Why the Middle East food service market is a big opportunity

Why the Middle East food service market is a big opportunity

According to a report by DigiRoads Research, the food service market in the Middle East has an estimated value of USD $55.65 billion in 2024. It’s projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.14% over the next 10 years, reaching $158.53 billion in 2034. 

This makes it a key opportunity for F&B businesses in the region. With an influx of international residents and tourists, increasing wealth among residents, and a rich culinary heritage combined with modern consumer taste preferences, food service customers are seeking out new eating experiences. 

Cities including Doha, Dubai, and Riyadh are fast becoming gastronomic destinations for citizens and international visitors. They’re home to an increasingly wide range of restaurants and cafes – including traditional establishments, global food chains, and a busy food delivery sector. 

Traditionally, cuisine in the Middle East is full of bold flavours. And that’s an exciting foundation for building a dynamic (and delicious) food service space – with new influences meeting traditional ones in innovative ways. 

Why is the Middle East food service market growing at pace?

Young professionals in the region are experiencing a rise in disposable income. And this means they’ve got more to spend on eating out. More people are also embracing busy urban lifestyles, with professional occupations that take up a lot of their time – creating a high demand for convenient eating options, including restaurants and food delivery services. 

A growing number of consumers in the Middle East are becoming more educated about nutrition and healthy diets – and that’s driving an increase in demand for clean and healthy eating, with health-focused restaurants having a moment. 

And the region is also welcoming more tourists than before, particularly in popular cities. For the food service sector, this serves two key purposes: bringing in new customers, and exposing local residents to international foods that are then integrated into local dining experiences. 

Underpinning all of this is a push from government initiatives and investors to increase local food production and strengthen the F&B ecosystem in the region. 

Where are the key opportunities for F&B brands? 

We think healthy food, digitisation, and convenience are three key focus areas for F&B brands that want to tap into this growing market. 

Consumers want access to hyper-convenient dining options – which means you need to offer digital ordering and fast delivery services. And they want to eat well and support their health through good nutrition; so healthy food offerings are more likely to thrive long-term. 

Finally, for a diverse (and increasingly so) population, it’s important that the food service industry caters to diverse tastes, cultural specifications, and food preferences. In doing so, F&B businesses can position themselves as key players here, and set themselves up for future success. 

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