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SPECIAL REPORT

Mena baby food market booming

Dubai, February 14, 2014

The baby food market in Mena region has been growing at rapid pace with a CAGR of 11.2 per cent during 2007-2012 generating revenues worth $800 million, according to a report.

The countries in Mena region witnessed relatively high birth rates as compared to western countries which creates a substantial market for baby food products in the region, stated Ken Research in its recent study.

The baby food market in thre region is bifurcated on the basis of product categories which comprises milk formula, dried baby food, prepared baby food and other baby food.

Amongst the product categories, Infant formula drives the sales of entire baby food market in the Mena region, said the Ken research in the study titled ‘Mena Food Industry Outlook to 2017 – Led by Changing Lifestyles and Increased Working Women Population.’

The Ken study provides a comprehensive analysis of the various aspects such as market size, segmentation, trends and developments and future projections of the baby food market of major countries in Mena.

The report also entails a detailed description of the prominent and emerging geographic markets of the region including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and UAE.

The market is dominated by a few players. Even during the recessionary years of 2008-2009, the baby food industry in Mena fared well witnessing an annual growth of 11.7 per cent in 2008 and by 11.1 per cent in 2009, stated the market intelligence expert in its report.

According to Ken, Saudi remains the largest contributor to the revenues of baby food market in region, accounting for a 37 per cent share in 2012.

The kingdom is currently witnessing a growing demand for baby food, with a high birth rate of 19.2 births per 1,000 people noted in 2012 and rising women contribution in workplace, said the report.

The standard milk formula has been the most popular category of infant formula in the kingdom, thus accounting for a majority share of 65.1 per cent in the milk formula market in 2012, it added.

As the workforce dynamics change with increasing women participation, the time constraints of the occupation has propelled parents to opt for packaged baby food offering a convenient solution, stated the Ken report.

"Milk or infant formula is the largest revenue generator in baby food market in Saudi Arabia. Despite having a strong tradition of breastfeeding, less than nearly 20 per cent of the women exclusively breast feed their children, as they prefer infant formula," it added.

The revenues of the Saudi Arabia milk formula market has surged at a rate of 15.7 per cent over the review period of 2007-2012.

Wyeth (Nestle), Similac, Nestle Nan, Aptamil and Bebelac are some of the major standard milk formula brands in the kingdom. Other small players in the market such as Liptomil, Enfragrow and others accounted for a key share of the entire standard milk formula market in Saudi.

 As of 2012, Israel was ranked 16th among 187 world nations on the UN's Human Development Index (HDI), which places it in the group of very highly developed nations. Israel has witnessed a high demand for baby food over the past years on account of increasing urbanization and income levels along with enhanced role of women in the workplace, said the study.

On the other regional players, the study said baby food industry was growing rapidly in the UAE with growing appetite for differentiated baby food offerings amongst the parents.

The emirates with 85 per cent urban population and increasing income levels have presented a favourable picture for the growing baby food market, the study pointed out.

Ken said the overall baby food market in UAE was projected to advance with a CAGR of 16.8 per cent in revenue terms during 2012-2017.

Wyeth Progress Gold dominated the growing-up formula market in 2012 followed by other brands such as Similac Gain Plus, Nestle Nan 3 and Aptamil 3 in the UAE.

Like its GCC neighbour, Qatar too has a great potential for the baby food manufacturers. Rising consumption levels coupled with high income levels have presented a great opportunity to them in that country.

The baby food industry in Qatar is expected to witness a high growth in the coming years with a CAGR of 18.7 per cent. The rise in consumer confidence coupled with the constant increase in income levels will continue to instigate the buying behaviour for baby food in the country, the report added.

In Egypt, the baby food products market grew with a CAGR of 5.4 per cent during the years of 2007-2012, said the Ken Research  report.

"Egyptians are extremely price- sensitive, hence people belonging to high and middle class income are anticipated to remain as the major consumers of baby food in the country," said the expert while commenting on the Arab world's most populous nation.

On Morocco, Ken said the continuously changing consumer lifestyles and a high rate of population growth are expected to continue supporting the growth for the baby food segment in the country, said the report.

On the future prospects, Ken research said the Mena baby food market region promises phenomenal growth.

"As parents become increasingly aware about the nutritional requirements of their babies, they will prefer only high end products. The increasing market proceeds of the baby foods industry are anticipated to attract a growing number of players who are likely to venture in the market in order to gain substantial share of the profits," said the report.

"With high birth rates and increased role of women at the workplace, the demand for baby food in the region is expected to showcase prolific growth opportunities in the upcoming years," it added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Mena | Baby food |

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