Consumer Profile – Morocco

April 2019

Executive summary

Morocco is one of the smaller countries in northern Africa, yet is the most affluent, at a population of 36.2 million people. Over 61% of the population is located in urban areas along the Atlantic coast just southwest of Gibraltar. Approximately 13.1% of the urban population are said to live in difficult economic conditions with no change to this number since 2012.

Casablanca and Fez are the only two cities in Morocco with a population over 1 million people, whereby the population in the capital of Morocco (Rabat) is the only city that had no growth and is expected to continue to decline between 2015 and 2020.

Unemployment was 9.9% in 2018, especially among the youth (over 20% and rising). Despite this fact, Morocco's annual economic performance was considerably better than the Middle East and North African (MENA) regions' average. Recently, there has been heavy investment in the hopes of improving efficiency in business practices, aimed at generating more employment mainly in the manufacturing and more innovative industries such as aeronautics and automotives. Accelerated business fiscal reforms are prudent if Morocco wants to continue to reach the government's future economic objectives.

In 2018, total consumer expenditure per capita was US$1,970.8, out of which 34.0% was spent on food and 2.3% on both alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic beverages. Prompted by the global trend toward eating healthy, Moroccan consumers have shown a steady growth among health & wellness (H&W) products at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% from 2014 to 2018, in particularly within the naturally healthy (NH) products at a category distribution of 61.6% of the total H&W market share in 2018.

Key demographic indicators

Morocco's population is approximately 36.2 million people. According to Euromonitor, there were 21.2 million people, representing 61% of the population living in urban areas in 2015 and who are expected to represent 64% of the 37.1 million population by 2020. This expected rapid urbanization expansion is faster than several other Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, which have housed approximately 46% of the population in urban areas and are expected to grow to 48% by 2020. The population is expected to grow by approximately 6.1 million people from 2015 to 2030. This increase will result from the urban population growing faster than the decline in the rural population. However, approximately 13.1% of the urban population are said to live in difficult economic conditions with no change to this number from 2012-2018.

Morocco's urban versus rural population 2005-2030 ('000), historic/forecast
2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030
Total population 30,521.0 32,409.6 34,803.3 37,070.7 39,100.6 40,873.6
Urban population 16,852.2 18,802.9 21,163.0 23,550.7 25,867.8 28,067.1
Rural population 13,668.8 13,606.7 13,640.3 13,520.0 13,232.8 12,806.5
Urban population 55% 58% 61% 64% 66% 69%
Rural population 45% 42% 39% 36% 34% 31%
Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

Casablanca and Fez were the only two cities in 2015 to have over a million inhabitants. Casablanca had over 3 times the population of Fez in 2015 and is expected to remain at least 3 times the size of other cities in 2030. By 2030, five cities in Morocco are expected to grow to have over a million inhabitants including Marrakech, Tangier and Sale alongside Casablanca and Fez. All of the major Moroccan cities have grown from 2005 to 2015 except for Rabat, which is the only city to decline in the forecasted period until 2020. The city is not expected to return to its original population from 2005 of 630,100 by 2030 (601,700). One major issue within Rabat is an ongoing territory dispute over Morocco's occupation within Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Mililla and three small islands off the coast of the Western Sahara (unrecognized by the United Nations). Rabat subsidies this territory's poor economy and it costs Morocco up to 10% of GDP annually.

Population in major Moroccan cities 2005-2030 ('000), historic/forecast
City 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030
Casablanca 3,002.7 3,197.0 3,459.2 3,697.5 3,905.8 4,085.7
Fez 971.7 1,051.6 1,146.6 1,232.5 1,305.6 1,367.7
Marrakech 844.3 899.6 951.0 994.1 1,035.4 1,074.6
Tangier 684.2 824.9 995.2 1,134.8 1,236.2 1,312.9
Sale 749.3 830.8 920.3 996.6 1,058.7 1,110.5
Rabat 630.1 604.2 581.9 576.7 586.4 601.7
Meknes 479.3 504.0 529.3 552.5 575.9 598.1
Oujda 411.5 458.5 511.3 554.5 589.4 618.4
Kenitra 362.5 402.1 445.4 479.0 506.2 529.3
Agadir 357.6 395.5 435.4 468.7 496.1 519.2
Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

The median age in Morocco was 27.9 in 2015 and is expected to increase to 33.1 by 2030. This is forecasted to increase more rapidly than the average median age of other countries in the MENA areas. In 2015, the median age in the region was 20.4 and this is expected to reach 22.1 by 2030.

From 2005 to 2015, the amount of people in the 0-14 age group dropped by 3.1% of the total population, while the 15-64 and 65+ age groupings increased by 2.4% and 0.4%, respectively. By 2030, the 0-14 and 15-64 age groupings are expected to decrease by −4.3% and −0.5% of the total population, respectively, while the 65+ group is expected to increase by 4.8%.

Moroccan population by age group 2005-2030 ('000), historic/forecast
Category 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030
Population aged 0-14 9,387.0 9,281.3 9,626.4 9,911.5 9,944.3 9,549.0
Population aged 15-64 19,379.1 21,550.3 22,950.8 24,335.4 25,490.4 26,736.1
Population aged 65+ 1,755.0 2,027.3 2,226.1 2,823.8 3,665.9 4,588.5
Median age of population 24.4 26.6 27.9 29.6 31.4 33.1
Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

Morocco's vital statistics

The fertility rate in Morocco was 2.5 per female and 20.4 per thousand people were born in 2015. These were lower than the regional averages in the MENA countries, which had a fertility rate of 4.7 per female and 33.0 births per thousand people. Morocco's fertility rate is forecasted to decline through to 2030, with 14.8 births per thousand people and a 2.1 fertility rate per female. The death rate in Morocco is also expected to increase slightly from 2015 to 2030, going from 5.7 deaths per thousand people to 6.2. However, this is still less than the death rate in the surrounding countries, which is forecasted to have the lowest average death rate in 2030, at 6.6 deaths per thousand people.

Morocco's demographic trends, 2005-2030, historic/forecast
Category 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030
Birth rates 20.5 21.2 20.4 18.1 16.2 14.8
Fertility rates per female 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.3 2.2 2.1
Live births ('000) 622.9 683.4 699.2 657.7 617.9 587.3
Average age of women at childbirth 30.5 30.6 30.8 30.9 31.0 31.2
Death rates 6.2 5.9 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.2
Deaths ('000) 187.3 189.8 195.1 207.5 223.9 246.4
Rate of natural change 14.3 15.3 14.7 12.4 10.3 8.6
Natural change ('000) 435.6 493.6 504.1 450.2 393.9 340.9
Rate of net migration −4.5 −2.7 −1.6 −1.7 −1.6 −1.5
Net migration ('000) −136.4 −85.2 −56.1 −62.1 −59.9 −60.1

Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics/United Nations

Note: Birth and death rate and the rates of natural change and net migration refer to the number per '000 population and fertility rates to the number of children born per femaile. Age at childbirth refers to average age of women in years.

Household structure, educational attainment and income levels

As the population increases in Morocco, it is forecasted between 2019 and 2023 that there will be a larger number of households amongst couples without children (876,000) over single-parent families (845,000) by 2023. Couples with children will remain the largest group, followed by more common other blended or mixed marriages of couples with children and extended families. Then the family household dynamic will reverse away from the traditional household, to have more couples without children, over the single-parent family household. Lastly, the single person household will continue to grow at the lowest rate with a CAGR of 3.2% over the five-year period.

In 2018, the average gross income of the population from age 15 to 65+ within Morocco was US$3,409 equivalent to the Moroccan Dirham of MAD$33,637. A total of 26.4 million people throughout Morocco over the age of fifteen are educated at at least a primary level, while only 9.5% of the population have attained a higher education over the secondary or high school level. As 29.7% of the population aged 15 years and over has no educational attainment, the illiteracy rate in Morocco is high and there are huge disparities between urban and rural incomes, which create social tensions. In addition, the youth age group 15 years old and above are finding it hard to find a form of employment (over 20% and rising) in 2018. Escalating tensions are a growing concern in the northern regions of Morocco.

Number of households by type in Morocco from 2014-2023 ('000), historic/forecast
Type 2014 2018[a] CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Couple with children 4,199.7 4,542.4 2.0 4,623.4 4,926.0 1.6
Other[1] 1,264.1 1,358.2 1.8 1,378.0 1,446.9 1.2
Single-parent family 694.0 770.1 2.6 786.7 845.3 1.8
Couple without children 629.0 749.7 4.5 777.0 876.4 3.1
Single person 527.1 633.2 4.7 657.3 745.9 3.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

a: Approximate values

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

1: Couples with children and extended families

Average gross income and educational attainment levels in Morocco, historic/forecastfixed current prices in US$, 2014-2023 ('000)
Type of statistic 2014 2018[a] CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Average gross income of population (ages 15-65+) currency in MAD[1] 30.8 33.6 2.2 33.9 40.4 4.5
Average gross income of population (ages 15-65+) currency in US$ 3.1 3.4 2.3 3.5 4.2 4.5
Population aged 15+ by educational attainment 24,783.1 26,367.4 1.6 26,763.1 28,339.2 1.4
Population aged 15+ by educational attainment [primary] 6,171.3 6,581.8 1.6 6,675.2 7,013.1 1.2
Population aged 15+ by educational attainment [secondary] 8,374.2 9,427.4 3.0 9,702.9 10,870.6 2.9
Population aged 15+ by educational attainment [higher] 2,124.5 2,512.3 4.3 2,612.4 3,015.7 3.7
Population aged 15+ by educational attainment [no education] 8,113.1 7,845.8 −0.8 7,772.6 7,439.8 −1.1
Percent of population aged 15+ with primary education 24.9% 25.0% 0.1 24.9% 24.7% −0.2
Percent of population aged 15+ with secondary education 33.8% 35.8% 1.4 36.3% 38.4% 1.4
Percent of population aged 15+ with higher education 8.6% 9.5% 2.5 9.8% 10.6% 2.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

a: Approximate values

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

1: Moroccan Dirham

Business environment and economic indicators

The unemployment rate in Morocco has been slightly more than the MENA region's average in 2015. In 2018, unemployment remains higher at 9.9%, especially among the youth (over 20% and rising). Despite this fact, Morocco's annual economic performance was considerably better than the MENA average in 2017. After the global financial crisis, the Arab uprising and a prolonged weakness of its European trading partners, Morocco's economy has rebounded and has seen healthy gains since 2017 and should continue to see healthy gains in 2019 by around 3.2%, after growth of 2.4% in 2018.This is partly due to recovery from drought conditions that resulted in significantly higher agricultural output with an annual real GDP growth of 4.0% in 2017, up from 1.4% in 2016. This growth in economic performance was also driven by higher public and private consumption expenditure, along with double-digit gains in exports.

Agriculture provides employment for 36.5% and manufacturing accounts for 8.4% of the workforce (17.7% of GDP), while tourism employs one of every 10 workers, accounting for nearly 10% of GDP. The service sector represents 54.7% of GDP. Morocco has diversified the economy by moving away from agricultural output while generating more employment in the manufacturing industry. Morocco is investing more in increased automation and the deployment of technology to improve efficiency within business practices, especially in new areas of innovation such as aeronautics and automotive sectors. However, key foreign European Union (EU) investments need to be secured by the country being able to quickly report growth of real GDP by about 3.3% per year until 2020 and aim to reach 4.6% by 2026. Reaching these government economic objectives will require accelerated business fiscal reforms.Footnote 1

Moroccan economic figures in US$ from 2005-2030, historic/forecast
Category 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030
GDP in millions 56,923.1 80,813.4 101,755.3 124,975.4 170,191.3 234,956.3
GDP per capita 1,865.0 2,493.5 2,923.7 3,371.3 4,352.7 5,748.4
Unemployment % of economically active population 10.9 9.1 9.5 9.5 8.8 8.6
Population % living below poverty line 10.8 6.9 5.2
Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

Food and beverage expenditures and preferences

In 2018, total consumer expenditure per capita was US$1,970.8, out of which 34.0% was spent on food and 2.3% on both alcoholic drinks and non-alcholic beverages. Retail sales value of packaged food continue to grow strongly in Morocco representing approximately US$9.7 billion in 2018 and is forecasted to reach US$13.5 billion by 2023, representing a CAGR of 7.0% throughout the 2019 to 2023 period. This strong growth was mainly driven from sales within the health and wellness (H&W) segment, and is also partly due to the growing number of products being offered across various food and beverage categories. Consumer foodservice sales are also continuing to grow in Morocco with the increasing interest in fast food and internet retailing.

International companies continue to dominate within the packaged food category in Morocco, as local consumers often prefer international brands that are perceived to offer better quality and taste. Especially popular and trusted among Morrocan consumers are European and US products that have been operating and investing in heavy advertising for a long period of time, claiming strong financial capital over small local companies found within Morocco.The two main chains, Marjane and Carrefour, are modern retailing giants that have expanded the value and volume sales in 2018 the most by offering a wide range of products sold in several supermarkets/hypermarkets spread across Morocco. Traditional retailers offer limited choices while suffering from high unit prices, and sales share within this venue is expected to drop further over the forecasted period.

Many international consumer food service franchises are settling in Morocco led by Moroccan consumers who are influenced by Western lifestyle trends and where eating fast food outside of the home is becoming a growing habit. Consumers are interested in food restaurant operators who will serve a wide variety of high-quality ingredient dishes. However, frozen products are also widely used in foodservice in Morocco so restaurants can keep their costs low, yet whereby quality is improving thanks to the integration of international products mainly from Europe who have successfully learnt how to preserve the freshness and taste of frozen products. Nevertheless, the consumer expenditure per capita on all food and beverages including alcoholic drink categories, are expected to significantly grow at an accelerated pace than historically by a CAGR greater than 4.0% between 2019 and 2023.

Annual per capita expenditure on food and beverages in Morocco, historic and forecasted fixed current prices in US$, 2014-2023
Consumer expenditure 2014 2018[a] CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Food 633.2 669.2 1.4 686.1 814.7 4.4
Bread and cereals 602.1 636.0 1.4 651.9 773.9 4.4
Meat 92.9 91.0 −0.5 92.8 110.5 4.5
Fish and seafood 166.4 175.9 1.4 180.5 214.3 4.4
Milk, cheese and eggs 25.9 27.6 1.6 28.3 33.6 4.4
Oils and fats 51.1 53.2 1.0 54.6 64.5 4.3
Fruit 61.6 65.6 1.6 67.3 79.8 4.4
Vegetables 49.9 54.4 2.2 55.8 66.2 4.4
Sugar and confectionery 98.9 107.6 2.1 110.5 131.0 4.3
Other food 30.8 33.4 2.0 34.2 40.7 4.4
Non-alcoholic beverages 24.7 27.3 2.5 28.0 33.4 4.5
Coffee, tea and cocoa 31.1 33.2 1.6 34.2 40.8 4.5
Mineral waters, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices 10.4 11.2 1.9 11.5 13.7 4.5
Alcoholic drinks 20.7 22.0 1.5 22.7 27.1 4.5
Spirits 4.9 4.6 −1.6 4.7 5.6 4.5
Wine 0.9 1.0 2.7 1.0 1.2 4.7
Beer 2.0 2.1 1.2 2.1 2.5 4.5
Total consumer expenditure 1,809.9 1,970.8 2.2 2,016.5 2,399.8 4.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

a: Approximate values

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Health and wellness

H&W products overall had steady growth with a CAGR of 6.2% from 2014 to 2018. Each of the categories are anticipated to grow at a faster rate in the forecasted 2019 to 2023 period, with a projected CAGR of 8.5%. Free from products are expected to have the largest growth, however, naturally healthy (NH) products are expected to remain at approximately 61% of the H&W market share by 2023.

Urbanization and growth within the prosperous middle class youth have helped expand the health and wellness sector in Morocco. Retail channels, such as hypermarkets and supermarkets, are opening more locations throughout the country and exposing the population to more H&W products. Government campaigns in 2017 focused on various health issues, such as diabetes and obesity, while also promoting increased consumption of local products which have NH benefits. The percentage share of the H&W sector category distribution in Morocco almost follows suit with the world's consumer trends totals. However, Morocco has focused more on obtaining a higher market share within the NH category at 61.6% versus a global share of 35.4% in this category; while they have focused less within promoting increased value sales from within the popular Fortified/functional (FF) category by almost 20% less than that of the global market (14.7% versus global share of 34.5%).

Health and wellness, category distribution in Morocco by retail value sales in current fixed $US prices, 2018*
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Category Sales in US dollars Sales %
Naturally healthy (NH) 1.527 billion 61.6%
Better for you (BFY) 294.7 million 17.5%
Fortified/functional (FF) 248.0 million 14.7%
Organic 82.2 million 4.9%
Free from 22.0 million 1.3%

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*: Approximate values

Morocco health and wellness market – historical and forecasted retail value – US$ millions
Categories 2014 2018[a] CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Health and wellness by type 1,323.1 1,683.3 6.2 1,813.1 2,515.0 8.5
Naturally healthy (NH) 827.0 1,036.5 5.8 1,110.7 1,527.6 8.3
Better for you (BFY) 228.5 294.7 6.6 319.5 441.6 8.4
Fortified/functional (FF) 194.4 248.0 6.3 268.1 372.9 8.6
Organic 57.3 82.2 9.4 90.4 133.8 10.3
Free from 15.9 22.0 8.5 24.5 39.1 12.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

a: Approximate values

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Naturally healthy food and beverage market

Within the health and wellness sector, naturally healthy (NH) food and beverage products was the largest category at 62% share with retail value sales approximately at US$1.0 billion in 2018. This consumption trend is expected to continue into the 2019 to 2023 forecast period.

The highest growth in retail sales was for NH natural mineral water, representing 50.3% share within the NH beverages category in 2018. The high growth of bottled water is partly due to the government campaigns encouraging adequate hydration, in addition, to the increased concerns over municipal tap water. NH tea (44.9%) has also been popular within the country, however, the growth is expected to be stifled due to pricing instability resulting from the development of hypermarkets and supermarkets. NH juice is the only NH category to decline between 2014 to 2018 and is expected to decline between 2019 to 2022 due to consumer preference for non-packaged juices, which are viewed as being the healthier choice.

Growth in the NH packaged food market benefitted from the Moroccan Ministry of Health's campaigns that advocated for more nutrition in diets, to prevent digestive or cardiovascular diseases. Products that contained ingredients such as jujube or carob were popular due to their high fiber, protein and mineral content. To lower high cholesterol or cardiac issues, many Moroccans used more edible oils and margarine in their dishes. Additionally, NH packaged food manufacturers began to promote on their packaging, the health benefits of their NH products and this strategy helped to increase demand.

Morocco naturally healthy market – historical and forecasted retail value – US$ millions
Category 2014 2018[a] CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Naturally healthy (NH) beverages 615.1 738.9 4.7 780.4 1,017.6 6.9
NH tea 310.6 332.1 1.7 339.1 381.5 3.0
NH natural mineral water 272.3 371.6 8.1 403.9 587.0 9.8
NH spring water 17.7 25.2 9.2 27.9 41.1 10.2
NH fruit/vegetable juice 14.5 10.0 −8.9 9.5 8.0 −4.2
NH packaged food 212.0 297.6 8.8 330.3 510.0 11.5
NH cereal bars 1.9 3.7 18.1 4.3 7.6 15.3
NH dairy 81.3 101.6 5.7 108.9 148.5 8.1
NH high fibre food 1.3 2.0 11.4 2.2 3.5 12.3
NH honey 24.8 38.5 11.6 43.4 70.5 12.9
NH olive oil 94.9 141.0 10.4 159.7 264.2 13.4
NH nuts, seeds and trail mixes 7.8 10.7 8.2 11.7 15.7 7.6
Naturally Healthy 827.0 1,036.5 5.8 1,110.7 1,527.6 8.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

a: Approximate values

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Better for you food and beverage market

Better for you (BFY) beverages had a slow growth in retail value sales from 2014 to 2018 (US$43.1 million in 2018), and is expected to have a slightly faster growth from 2019 to 2023 (US$49.6 million in 2023). The largest category within the BFY beverages will remain as 'other low calorie cola', however, it is expected to continue to decline. The main driver for BFY beverages was and will be for decaffeinated instant standard coffee, due to falling prices for such products and the increasing expansion of retailer cafés. Though Morocco is mainly a tea drinking country, the coffee market is forecasted to have a very high growth in the country and particularly the decaffeinated sub-category is expected to catch up to just over 35.3% of the BFY beverage market share than that of the leading BFY 'other low calorie cola' (61.5%), claiming US$17.5 million (5-year growth of 9.2%) by 2023.

Within the BFY reduced sugar packaged food category, 'reduced sugar sweet biscuits' (CAGR of 17.3%) had one of the highest growths in the historical period and are expected to show stronger growth in the forecast period (19.4%). Sugar free gum will remain the largest category in the forecast period due to its strong growth in retail sales value from approximately US$23.6 million in 2018 to US$30.5 million by 2023. These product categories have been popular due to their reduced or lack of confectioners' sugar, which the government has advocated to lower the risk of developing diabetes.

Morocco "better for you" market – historical and forecasted retail value – US$ millions
Category 2014 2018[a] CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Better for you (BFY) beverages 41.4 43.1 1.0 44.2 49.6 2.9
Other low calorie cola 33.1 31.1 −1.5 30.9 30.5 −0.3
Decaffeinated instant standard coffee 7.7 11.1 9.6 12.3 17.5 9.2
Reduced sugar non-cola carbonates 0.7 1.0 9.3 1.0 1.6 12.5
BFY packaged food 187.1 251.5 7.7 275.3 392.0 9.2
BFY reduced fat packaged food 155.6 211.1 7.9 231.7 332.0 9.4
Reduced fat butter and spreads 2.3 3.1 7.7 3.4 4.9 9.6
Reduced fat cheese 139.8 191.4 8.2 210.5 303.1 9.5
Reduced fat cream 0.6 0.7 3.9 0.7 0.9 6.5
Reduced fat fresh cheese and quark 1.0 1.2 4.7 1.3 1.6 5.3
Reduced fat yoghurt 11.9 14.7 5.4 15.8 21.4 7.9
BFY reduced sugar packaged food 31.5 40.4 6.4 43.6 60.0 8.3
Sugar-free sugar confectionery 0.5 0.8 12.5 0.9 1.0 2.7
Sugar-free gum 19.5 23.6 4.9 24.9 30.5 5.2
Reduced sugar sweet biscuits 2.8 5.3 17.3 6.2 12.6 19.4
Reduced sugar yoghurt 8.7 10.8 5.6 11.6 15.8 8.0
Better for you 228.5 294.7 6.6 319.5 441.6 8.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

a: Approximate values

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Fortified/functional food and beverage market

Fortified/functional (FF) packaged food and beverages brought in approximately US$248.0 million in retail value sales within 2018, claiming a market share of 14.7% within the H&W sector. In comparison to the global H&W market, Morocco is behind in developing or promoting the increasingly popular FF category by almost 20% less in share value. Urbanisation is a key factor, along with ensuring that the affluent and youthful middle class continue to raise the demand for convenient, health-conscious options in FF products with claims of added nutrients and energy ingredients.

Within the FF beverage categories, regular energy drinks are the most popular trend especially amongst young male consumers as an alternative to drinking alcoholic beverages in social situations. These energy drinks have the strongest growth at a CAGR of 6.9% between 2014 and 2018 and are expected to grow until 2023. However, there are great concerns about excessive consumption in relation to energy drinks which have been known to result in reported incidents of consumers being hospitalized, whereby the category could be negatively impacted should Morocco follow the example of Saudi Arabia by placing constraints on marketing or such activities, prohibitions on the sale of such products in influential locations or imposing a 100% excise tax.

Within the FF packaged food category with retail sales of US$230.9 million in 2018, increasingly popular products that showed strong growth with a 5-year CAGR greater than 10% from 2014, included FF cereal bars, FF sweet biscuits, FF gum and FF bread. Due to the growing visibility of health-related issues from advertising campaigns by the Ministry of Health, often targeted at parents to make healthier brand choices relating to children's health, FF cereal bars have performed well in this category. With increasing focus on digestive health benefits, probiotic dairy products in FF packaged food is expected to register growth between 2019 to 2023.

Morocco fortified/functional market – historical and forecasted retail value – US$ millions
Category 2014 2018[a] CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Fortified/functional (FF) beverages 13.6 17.1 5.9 17.8 22.2 5.7
FF Chocolate-based flavoured powder drinks 4.4 5.1 3.8 5.4 6.8 5.9
Regular energy drinks 9.2 12.0 6.9 12.4 15.3 5.4
FF packaged food 180.8 230.9 6.3 250.3 350.8 8.8
FF Baby food 66.1 73.0 2.5 76.5 92.8 4.9
FF Breakfast cereals 70.8 102.7 9.7 114.0 175.1 11.3
FF Bread 0.4 0.6 10.7 0.7 1.0 9.3
FF Confectionery 16.8 20.7 5.4 22.1 29.2 7.2
FF Gum 0.7 1.1 12.0 1.2 2.1 15.0
FF Sugar confectionery 16.1 19.6 5.0 20.8 27.2 6.9
FF Dairy 25.6 32.0 5.7 34.7 48.3 8.6
FF Butter and spreads 4.3 6.2 9.6 6.9 10.1 10.0
FF Fresh cheese & quark 3.7 4.4 4.4 4.6 6.0 6.9
FF Probiotic yoghurt 17.6 21.4 5.0 23.2 32.2 8.5
FF Sweet biscuits 0.4 0.7 15.0 0.8 1.6 18.9
FF Cereal bars 0.7 1.3 16.7 1.5 2.7 15.8
Fortified/Functional 194.4 248.0 6.3 268.1 372.9 8.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

a: Approximate values

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Organic food and beverage market

Sales of organic beverages remained negligible in Morocco in 2018, while the organic packaged food category registered slightly better retail sales than the free-from H&W category at a value of US$82.2 million in 2018. Even in the organic packaged food category, Morocco does not claim organic advertising on products found within several sub-categories like organic processed seafood, organic dairy, organic ready meals and organic savoury snacks etc. The organic bread category represents 93.3% of that total at a value of US$76.7 million for the year. Nevertheless, organic sweet biscuits registered the largest retail growth at a CAGR of 21.8% between 2014 to 2018 and is expected to almost triple its sales value by the end of 2023.

Organic beverages are not expected to make a significant impact on sales in the H&W sector by 2023. Limited distribution even in developing modern grocery retail channels and high unit prices in a price-sensitive market constrain the organic beverage category's potential. There is little motivation for companies to invest in the category's development since consumer's are not convinced that organic products differentiates their positioning, with added value, from less expensive alternatives.

Morocco organic market – historical and forecasted retail value – US$ millions
Category 2014 2018[a] CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Organic packaged food 57.3 82.2 9.4 90.4 133.8 10.3
Organic baby food 1.4 N/C 1.3 1.4 1.9
Organic bread 54.5 76.7 8.9 84.5 124.6 10.2
Organic breakfast cereals 0.2 0.3 10.7 0.3 0.5 13.6
Organic confectionery 1.5 1.9 6.1 2.1 3.0 9.3
Organic rice, pasta and noodles 0.6 0.8 7.5 0.8 1.2 10.7
Organic sweet biscuits, snack bars and fruit snacks 0.5 1.1 21.8 1.7 3.2 25.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

a: Approximate values

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/C: Not Calculable

"Free from" food and beverage market

The "free from" category is the smallest market claiming 1.3% share value within the H&W sector, yet it is showing strong growth. The category registered a current retail value growth at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2014 and 2018, representing retail sales of approximately US$22.0 million in 2018. "Free from" dairy milk alternatives was the fastest-growing sub-category within the "free from" category in 2017. However, negative publicity about consumption of dairy products has continued to affect sales which helped to benefit consumers switching to "free from" alternatives. The long shelf life of "free from" products have offered incentives to purchase these products and although soy milk dominated this category, offering more product differentiation has helped to gain popularity in other milk alternative types such as the introduction of almond, coconut and rice milk flavours.

Gluten-free product popularity has increased as more individuals are becoming aware and being diagnosed as gluten intolerant. The introduction of more gluten-free fresh baker shops in Morocco and the global assumption that gluten-free products contain less fat have also boosted sales in this category. Lastly, as more women enter the workforce and the number of women breastfeeding is decreasing, the hypo-allergenic milk formula sub-category is expected to boost in sales as well.

Morocco free from market – historical and forecasted retail value – US$ millions
Category 2014 2018[a] CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Free from 15.9 22.0 8.5 24.5 39.1 12.4
Free from allergens 11.6 12.6 2.1 13.1 15.9 5.0
Free from dairy 2.5 5.1 19.5 6.3 12.5 18.7
Free from gluten 1.8 4.2 23.6 5.1 10.7 20.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

a: Approximate values

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Competitive landscape/consumer trends within the health and wellness sector

Les Eaux Minérales d'Oulmès with its Sidi Ali brand has remained the strongest competitor within the NH beverage category in Morocco, increasing its retail value share to 28%. By extending and increasing the distribution of their reputable brand through additional supermarkets and hypermarkets, the company has actually halted a trend of share decline within NH bottled water and they managed to also push down growing competition from economy brands. The category's second largest player, Mido Foods, experienced ongoing share decline in 2017, due in part to the decline of sales of their leading NH tea products. They are facing competition, as are several other local players, to offer affordable prices and diversification in their products by introducing new flavours such as mint and sage, and saffron varieties - as did competitor Air Distribution's Lion and Chakour introduced within their Sultan NH Maghrebi tea brand. Within the NH packaged food category in Morocco, thanks to efforts made by the government to increase visibility in consumers returning to more authentic products, Les Huileries de Oued Souss benefited mainly within the edible oils sub-category for its quality and pure olive oil brand name. Other local brand names that performed well were Marocaine des Saveurs de Terroirs's Amandes Salées (NH nuts, seeds and trail mixes), Cooperative COPAG's Lben Jaouda (NH dairy) and Diva Distribution SARL's Diva (NH honey).

Coca-Cola Morocco continues to dominate in the BFY beverage category with a 72% value share in 2017, although its share fell by one percentage point during the year since the trend to drink cola carbonates is suffering as being considered a health-driven BFY product, and this market is limited only due to its reduced sugar content. However, the company has a long established brand within the market and benefits from having an extensive distribution network while their image changes to their brand remain effective in reaching most rural areas throughout the world. Nestlé Maroc has improved the gap on Coca-Cola in second place and benefits similarly due to longterm brand recognition or faces the same declines for similar reasons as Coca-Cola does, yet in the decaffeinated instant coffee market. Fromageries Bel SA leads within the BFY packaged food category at 44% of retail value sales in 2017. This company was able to react to consumers' rising nutritional awareness such as high rate of obesity and weight-related diseases by offering reduced or low fat versions within a wide range of products, also reaching both traditional and modern distribution channels.

Foods & Goods has led at a 63% share with their FF beverage energy drinks brand, Red Bull. In retrospect, Nestlé Maroc declined in their sales in 2017 since energy drinks outpaced that of the company's core FF chocolate-based flavoured powder drinks. Yet they still maintained more than 90% in this sub-category with Nestlé's Nesquick brand considered as a healthy option with added vitamin and mineral content in a milk drink. Smaller players are looking to take advantage of the growing demand for the FF hot and soft drink sub-categories. Within the FF packaged food category, Nestlé Maroc SA is leading for their FF milk formula whereby the company has established a strong reputation among Moroccan mothers. They are also growing strength in FF baby food and FF breakfast cereals. Jessy Diffusion SA with its brand Fly is proven to become popular in providing low-fat, high-fibre and energy-boosting FF cereal bars. Centrale Danone remains the leader in FF dairy with its probiotic yoghurt brand Activia and FF fromage frais and quark category, with its brand Danino.

Sopalim SA has retained its lead with its brands in organic bread (Recondo) and organic breakfast cereals (Tilo's). The global trend towards organic products is encouraging the government to help with pushing sales of organic packaged food, with no future prospect of developing the organic beverage category. An association called AMABIO, and an inter-professional federation called FIMABIO are mobilizing a program to develop an initiative to create a Moroccan organic label to support better positioning in Europe and move away from confusing the organic products with the more popular naturally healthy products. Specialist shops such as La Vie Claire and Moroccan Legacy have helped diversify and better profile the category by introducing more brands in their stores. The country's first vegetarian and organic fast food restaurant was opened in Casablanca in 2017, called Veggie, which helped make the trends more highly visible to consumers. Aggressive modern retailers such as Carrefour Gourmet (offering organic, natural and fresh food) and Marjane (offering 100% organic products), along with the growth of online retailers introducing new brands, have also contributed in boosting organic popularity.

Distribio Maroc lead in the "free from" packaged food category with their brand Dr Schar that dominates in manufacturing gluten-free bread and the company benefited from expanding distribution channels through Moroccan specialist shops, pharmacies and supermarkets. Once again, La Vie Claire gained further share value of its diversified variety of free from products through expansion of its private labels to make affordable products and reach lower-income consumers. They pushed unit prices down and grew visibility of their products by selling their popular gluten and free from products in organic shops in main cities and in expanding supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Leading companies and their brands within the health and wellness sector in Morocco – historical % breakdown, based on fixed retail sales value in US$
Category Company name Top brands 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Naturally healthy Holmarcom Groupe Sidi Ali, Souiri, La Caravane, Oulmès, Aïn Atlas 26.2 27.2 26.9 26.2 26.8
Les Huileries de Oued Souss Oued Souss, Bab Mansour 8.1 7.8 7.5 7.8 8.3
Mido Co. Sultan 9.3 9.0 8.6 8.3 8.0
Better for you Bel, Groupe La Vache Qui Rit 38.8 40.0 40.2 42.0 43.5
The Coca-Cola Co. Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Sprite Zero 15.1 13.5 12.6 11.9 11.2
Royal FrieslandCampina NV Frico 7.0 7.2 7.0 7.3 7.5
Fortified/functional Cereal Partners Worldwide SA Nesquick, Nestlé Lion, Nestlé, Fitness, Kix 17.3 18.4 19.6 20.2 21.1
Danone, Groupe Nursie, Blédina, Activia, Nutricia, Danino 15.2 15.0 15.3 13.7 13.4
Nestlé SA Nan, Guigoz, Nativa, Nido, Nesquick 15.0 14.7 14.4 13.7 13.2
Organic Productos Recondo SA Recondo 37.4 36.7 36.4 39.8
Atlantic Food SA Cebon 4.7 5.8 6.7 7.7
Free From Danone, Groupe Nursie, Nutricia, Gallia 30.4 26.6 25.3 23.7 22.4
Nestlé SA Nan, Alfaré 23.2 20.2 19.3 18.0 17.0
Dr Schär AG/SpA Pain sans Gluten Shar 0.0 0.0 8.9 11.1
Source: Euromonitor International, 2019

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Consumer Profile – Morocco
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Jonathan Inada and Erin-Ann Chauvin, Market Analysts

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