While the Middle East region has a culturally entrenched set of menu items that have been historically consumed for breakfast, this seems to be slowly transitioning from traditional to modern westernized dishes. This report studies the forces leading to the change in consumption patterns within the region and their impact on the value growth of the breakfast cereals category.
Despite MEA having the lowest per capita consumption after Asia Pacific and an average market size, there is much room for growth, with the region having one of the youngest populations worldwide, and with increased urbanisation across sub-Saharan Africa. Growth is also being driven by innovation in the health and wellness arena, with brands competing to deliver healthier, fortified and natural breakfast cereals.
The high obesity rate across the GCC and increasing health concerns across the region have led multiple countries to enforce a sugar tax to cap the amount of sugar in packaged food. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and South Africa have already implemented sugar taxes on beverages and are studying proposals to apply a similar tax to packaged food items soon. The Israeli government has also announced a technique to label packaged food with a high content of sugar and/or salt.
As consumers are becoming budget-conscious, private label is increasing its value sales. Countries such as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Cameroon and Israel have seen the increasing prominence of private label products across retail shelves. With established distribution chains across multiple territories, the private label share will only increase in the forecast period.
With improved infrastructure across the region and increased urbanisation, consumers are becoming accustomed to the convenience and wide choice available through modern retail outlets and are slowly abandoning traditional retailers in the main cities. On the other hand, residents in rural areas still prefer traditional retailers for their proximity and economic prices.
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