Governmental reforms guarantee the existing opportunity
The government is also one of the key driving forces helping to make this shift in their nation’s attitude towards improved health and well-being. The governmental reforms took two approaches. First, manufacturers of unhealthy food and drinks are pressured by taxes. A 50% tax on all carbonated soft drinks and 100 percent tax on energy drinks have been fairly recently implemented into this and other Gulf markets in an attempt to discourage highand in an attempt to reduce obesity that has reached 35% in Saudi Arabia according to WHO. Second, the government is also promoting for healthier lifestyle through the large vision 2030 plan. As part of this the government aims to put in place at least one gym in every district and neighbourhood, plus to also open up gyms to women for the first time which has already started.
Females are the new key player
Euromonitor considers women as a key incentive that will encourage manufacturers to invest in more health-orientated products. Saudi females nowadays enjoy a more liberal lifestyle with many governmental reforms having a direct impact on this. Saudi women can now drive and are more actively encouraged to enter the work place. As mentioned before women-only gyms have been opened recently and this is important as females are the ones in Saudi Arabia with the highest level of obesity.
As a direct result Saudi females are taking a greater than ever interest in their nutrition, the physical health and their overall well-being. Consequently this makes Saudi Arabia a very promising proposition for food and drink products looking to enter this market, which is still in its infancy when it comes to healthier nutritional alternatives on offer from what they have been traditionally consuming.
The changes in lifestyle and consumer attitudes along with government level reforms makes the Saudi market one which western brands willing to expand internationally must consider, especially when you take into account the size of the opportunity due to the large economy and high consumer expenditure.
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