JEDDAH – Dairy products market in the Gulf region was recorded a 50 percent growth since 2007, a new report from food and drink consultancy Zenith International revealed.
Laban (or labneh) is the fastest growing category, with 9 percent growth in 2012.Laban is the fastest growing category, with 9 percent growth in 2012.
Dairy product sales grew by more than 50 percent between 2007 and 2012 to $5.8 billion in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the report said.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest dairy market among GCC states, accounting for 74 percent of volume.
The largest product category is fresh white milk with a 41 percent volume share, followed by laban at 21 percent.
In terms of value, cheese is the leading category with a 22 percent share, closely followed by fresh white milk. Laban is the fastest growing category, with 9 percent growth in 2012. Saudi Arabia leads the way in consumption per person, whereas consumers in Kuwait spend the most on dairy products.
“With many people leading more hectic lifestyles, the demand for packaged food is rising,” said Zenith’s regional research coordinator Harikrishnan Pillai. “The consumption of protein-rich food such as dairy is on the increase. The current market environment offers a substantial investment opportunity for local companies and multinationals.”
The report further showed that 80 percent of dairy sales come from four key product categories: fresh white milk, laban, yogurt and cheese.
2012 growth was stronger than in the previous four years, the main drivers being population, urbanization, incomes and health awareness.
Saudi Arabia is providing a strong impetus to the market, with its consumers moving toward healthier eating habits, the report noted. — SG/Agencies