Where are the biggest opportunities at present in the UAE?
Free-from: According to findings by Euromonitor, there is a growing niche for free-from (gluten-free, lactose-free, etc) This is largely due to increased awareness of issues surrounding health and food which continues to grow. We have more detailed category analysis on the free from sector that can be accessed via our market insight programme.
Sports/fitness foods: Sports protein products continued to dominate sales of sports nutrition in 2019 in the United Arab Emirates, with sports protein powder and protein/energy bars remaining the best-selling products. Pre-workout formulations fared well and benefited from better-informed consumers.
Drinks: There is a growing market for tea with the health and wellness trend continuing to drive demand for green and herbal teas. In other drinks categories, Islamic restrictions on alcohol have led to a strong growth in non-alcoholic drinks, amongst which the demand for soft drinks is moving more towards healthier or flavoured drinks. However this opportunity is not without its complications. A 100% sin tax on energy drinks has been in place since October 2017, with another 50% tax on all carbonated drinks. This was extending to all drinks containing sugar or sweeteners in December 2019. Plus don’t forget that bottled water must be ESMA approved too!
If you would like more information on the UAE, please download our comprehensive Gulf Report which includes detailed research and tailored guidance. Our team here at Bolst Global are attuned to this increasingly attractive market and the trends which contribute to its significant reliance on imports. If you would like to discuss how we can help your business export products to the United Arab Emirates, please complete the contact form below
*All data obtained from Euromonitor and BCB, accessed March 2020