GCC Food Industry Report

September 2021

UAE-based investment banking advisory firm, Alpen Capital, launched its latest GCC Food Industry report on Monday 6th September. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the GCC food sector and outlines the recent trends, growth drivers and challenges in the sector. It also profiles some of the renowned food companies in the region.

The report was launched over a webinar followed by a panel discussion featuring Sanjay Bhatia, Managing Director, Alpen Capital; Dr. Bhaskar Dasgupta, Associate Director, Market Development, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM); and Alex Mitchell, Investment Director, Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners. Krishna Dhanak, Executive Director, Alpen Capital moderated the webinar.

Demand for food in the GCC has remained relatively conservative, growing at a slower pace amid economic and geo-political concerns in recent years. While demand has been supported by growing population and evolving consumer preferences, the fall in per capita income since the slowdown in oil prices in mid-2014 has led to the growth of food consumption to remain flat between 2014 – 2019. Nevertheless, the continuous collaboration between the public and private sector and the ongoing efforts of the governments to increase food security has helped the GCC nations build a strong food ecosystem, which could withstand the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Alpen Capital, consumption of food is anticipated to grow at 2.3% to reach 52.4 million metric tonnes by 2025, with greater emphasis falling on domestic production. In 2020, the GCC consumed 46.8 million metric tonnes of food, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE consuming a combined 77.9% due to greater population. Outside the two most populous nations in the region, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain are forecast to grow at 4.2% and 4.1% taking higher growth rates in the region. Cereals will remain the staple food of the region, the report predicts, albeit with much slower growth as most food categories experience minimal change in share through to 2025. However, the ‘others’ food category comprising of eggs, fish, pulses, oils & fats, potato and honey is expected to witness the highest growth rate of 3.7% driven by pandemic-led changes in eating habits.

To download the report, please click here.