manager, Retail & Food Service, Bhushant J. Gandhi said: “Trends have evolved especially over recent years – in line with Saudi Arabia’s changing demographics, increased disposable incomes and maturing food trends - with demand for varied food stuff, organic ingredients and healthy food products expanding well beyond just the most popular and recognisable local Saudi brands - and as a result, Truebell is working to align current and future supplies with this developing trend.”
According to the latest data from Foodex Saudi, around US$70 billion worth of food was consumed in the Kingdom during 2018 with total consumption of organic, gourmet and health products expected to top US$27 billion by the end of this year.
With 29 million residents – 50% of which are under the age of 25 – Saudi Arabia has the largest population in the GCC and arguably the population most susceptible to Western consumer food trends.
Saudi consumers are becoming more health conscious than ever before and probiotics, whether in supplement format or in food and beverages, are becoming increasingly popular due to the health benefits linked to them such as healthier skin, a stronger immune system and an enhanced digestion system.
Gandhi added: “In an attempt to benefit from this potential market growth, we are working on plans to enhance our existing portfolio of probiotic products – which currently includes Yakult, a Japanese probiotic fermented milk drink - and to expand our exclusive distribution of these products in the GCC to Saudi Arabia as we look ahead to 2020.
With the opening of a new state-of-the-art distribution centre in Dubai, during the third quarter of 2018, Truebell has been able to introduce a wide range of new flavours for the region’s multicultural society with products from countries including Germany, Brazil, Japan, Greece, Philippines and the UK already added to the company’s portfolio.
Truebell has grown exponentially since it was established in 1984. To date, it has a portfolio of over 10,000 products, including 60 global brands, underscoring its position as a leading importer, wholesaler, distributor and exporter throughout the GCC.