Health and Wellness Market
In this section, we’re going to take a look at some of the primary product categories that we feel international H&W brands should be maximising on in the Gulf.
Forecasted sales of H&W products in the UAE are expected to reach 2.2 billion USD by 2024, with a CAGR of 13.8% between 2019 and 2024. In KSA, forecasted sales are 4.7 billion USD and 7.5% CAGR.
The data presented has been collated from a variety of Euromonitor reports. It is important to note here that, unfortunately, Kuwait is not covered by Euromonitor, and therefore it is difficult to find comparative data on such a granular level.
This should not deter you from looking at Kuwait as a potential export opportunity, in fact because it is a smaller territory, and often overlooked, there is less competition particularly when it comes to H&W.
Across the Gulf, the free from category continues to grow, for a few reasons. Consumers are more aware of intolerances to gluten, dairy and lactose, choosing free from options where available, whilst more people are decreasing the amount of meat and animal products they eat, moving towards a plant-based diet.
What’s quite interesting from the forecast period (2019-2024), is the split in product categories between UAE and KSA in that the top-five categories in KSA are all dairy or lactose related. In comparison, the split is more diverse in UAE.
The organic sector in the Middle East grew exponentially between 2014-2019, as we can see in the table below. Although growth is expected to slow in KSA during the forecast period, there is still an opportunity for international brands to enter the market, particularly organic sweet and savoury snacks.
In comparison, the organic segment of the UAE is predicted to experience steady growth. Local consumers are starting to make more conscious decisions when it comes to what they are putting in their bodies. Ethically sourced ingredients, non-GMO, free of additives, and preservative free products are all in demand.
Naturally Healthy Beverages
The NH beverage category grows consistently year-on-year in the Gulf. Due to the warm climate, bottled juices, water and cold-brewed tea are commodity products across the UAE, KSA and Kuwait.
Thanks to the younger demographics, consumers are open to unusual, exotic flavours, particularly Asian beverages such as matcha and bubble tea. Fruit and herbal teas also continue to grow, as well as increased demand for carbonated drinks.
Naturally Healthy Packaged Food
Packaged foods will also experience steady growth during the forecast period, with similar demand for products across the UAE and KSA. With this in mind, we can also assume that these products are popular in Kuwait.
When combined with the organic segment, there is a great opportunity for international brands offering organic oils, honey and fruit snacks.
On a separate note, the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet is increasing in popularity across the Gulf region and we can expect to see more brands entering the market over the next five years. Keto is particularly popular in KSA.
Who doesn’t like a good savoury snack? This huge market still offers export opportunities for international brands, despite how saturated it already is. So where are the current openings?
As we’ve already seen, the organic segment is growing in popularity, as is the demand for free from products. Brands who manufacture savoury snacks that also cross into these areas are sure to maximise on the available shelf space.
We can see from the table above that the top five product categories are the same across the UAE and KSA. Due to its popularity and continued growth, the savoury snack segment allows international brands to enter multiple territories in the Gulf at once, so if this is your forte then definitely consider all three countries.