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Market Overview – Saudi Arabia

Note: This report includes forecasting data that is based on baseline historical data.

Executive summary

Saudi Arabia is a Middle Eastern country occupying a large part of the Arabian Peninsula, with a population of more than 34 million inhabitants. In 2019, the country's GDP was estimated at US$792.9 billion (World Bank). Saudi Arabia is a G20 country and its economy greatly relies on oil exports.

Saudi Arabia is a net importer of agri-food and seafood. In 2019, Saudi Arabia exports to the world were valued at US$2.1 billion while its imports were valued at US$17.5 billion Semi-milled/wholly milled rice, barley, frozen chicken, non-durum wheat and maize were the five leading imports products to Saudi Arabia.

In 2019, Canada was Saudi Arabia 46th largest supplier of agri-food and seafood. Saudi Arabia's imports from Canada were valued at US$38.1 million. Groundnut, cheese, frozen boneless meat of beef, bakery goods and peas were the top products that Saudi Arabia imported from Canada during that year.

According to GlobalData, the combined retail sales of food (US$27.6 billion) and non-alcoholic beverages (US$13.4 billion) were valued at US$41.1 billion in 2019. These two industries are forecast to expand through 2024, with the food industry recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% while the non-alcoholic beverages industry is forecast to record a CAGR of 4.2% during the 2020-2024 period.

In 2019, foodservice sales in Saudi Arabia were valued at US$6.1 billion according to GlobalData. Foodservice sales registered a CAGR of 5.7% from 2015 to 2019.

Production

Saudi Arabia's territory is largely covered by the desert and the country has one of the world's lowest rainfall. The country has historically been a food importer, however, the Kingdom has been supporting the agriculture sector and food producers in order to decrease its reliance on imports and increase the productivity of the agriculture industry (Ministry of environment, water and agriculture, 2019). This strategy has shown some success. For example, wheat production has been increasing, making Saudi Arabia a wheat exporter, although production has been decreasing over recent years.

Dates are the most produced crop in Saudi Arabia and are one the Kingdom's most exported products. Production of dates increased by a CAGR of 10.3% from 2015 to 2019. Grapes were the fastest growing crop during the 2015-2019 period with a CAGR of 29.0%, followed by fresh fruit (CAGR of 21%).

Chickens are the most bred livestock in Saudi Arabia. Production of chickens increased by a CAGR of 1.6% from 2015 to 2019. Production of cattle recorded the fastest growth from 2015 to 2019 with a CAGR of 12.2%. Meat of chicken is the most produced meat in Saudi Arabia and was the fastest growing type of meat from 2015 to 2019 with a CAGR of 9.8%.

Crop production in Saudi Arabia 2015 to 2019, measured in '000 tonnes
Top 10 crops (tonnes) 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
Dates 1,038,530 1,153,009 1,224,192 1,427,506 1,539,756 10.3
Fruit, fresh, nowhere else specified 359,292 363,360 410,733 666,264 770,015 21.0
Watermelons 505,722 574,653 606,186 489,432 687,718 8.0
Barley 677,964 648,620 637,612 504,810 627,982 −1.9
Wheat 693,776 618,653 620,923 517,910 534,000 −6.3
Potatoes 459,186 466,402 476,418 425,250 472,127 0.7
Tomatoes 288,618 305,203 306,389 274,194 332,608 3.6
Sorghum 157,764 152,341 147,353 123,837 123,869 −5.9
Grapes 42,466 41,413 44,505 99,939 117,639 29.0
Cucumbers and gherkins 100,662 108,549 111,431 70,326 81,880 −5.0

Source: FAOSTAT Agricultural Production, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Livestock production in Saudi Arabia 2015 to 2019 in number of heads
Livestock (head) 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
Chickens 184,520,000 190,099,000 190,503,000 193,746,000 196,989,000 1.6
Sheep 9,145,544 9,236,547 9,328,455 9,396,448 9,419,686 0.7
Goats 3,598,471 3,634,277 3,670,440 3,607,524 3,711,155 0.8
Cattle 357,801 361,362 364,958 477,255 567,040 12.2
Camels 476,398 481,138 485,926 487,823 492,853 0.9
Asses 99,107 98,849 98,975 98,889 98,803 −0.1
Horses 28,000 28,000 28,000 27,995 31,687 3.1

Source:  FAOSTAT Agricultural Production, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Meat production in Saudi Arabia 2015-2019, measured in '000 tonnes
Meat (tonnes) 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
Chicken 550,000 600,000 650,000 710,000 800,000 9.8
Camel 97,744 100,677 103,502 105,738 108,679 2.7
Sheep 89,405 89,320 89,985 90,409 90,395 0.3
Cattle 41,000 41,000 42,000 42,000 43,000 1.2
Goat 29,851 30,552 30,991 30,669 31,839 1.6
Bird, nowhere else specified 633 499 392 309 244 −21.2

Source: FAOSTAT Agricultural Production, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Trade

Saudi Arabia is a net importer of agri-food and seafood. In 2019, Saudi Arabia's agri-food and seafood trade deficit was US$15.4 billion. Its imports were valued at US$17.5 billion. Semi-milled/wholly milled rice, barley, frozen chicken, non-durum wheat and maize were the five leading imports products to Saudi Arabia. India, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Argentina were Saudi Arabia's five most important suppliers of agri-food and seafood in 2019. Saudi Arabia imports from the world decreased by a CAGR of −3.3% from 2015 to 2019.

In 2019, Canada was Saudi Arabia's 46th largest supplier of agri-food and seafood, representing a share of 0.2%. Saudi Arabia's imports from Canada were valued at US$38.1 million. Top imports from Canada were groundnut, cheese, frozen boneless meat of beef, bakery goods and peas.

Saudi Arabia's top agri-food and seafood imports from the world, 2019[a]
HS Codes Commodity Import value US$ millions Top suppliers and market share % Canada's share
1.0 2.0 3.0
100630 Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed 1331.2 India: 80.4 Pakistan: 7.6 United States: 7.4
100390 Barley (excluding seed for sowing) 901.3 Russia: 26.2 Ukraine: 22.7 Argentina: 13.1
020712 Frozen chicken 636.1 Brazil: 76.3 France: 15.6 Ukraine: 7.2
100199 Non-durum wheat 636.0 Lithuania: 28.5 Germany: 22.1 Poland: 21.2
100590 Maize (excluding seed for sowing) 604.8 Argentina: 56.5 Brazil: 18.6 United States: 18.6
020714 Frozen chicken cuts 452.1 Brazil: 68.6 Ukraine: 11.2 United Arab Emirates: 10.8
210690 Food preparations, nowhere else specified 420.7 United Kingdom: 11.7 Denmark: 10.3 United Arab Emirates: 9.2 0.4
170114 Raw cane sugar, in solid form, (excluding cane sugar of 1701 13) 400.2 Brazil: 99.7 Singapore: 0.2 Mauritius: 0.1
190190 Malt extract; food preparations of flour, groats, meal, starch or malt extract, not containing cocoa or containing < 40% 322.4 Denmark: 59.7 Singapore: 16.4 Netherlands: 8.3
040221 Milk and cream in solid forms, of a fat content by weight of > 1,5%, unsweetened 296.4 United Arab Emirates: 50.5 New Zealand: 36.7 Netherlands: 6.3

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2021

1: Data based on all countries reported exports to Saudi Arabia

In 2019, Saudi Arabia exports to the world were valued at US$2.1 billion. Top five exported agri-food and seafood products to the world were frozen shrimps and prawns, fresh/dried dates, bakery goods, cane/beet sugar and yoghurt. In 2019, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, China and Yemen were Saudi Arabia's five most important export markets.

Saudi Arabia's top agri-food and seafood exports to the world, 2019[a]
HS Codes Commodity Export value US$ millions Top suppliers and market share % Canada's share
1.0 2.0 3.0
030617 Frozen shrimps and prawns (excluding cold-water shrimps and prawns) 224.9 China: 80.3 Egypt: 5.6 Spain: 3.7
080410 Fresh or dried dates 156.6 United Arab Emirates: 42.2 Jordan: 10.2 Turkey: 7.7 1.4
190590 Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers' wares, whether or not containing cocoa 119.9 United Arab Emirates: 77.7 Bahrain: 16.4 Jordan: 4.2 0.1
170199 Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form (excluding cane and beet sugar containing added flavouring or colouring and raw sugar) 99.9 Jordan: 52.8 Bahrain: 16.8 Kenya: 15.3 0.0
040310 Yogurt, whether or not flavoured or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, fruits, nuts or cocoa 95.2 United Arab Emirates: 77.9 Bahrain: 16.1 Jordan: 4.9
220299 Non-alcoholic beverages (excluding water, fruit or vegetable juices, milk and beer) 88.0 Jordan: 86.1 Bahrain: 10.1 United States: 1.6 0.1
040110 Milk and cream of a fat content by weight of <= 1%, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter 76.9 United Arab Emirates: 73.7 Jordan: 18.1 Yemen: 6.6
040299 Milk and cream, concentrated and sweetened (excluding in solid forms) 72.6 United Arab Emirates: 87.9 Jordan: 8.2 Bahrain: 2.5
200990 Mixtures of fruit juices, incl. grape must, and vegetable juices, unfermented (excluding containing spirit) 63.8 United Arab Emirates: 84.1 Bahrain: 9.5 Egypt: 4.1 0.1
040630 Processed cheese, not grated or powdered 56.9 United Arab Emirates: 69.3 Bahrain: 16.1 Egypt: 11.7

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2021

a: Data based on all countries reported imports from Saudi Arabia

Retail sales

According to GlobalData, the combined retail sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages were valued at US$41.1 billion in 2019.

In 2019, retail sales of food in Saudi Arabia was valued at US$27.6 billion and is forecast to reach US$34.4 billion by 2024. The food industry grew by a CAGR of 4.7% from 2015 to 2019 and is forecast to record a CAGR of 4.4% from 2020 to 2024. In 2019, bakery and cereals were the leading sector within the food industry in terms of retail sales with US$8.9 billion. Retail sales of the bakery and cereals sector are forecast to reach US$11.2 billion by 2024. The bakery and cereals sector is followed by the meat sector in term of retail sales. Retail sales of meat in Saudi Arabia were valued US$4.6 billion and are expected to reach US$6.1 billion by 2024. Moreover, the meat sector recorded the third highest CAGR within the food industry from 2015 to 2019 after ice cream (8.6%) and meat substitutes (7.6%) with 7.5%. Dairy and soy food had third most important retail sales within the food industry in 2019 with retail sales valued at US$4.3 billion and is forecast to reach US$4.8 billion by 2024. This sector had the lowest CAGR in the food industry with 0.6% from 2015 to 2019 and is forecast to register a CAGR of 2.1% from 2020 to 2024.

In 2019, retail sales of non-alcoholic beverages were estimated at US$13.4 billion. The non-alcoholic beverages had a CAGR of 8.7% from 2015 to 2019, but is forecast to record a CAGR of 4.2% from 2020 to 2024. In 2019, the soft drinks sector was leading in terms of sales with US$10.4 billion and recorded a CAGR of 10.2% from 2015 to 2019. Retail sales of this sector are forecast to reach US$13.5 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 4.3% from 2020 to 2024. Hot drinks, the other sector with the non-alcoholic beverages industry, had retail sales valued at US$3.1 billion in 2019 and is forecast to reach US$3.5 billion by 2024 with a CAGR of 4.0% from 2020 to 2024.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages, retail sales value in Saudi Arabia in US$ millions, historic and forecast
Sector 2015 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019 2020 2024 CAGR* % 2020-2024
Food 23,015.8 27,664.0 4.7 28,982.9 34,433.3 4.4
Bakery and cereals 7,195.8 8,953.4 5.6 9,405.0 11,187.4 4.4
Beans and pulses 151.7 180.0 4.4 193.3 234.1 4.9
Confectionery 1,232.5 1,492.5 4.9 1,587.3 1,853.2 3.9
Dairy and soy food 4,205.7 4,315.4 0.6 4,436.6 4,815.5 2.1
Fish and seafood 1,645.0 1,942.9 4.2 1,958.8 2,434.7 5.6
Ice cream 317.1 441.5 8.6 469.5 648.4 8.4
Meat 3,461.6 4,615.1 7.5 4,820.1 6,071.5 5.9
Meat substitutes 30.7 41.2 7.6 44.5 58.9 7.3
Oils and fats 999.0 1,098.4 2.4 1,137.4 1,309.2 3.6
Other canned food 28.3 33.3 4.2 38.5 49.2 6.3
Other dried food 1,922.3 2,322.8 4.8 2,544.7 2,939.6 3.7
Other frozen food 103.5 121.8 4.1 129.0 152.4 4.3
Pasta and noodles 217.3 264.8 5.1 302.9 404.8 7.5
Prepared meals 11.9 13.7 3.6 12.8 14.9 3.8
Savory and deli foods 71.8 81.4 3.2 81.6 95.0 3.9
Savory snacks 355.6 466.5 7.0 474.4 525.2 2.6
Seasonings, dressings and sauces 692.4 825.0 4.5 868.8 1,048.8 4.8
Soups 44.7 57.0 6.3 61.0 78.1 6.4
Syrups and spreads 328.9 397.2 4.8 416.6 512.5 5.3
Non-Alcoholic Beverages 9,621.8 13,432.8 8.7 14,463.1 17,058.8 4.2
Hot drinks 2,606.6 3,087.7 4.3 3,014.0 3,528.7 4.0
Soft drinks 7,015.2 10,345.1 10.2 11,449.1 13,530.1 4.3

Source: GlobalData, 2021

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Health and wellness

The health and wellness sector grew by a CAGR of 6.2% from 2015 to 2019 and is expected to grow by a CAGR of 4.4% over the 2020-2024 period. Functional/fortified and naturally healthy products showed the largest growth in the 2015-2019 period. Naturally healthy will lead the way into the 2020-2024 period with sales forecast at US$4.4 billion and a CAGR of 5.4%

Health and wellness food and non-alcoholic beverages retail sales in Saudi Arabia, in US$ millions, historic and forecast
Product attribute category 2015 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019 2020 2024 CAGR* % 2020-2024
Food intolerance 32.66 36.44 2.8 39.35 47.86 5.0
Food minus 1,190.69 1,289.46 2.0 1,347.12 1,481.51 2.4
Free from 352.90 427.98 4.9 459.78 546.43 4.4
Functional/fortified 2,019.93 2,609.92 6.6 2,750.39 3,384.66 5.3
Naturally healthy 2,712.94 3,314.23 5.1 3,580.32 4,421.99 5.4
None 21,427.89 27,560.69 6.5 29,229.20 34,551.85 4.3
Total - Health and wellness 27,737.02 35,238.72 6.2 37,406.16 44,434.30 4.4

Source: GlobalData, 2021

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Foodservice

In 2019, foodservice sales in Saudi Arabia were valued at US$6.1 billion according to GlobalData with a CAGR of 5.7% from 2015 to 2019. From 2020 to 2024, sales in the foodservice industry is forecast to record a CAGR of 10.4%.

In 2019, restaurant was the most important channel within the foodservice industry with sales valued at US$5.2 billion and is expected to reach US$5.7 billion by 2024. This channel registered a CAGR of 5.6% from 2015 to 2019 and is forecast to reach 10.2% for the 2020-2024 period. Within this channel, full service restaurant (FSR), is leading in terms of sales with US$3.5 billion in 2019 and a CAGR of 5.4%. Sales in FSR are expected to reach US$3.8 billion by 2024 and register a CAGR of 10.7%.

The retail channel is the second most important within the foodservice industry with sales valued at US$212.2 million in 2019 and a CAGR of 5.3% for the 2015-2019 period. Sales in this channel are forecast to reach US$233.9 million by 2024 and record a CAGR of 9.5% for the 2020-2024 period. Baker was the leading outlet within the retail channel with sales valued at US$131.4 million and is forecast to reach US$143.4 million by 2024.

In 2019, the accommodation channel was the third most important in the foodservice industry in terms of sales with US$205.9 million. Accommodation is forecast to reach US$224.2 million in sales by 2024, registering a CAGR of 14.6% from 2020 to 2024. Hotel and motel recorded the highest sales in 2019 with US$101.6 million. Sales in the outlet are forecast to reach US$106.5 by 2024 and register a CAGR of 14.9% from 2020 to 2024.

Saudi Arabia's foodservice by channel and outlet, in US$ millions, historical and forecast
Channel Outlet 2015 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019 2020 2024 CAGR* % 2020-2024
Accommodation Bed and breakfast 9.48 11.46 4.9 7.58 12.64 13.6
Caravan park 0.17 0.20 4.8 0.13 0.21 13.1
Guest house 40.84 49.18 4.8 32.49 52.86 12.9
Holiday park 10.98 13.08 4.5 7.83 13.85 15.3
Hostel 0.63 0.76 4.9 0.51 0.84 13.1
Hotel and motel 84.71 101.58 4.6 61.07 106.53 14.9
Others 24.20 29.69 5.2 20.34 37.22 16.3
Total - Accommodation 171.00 205.95 4.8 129.95 224.14 14.6
Leisure Entertainment 19.45 30.18 11.6 26.68 40.90 11.3
Venue 47.69 71.49 10.7 60.98 94.10 11.5
Visitor attraction 17.59 26.72 11.0 22.74 35.28 11.6
Total - Leisure 84.74 128.39 10.9 110.40 170.29 11.4%
Mobile operator Other mobile operators 6.90 9.04 7.0 7.50 10.68 9.3
Vans 16.02 NC 13.99 24.80 15.4
Total - Mobile operator 6.90 25.06 38.0 21.49 35.48 13.4
Restaurant Coffee and tea shop 315.25 384.89 5.1 320.51 425.72 7.4
Full service restaurant 2,801.20 3,458.76 5.4 2,581.58 3,874.05 10.7
Ice cream parlour 103.66 119.84 3.7 62.18 118.83 17.6
Quick service restaurant and fast food 923.72 1,196.68 6.7 937.78 1,346.12 9.5
Total - Restaurant 4,143.83 5,160.16 5.6 3,902.05 5,764.72 10.2
Retail Baker 108.55 131.42 4.9 100.45 143.38 9.3
Convenience store 24.61 31.07 6.0 24.84 35.36 9.2
Delicatessen 1.70 2.04 4.7 1.45 2.18 10.7
Department store 4.16 5.24 5.9 3.78 5.78 11.2
Other retail 6.23 7.83 5.9 5.67 8.61 11.0
Service station forecourt 6.99 8.96 6.4 7.57 10.53 8.6
Supermarket and hypermarket 20.36 25.57 5.9 18.73 28.12 10.7
Total - Retail 172.61 212.14 5.3 162.49 233.96 9.5
Travel Air 81.91 106.70 6.8 70.44 119.57 14.1
Rail 0.99 1.31 7.3 0.91 1.48 13.0
Total - Travel 82.89 108.01 6.8 71.35 121.05 14.1
Workplace Government department and local authority 15.20 18.13 4.5 13.90 19.30 8.6
Industrial 116.53 137.92 4.3 102.34 144.23 9.0
Retail, financial and office based 30.17 35.65 4.3 24.62 36.53 10.4
Total - Workplace 161.90 191.70 4.3 140.86 200.06 9.2

Source:GlobalData, 2021

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

NC: Not calculable

New product launches

According to Mintel, 3,437 new products were launched from 2016 to 2020 in Saudi Arabia. Sauces and seasonings, bakery, snacks, Processed fish, meat and egg products and dairy were the leading categories among launched product during this period. Most products were new varieties or range extensions of existing products. Halal, no additives/preservatives or vegetarian were among the top growing claims.

New products launches in Saudi Arabia from 2016 to 2020
Top 5 categories New variety/range extension New packaging New product Relaunch New formulation Total
Sauces and seasonings 254 128 100 10 3 495
Bakery 168 78 115 11 3 375
Snacks 178 57 120 4 5 364
Processed fish, meat and egg products 214 91 33 7 4 349
Dairy 108 137 80 17 3 345
Total 1568 880 867 85 36 3,437

Source: Mintel, 2021

Note: Total is the overall total of products launched in the Saudi market during the review period.

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Resources

Market Overview – Saudi Arabia
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Saidouba Camara

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