According to Alpen Capital, food consumption in the GCC is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.3% from an estimated 51.5 million MT in 2018 to 60.7 million MT in 2023. Increase in population, growing tourism, high per capita income and a sustained economic recovery are likely to drive the growth of the food sector in the region.
Being the staple food of the region, cereals are expected to remain the most consumed food category with a share of 48.2% by 2023. Increasing demand for milk products will drive the growth of the Dairy sector and consumption of egg, fish, potatoes and fats & oil will contribute to the growth of the “Others” category. Consumption of healthy and organic food is likely to increase with growing awareness. However, the respective share of most food categories in the overall consumption is anticipated to remain broadly unchanged.
The country-wise food consumption share in the GCC is projected to largely remain unchanged through 2023. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to remain the largest food consuming nations with their combined share of around 81% by 2023. Oman is expected to experience the fastest annualized growth at a CAGR of 4.6%.
The food consumption for the UAE and Saudi Arabia is estimated to reach 10.3 million MT and 39.0 million MT by 2023, respectively. The forecasted growth rates largely reflects the population and GDP projections for the countries.
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