The Health and Wellness Market of Jordan
Located at somewhat of a crossroad between Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Palestine and Syria, Jordan acts as an important link for the Middle East region.
Not being a part of the Gulf Cooperative Council (the G.C.C) then it can be a country which is not always immediately considered as an export option for brands and manufacturers when they are investigating the Middle East as a potential new area to enter. However its potential and opportunities the country presents should not be overlooked.
Consumer Demographics, Trends and Opportunities for Brands Looking Towards Jordan
Located at somewhat of a crossroad between Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Palestine and Syria, Jordan acts as an important link for the region.
Thanks to its close proximity to the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and of course the River Jordan, there is a great infrastructure for international trade. This is also helped by Jordan’s flat surface area and relatively well-maintained roads.
Due to its climate and poor soil quality, growing agriculture is almost impossible, meaning that Jordan has to import a considerable amount of its food supply from neighbouring countries and further afield. Access to clean water is also a problem outside of the major cities.
85% of Jordan’s population reside in urban areas, however, rather than the population being distributed across a few large cities, it’s actually across several smaller ones. For example, the largest and capital city, Amman, is home to around 4 million people.
Let’s take a closer look at Jordanian consumers, the food and beverage landscape, and the health and wellness trends that are increasing in popularity in the country.
According to the latest United Nations data, the population of Jordan is 10.3 million people, and continues to grow at a rate of 1.45%.
Arabs make up the majority of the population (95-97%), but there are other, smaller, ethnic groups calling Jordan home. This includes around half a million Iraqis and half a million Syrian refugees who have fled to Jordan in recent years to escape the violence of their home countries.
There is a pretty even gender split, with 50.63% of the population being male and 49.37% female.
Jordan has a relatively young population, with a median age of 22.5 years.
In terms of Gross Domestics Product, Jordan has a GDP value of $44.5 billion USD, ranking it in 89th place. Whilst GDP per Capita is $4,270 USD.
Jordan is considered an emerging market by the World Bank and, thanks to its Free Trade Agreements with many countries, is a great place for international brands looking for a new territory to expand into.
Interested in other areas of the Middle East? Here’s a comparison of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
Food and beverage landscape
As we have seen, agriculture is challenging in Jordan making up for only 2% of the labour force. That being said, the most profitable of Jordan’s agricultural efforts include tomatoes, cucumbers, citrus fruit, and bananas all grown in the Jordan Valley. Other crop production is unreliable due to poor water supplies.
If we look at the numbers, revenue produced from Jordan’s food and beverage segment is anticipated to reach $80 million USD by the end of this year (2021), with an annual growth rate of 12.67% between 2021-2025. Projecting a revenue of $129 million USD by 2025.
In addition to specialty stores, the key retailers for health and wellness brands in Jordan are:
Routes to Market
For international brands looking to enter the Jordanian market, there are the usual avenues; direct to consumer, direct to retailer, and working with intermediaries.
FMCG modern trade, online retailers, and specialist stores remain the key retail channels and routes to market for health and wellness products entering Jordan.
However, there are two routes to market which continue to experience growth in Jordan:
Mostly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the food and beverage segment will account for 1% of the total revenue generated through online sales in Jordan by 2023.
Although this is a small percentage in comparison to other markets, this represents a dramatic shift in consumer behaviour in the region.
For the last two decades, online sales of food and beverage products has been lagging in Jordan. However, in the last couple of years this area of eCommerce has seen buy-in from consumers who are now taking advantage of the ability to buy online.
Of course, there are the usual challenges such as timely delivery of perishable goods, and same or next-day delivery, which can only be addressed by eCommerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba. We do expect to see some of the larger Jordanian retail chains increasing their online presence in the coming years, but only time will truly tell.
Another area which is expanding in Jordan, particularly in the health and wellness space, is the demand for private label solutions.
If brands are struggling with market entry, then offering a local retailer the opportunity to get your products in front of consumers through private labelling, then this can be a great route to market.
When it comes to health and wellness in Jordan, like much of the Middle East, there has been a shift in consumer behaviour and attitude towards living a healthier lifestyle, particularly in light of the pandemic.
With that in mind, here are three product categories that we can expect to see grow both in size and value over the next few years.
International brands covering these categories should take note as Jordan might be the next big market for your brand!
Healthy Eating, Nutrition and Weight Management
Obesity levels in Jordan average out at 49.7% of the population. That’s 32.7% in males and 59.8% in females.
With government initiatives and health campaigns across the country, many of the population are now looking towards healthier eating and better-for-you options to help with overall weight management.
Brands in this area will do well in Jordan, particularly with the younger generations who are becoming increasingly aware of the need to make better choices to prolong their lives.
Health and wellness brands popular with Jordanian consumers in this area include:
Coming from a similar direction, the younger population of Jordan and becoming increasingly interested in fitness as another method of weight management.
With gyms and fitness centres finally re-opening after pandemic induced lockdowns, many Jordanian “gym bunnies” are looking for fitness enhancing, fortified products such as protein shakes, powders, and snacks.
Gyms are also likely to increase or start stocking fitness foods and beverages, although collecting payment may prove a challenge.
Better for you snacks
When it comes to the healthy, better for you, snacking category, there is continued demand for both sweet and savoury options in Jordan.
Keto-friendly snack brands are also increasing in popularity as consumer awareness of the ketogenic diet grows in the region.
Key snack products in Jordan are sugar-free chocolate, oat bars, cereals, and low-carb savoury snacks.
Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements
Finally, immunity boosting vitamins, minerals and supplements have seen a rise in sales during the pandemic, particularly vitamin C and general multivitamins.
We expect to see this segment continue to grow as local consumers continue to incorporate supplements into their daily lives.
Want to know more about the vitamins, minerals and supplements market in neighbouring Saudi Arabia? Check out our recent article here.
Tips and advice from our network of Jordanian retailers and distributors
We recently asked our contacts in Jordan…
Do you have any recommendations for health and wellness brands looking to enter the Jordanian market?
And here’s what they said…
Top tips there, straight from the buyers of health and wellness products in the region. We think you’ll agree that Jordan is another area of the Middle East that presents great export opportunities, despite often being overlooked.
If you’re thinking about branching into Jordan, then do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your individual needs.
We have experience supporting health and wellness brands getting products to market, as well as Jordanian retailers and distributors to source products from overseas. No matter your position, we look forward to hearing from you.