Saudi Arabia's food processing sector is well-established and poised to expand rapidly in the future years. Domestic, regional, and worldwide demand for Saudi food items has been rising year after year, with seafood, dates, and halal market leading the way. This industry also benefits from a well-developed ecosystem that is ready to fulfill the high standards and rising expectations of the expanding marketplace.
The Kingdom is well-known for its authentic Halal food items and has the potential to lead the $1.3 trillion global Halal industry. Investors must feel confident about the Saudi food processing sector given its established excellence and lucrative prospects
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Agriculture & Food Processing Sector
food processing localization target rate by 2030
food and beverage market size and expected to grow at 3% per year over the next five years
Large and growing local and regional markets
- Saudi Arabia’s food and beverage (F&B) market is the largest in the Middle East. The market has a value of $42 billion and will expand at a pace of 3% up to 2030.
- The F&B market is fueled by a growing population and an increase in the number of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, and a growing focus on national resilience and food security.
- The average household is reported to spend 18% of total expenditure on F&B, which is a domestic demand that amounts to 60% of the total consumption in the GCC.
- In 2019, imports exceeded $20.4 billion, which raises the prospect of significant import-substitution opportunities for Saudi-based F&B producers to serve the untapped local demand for dairy, meat and fruit products.
Unique dates endowment making it a suitable market for exports
- Saudi dates have a unique advantage over competitors thanks to Saudi Arabia's nutrient-rich soil which enables to produce Ajwa Madinah and Mabroum Sukari dates, resulting in excellent potential to produce high-quality and distinct dates.
- The global date harvest is anticipated to be more than 6 million tons per year, with the Kingdom accounting for 11.5% of that with a yearly production of more than 1.5 million tons – positioning the Kingdom among the top three global producers of dates
- The Kingdom's 31 million date palms with 123 thousand farms and produce over 400 different types of dates. Production rates are steadily increasing at a time when global demand has also picked up the pace.
An ocean of fish guaranteeing big catches
- Saudi Arabia's seas are naturally endowed with a fish capacity of 5 million tons. Saudi Arabia is an approved supplier of seafood to the EU and can expand its large production capacities and capitalize on the export market's insatiable demand.
- Saudi Arabia is on track to be the first country in the world to have national level Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification.
- Shrimps, mackerels, and crabs make up most of the aquaculture market demand and significant growth in aquaculture market demand have raised the need for alternative and sustainable forms of fish farming.
- Domestic consumption of fish is expected to grow by 5% per annum until 2030, which translates to a significant increase from 310 tons to 865 tons. This is driven by rapid growth of the Kingdom’s population per capita consumption
- Ambitious aquaculture targets have been set to increase the production of fish to 530,000 tons by 2030,
- The aquacultural industry has a plethora of options to export high-quality seafood goods to countries that covet the rich waters of the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.
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