GCC F&B market set to grow to USD 196 billion by 2021

GCC F&B market set to grow to USD 196 billion by 2021

The food and beverage sector in GCC countries is expected to continue to grow at a seven percent annual rate, reaching USD 196 billion by 2021, from the current USD 130 billion, according to MENA Research Partners.


Saudi Arabia accounts for more than half of the market share, followed by the UAE with 31 percent. Kuwait, which is the third largest F&B market in the region, is set to witness the fastest expansion at almost 10 percent per year.


The food and beverage products’ segment, which are largely international brands, accounts for the lion’s share of the market at 70 percent. However, the foodservice segment, led by international chains represented by regional franchise partners, is set to outperform the sector’s growth, expanding by eight percent annually until 2021.


Anthony Hobeika, chief executive officer at MENA Research Partners, said ahead of Gulf Food 2018, “This surge is driven by the growth in disposable income, a shift from dining-in to dining-out and a trading up in the dining-out habits and preferences. Also, catering concepts fueled by home and office delivery and online food ordering are gaining popularity. Moreover, higher health awareness, as a result of the prevalence of chronic diseases in the GCC, has led to a growing demand for healthy foods and allergen-free products.”

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Government policy initiatives, such as Saudi Arabia’s 50 percent tax on carbonated soft drinks and 100 percent tax on energy drinks, are driving consumers towards more attractive healthier options.


Among rising trends, the GCC’s booming population and growing tourism influx will also continue to influence the exponential rise of the region’s food and beverage industry in the coming years.

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