UAE has become the epicenter of the food industry in the recent years; attracting entrepreneurs and large food chains from all around the globe. The F & B (food and beverage) industry is rapidly growing in activity; thanks to a plethora of factors, which we will discuss in this blog.
So, why is UAE’s F&B sector ripe for investment? Read on.
The most important constituent of an economy are its people. UAE is fortunate in this regard to have an expat population, that possesses both the taste and the purchasing power to keep the food industry afloat even during the pandemic.
According to IMF, UAE has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world at $39,749, and with an influx of tourists (16.7 million in 2019), the F&B industry is picking up momentum rapidly.
The National Food Security Strategy 2050
With a sustainable future in sight, the UAE National Food Security Strategy 2050 aims to put UAE within the top 10 in the world in terms of global food security index ranking. To that end, a domestic product target of food production over 100,000 tons is set to be achieved by 2021.
The program will help to create more than 100,000 jobs and achieve economic returns in excess of AED 40 billion.
The CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of all types of food and beverages show great promise. Between years 2013 and 2018, UAE retail sales of fresh and packaged food grew at a CAGR of 5.1% and 3.9% respectively; which translates to USD 8 and 5.5 billion.
Not only that, the export figures also increased; positioning UAE as a major exporter of F&B products in the region.
The Booming Online Food Industry
Due to its highly educated and heterogenous mixture of population, UAE enjoys one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world. Moreover, most people use smartphones for day-to-day commercial dealings.
Through 2014-2019, UAE’s F&B internet retail market quadrupled and reached $120 million. Tapping on this novel opportunity, a number of e commerce food delivery services have popped up. What’s interesting to note is that most of these companies are focusing on organic and healthy products, as well as dietary supplements to appeal to a health-conscious consumer.
The Expo 2020 Effect
Touted as the grandest show on Earth, the Dubai Expo 2020 will offer a host of opportunities to F&B stalwarts as well as newcomers. The Expo is expected to accommodate over 25 million visitors over a period of 6 months; with online sales of F&B products estimated to be at $545 million. At the same time, around 85,000 meals will be served per hour during the course of the event.
The UAE’s F&B market is booming at an unprecedented rate. The CAGR of the industry is far ahead of other markets in the world. Hence, the opportunities for investments in retail and online F&B are limitless for medium to large sized businesses and entrepreneurs; thanks to a consumer that possesses the purchasing power as well as the rapidly growing infrastructure of the region – spearheaded by the government.