Emerging trends in the Middle East beer market

Emerging trends in the Middle East beer market

Shambhu Nath Jha, Fact.MR’s AVP, guides companies in foreseeing the future and grasping shifting business landscapes. He delves into the Middle East beer market’s evolving trends.

Craft beer in the Middle East

The craft beer movement in the Middle East has witnessed the establishment of numerous small, independent breweries. Entrepreneurs and beer enthusiasts have started to experiment with different brewing techniques and unique flavor profiles. Craft breweries in the Middle East emphasize creativity and innovation while producing high-quality beers. They aim to differentiate themselves from mainstream beer brands by offering distinctive and diverse beer styles.
The production in the Middle East has tended to be on a smaller scale compared to large commercial breweries. As a result, these craft beers are often available in select bars, restaurants and specialized retail outlets. To foster an appreciation for craft beer, breweries and beer enthusiasts in the Middle East have been engaging in various activities, such as beer tastings, workshops and events. These efforts aimed to raise awareness and understanding of different beer styles and brewing techniques.

High consumption of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beer

Non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers cater to the religious and cultural preferences of a range of Middle Eastern consumers who want to enjoy beer without violating their beliefs. To meet the requirements of halal dietary laws, some non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers in the Middle East carry halal certification. This certification ensures that the beer is produced, processed and packaged in compliance with Islamic principles.
Moreover, breweries in the Middle East have responded to the demand for non-alcoholic and low-alcohol options by expanding their product portfolios. Consumers can now find a wider variety of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beer styles, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers. The growing global trend toward health consciousness has also influenced the Middle Eastern market. Non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers are perceived as healthier alternatives to traditional alcoholic beverages, containing fewer calories and lower alcohol content. Non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers offer an option for those who want to socialize and enjoy the taste of beer without the effects of higher alcohol content.

Premiumization on the rise

As disposable incomes rise and lifestyles change, consumers in the Middle East are increasingly willing to spend more on premium products, including beer. They seek unique and high-quality beer options that offer a superior taste experience. Moreover, the demand for premium beer in the Middle East has driven the importation of renowned international beer brands from countries like the United States, Germany, Belgium and other European countries. These imported beers often command a higher price due to their perceived superior quality and authenticity. The craft beer trend, which focuses on producing small-batch, high-quality beers with unique flavors, has also contributed to premiumization. Consumers are willing to pay more for craft beers that offer distinctive and artisanal qualities.
Craft breweries show growing interest in acquiring halal certification for their beers. This trend aims to cater to both local and expatriate markets while adhering to Islamic dietary laws. Moreover, these breweries seek halal certification to assure consumers that their products comply with Islamic principles. Additionally, non-Muslim residents and tourists in the Middle East seek non-alcoholic beer as a way to enjoy a familiar beverage without violating local customs or religious beliefs.

Shambhu Nath Jha,
 AVP of Fact Mr.

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