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Rising Consumption to Bring Saudi Food Sector
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Rising Consumption to Bring Saudi Food Sector

Nov 16, 2009
Food consumption in Saudi Arabia is expected to increase considerably on back of rapidly growing population, especially the youth.
According to an industry expert, an estimated 2.5% annual population growth in Saudi Arabia is expected to push the country’s food consumption by 10.9%, all the way through 2013, as per the news published by Trade Arabia.
To supplement local production, the kingdom, at present, imports food and beverage products worth more than SR 18.8 Billion (approximately US$ 5 Billion) in a year. This promising business is expected to be supported by the upcoming Saudi Agro-Food 2009 - the 16th International trade show exhibiting food products as well as processing and packaging technologies.
According to Khalid Daou, project manager of Saudi Agro-Food at Riyadh Exhibitions Company, the hike in food consumption will primarily be driven by the young lot of people below 30 years of age. This is because this group constitutes nearly 70% of the population and show particular fondness towards fast food. Currently, out of the 60 fast food factories in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia has 29. Also, 75% of the region’s fast food consumption is accounted by the kingdom, as reported by Trade Arabia on October 27, 2009.
Amid recession, rising incomes, steady development, and more affluent lifestyles have been the other factors fuelling the rapid growth of the kingdom’s food processing and packaging industry apart from the population boom.
Moreover, a substantial and rapid surge is being witnessed in the kingdom’s food demand due to its rapidly growing population base. Further, consumers here have become more selective in terms of nutritional value, quality, price, and packaging.
Hence, importers are constantly looking for innovative and superior products in collaboration with their suppliers. Meanwhile, the domestic food business in the kingdom also continues to develop in terms of competitiveness and diversity.
According to a Research Analyst at RNCOS, “Rapid growth is being witnessed in Saudi Arabia’s food sector. Further, the kingdom has prioritized the food security, and hence it has been insistently increasing its arable areas, besides inviting foreign companies with advanced capabilities of preparing, handling and processing food. In sync with Saudi Arabia’s expanding population, people’s demand in terms of supply, quality and diversity will also increase.”
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