Over 2,000 food and beverage manufacturing companies are based in the UAE and they are generating Dhs28bn ($7.63bn) in annual revenue, making up to 25 per cent of the country’s manufacturing GDP.
This is according to the Annual UAE Food Industry Report for 2023, which has been published by the UAE Food Beverage Business Group (FB Group).
The report goes on to note that the food and beverage sector is only second to the country’s oil and gas industry in terms of revenues.
“The 2023 Annual Report reflects the resilience and dynamism of the UAE’s food and beverage sector. The sustained growth in key segments and the emergence of smaller players as significant contributors underscore the industry’s adaptability,” says Saleh Lootah, Chairman of the UAE Food Beverage Business Group.
Breaking down the findings further, the report found that the bakery category grew over 50 per cent during the year, while the snacking category, chocolates, and biscuits notched up 20 per cent growth. Meanwhile, beverages saw strong growth with the sports drinks segment leading at 15 per cent. This was despite an overall increase in soft drink prices by 134 per cent. Sub-segments such as eggs, cooking oil, and desserts all respectively achieved growth of 18 per cent, 30 per cent, and 21 per cent.
The report further found that the dairy segment is growing at a rate of 16 per cent on the back of increasing awareness among customers of the importance of balance and a healthy diet. Meanwhile, frozen meat demand increased 18 per cent.
The report also revealed emerging trends, such as the decline in baby food and infant formula, the growth of organic baby food brands, and the increasing importance of affordability in consumer brand choices.