Exploring opportunities in the vibrant F&B industry in Saudi Arabia

Exploring opportunities in the vibrant F&B industry in Saudi Arabia

There are loads of reasons why InFlavour is happening in Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). But today we want to focus on just one critical factor behind our decision to create a world class F&B event here: market opportunity for companies in the sector.

Saudi Arabia is a rapidly-growing market for food and beverage (F&B) businesses. With its growing economy, increasing population, and rising demand for quality F&B products, the country offers a range of profitable opportunities for businesses that want to grow.

Let’s take a closer look at why your F&B business should get to know the KSA market. .

Demand for high quality food products in KSA

There’s an increasing demand for diverse and high quality food products. As the country's population grows and becomes more affluent, consumers are increasingly seeking out a wider range of food options, from international cuisines to gourmet products. This is significant for F&B businesses looking to offer unique and innovative products that cater to this growing demand.

The food market in Saudi Arabia is projected to grow by 4% from 2023-2028, reaching USD $72.49 billion in 2028. Within that growth, the ready-to-cook food market is gaining traction, as consumers seek convenient, quality solutions for healthy meals at home – this market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.73% up to 2028.

For restaurant and hospitality businesses, the demand is increasing even more rapidly. The food service market is predicted to more than double from $14.16 billion in 2022 to $30.47 billion in 2029 – that’s a CAGR of 11.57%.

And one of the most significant (and potentially lucrative) trends is the increasing focus among consumers on healthy and sustainable food options. Driven by young adults, there’s a shift towards healthy food habits – with one survey finding that 88.4% of respondents encourage their friends to buy healthy foods; and 59.6% expect the demand for unhealthy fast food will decline if restaurants offer more healthy options.

Saudi Arabia tourism is on the rise – backed by the government

Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry is also expanding, with backing from the government – and this is creating new scope for both local and international F&B businesses to position themselves in the market.

With the government investing heavily in tourism infrastructure and promoting the country as a leading new destination for visitors, the number of tourists coming to Saudi Arabia is expected to increase hugely in the coming years.

Research by the OECD shows that tourism is one of Saudi Arabia’s fastest growing sectors. And the KSA has set out ambitious goals for tourism in the Vision 2030 – aiming to attract 100 million annual visits by 2030, and create one million new tourism-related job opportunities within the same time period.

This means F&B businesses need to prepare to cater to the needs of a boom in tourist numbers; offering a wide range of dining options and experiences to satisfy a global customer base.

And the business ecosystem is ready to support growth

As well as specific food-focused opportunities, F&B can also benefit from the country's favorable business environment. With a young and educated workforce, a strategic location, and a stable economy, Saudi Arabia offers a brilliant environment for businesses to thrive.

The government has launched numerous initiatives specifically geared at supporting businesses as they establish themselves and grow. These initiatives include benefits and incentive programs for companies of all sizes – from global incumbents that want to establish new headquarters in KSA, to early-stage startups seeking investment or a foot in the door.

Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in high-growth industries – including F&B. In June 2023, the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources announced that $20 billion will be invested in the food and beverage industry by 2035, as part of the National Industry Strategy, which is working to increase food security and economic diversification.

So KSA is an attractive market for F&B businesses looking to expand their reach and grow their profits. Local consumers, international tourism opportunities, and government backing means there are huge opportunities here – and at InFlavour, we’re excited to play a role in solidifying KSA as a global hub for food.

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