BMI view on Middle East food industry

30 July 2015

In recent updates to analysis of the Food & Drink sector across the Middle East, Business Monitor International (BMI) suggests that the best economic growth prospect in the region is for Qatar. As a result, food companies have a strong outlook, with private consumption growth forecast at 9.5% for 2015. Other key markets for Australian red meat, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, also have positive outlooks to the end of the decade.

Key points by country:


  • Food consumption growth: for 2015 – 6%; for 2014–20 – 5.5% p.a.
  • Qatar remains heavily reliant on food imports
  • Small, but wealthy, population providing opportunities for value-adding


  • Food consumption growth: for 2015 – 5.7%; for 2014–20 – 5.8% p.a.
  • Long term volume growth is potentially limited by small population


  • Food consumption growth: for 2015 – 2.8%; for 2014–20 – 2.9% p.a.
  • Per capita food consumption is already quite high in Kuwait
  • The population is growing quickly, creating volume and value opportunities
  • Food price inflation has been an issue

Saudi Arabia

  • Food consumption growth: for 2015 – 7.6%; for 2014–20 – 7.5% p.a.
  • Government is sensitive to food safety issues (eg. Canada poultry ban)
  • Very large, and young, population, which is becoming wealthier and consuming more, and premium, foods
  • Health conscious consumers are encouraging development of healthy food options


  • Food consumption growth: for 2015 – 5.7%; for 2014–20 – 7.7% p.a.
  • Minister for Economy suggests the value of UAE food imports will increase from US$100bn in 2014 to US$400bn over the next decade
  • High-income sectors are large food consumers – predominantly imported
  • Likely to see growing demand for packaged and processed foods

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