Executive Summary

Aug 2018
Prospects
Wide availability of different cheese types

The United Arab Emirates is home to more than 100 nationalities. The food products available in the country are therefore very varied so as to cater for different tastes and preferences.

Packaged more popular than unpackaged cheese

Packaged cheese is more popular among consumers in the United Arab Emirates than unpackaged cheese. Packaged cheese is generally cheaper, especially in the growing hard cheese category.

Different consumption occasions

Different cheeses are consumed on different occasions. Cream cheese in triangle format is usually seen as a snack for schoolchildren.

Competitive Landscape
Almarai leads cheese

Almarai continued to lead cheese in 2018, largely thanks to its strength in spreadable processed cheese. The company benefits from having been present in the country for a long time and heavily investing in improving its product portfolio so as to meet the demands of local consumers.

Promotional activities commonplace in cheese

In 2018, manufacturers sought to ensure the strong visibility of their products in retail outlets through the heavy use of promotions, bundle offers and optimal shelf positioning. Their brands were also supported by targeted marketing and advertising campaigns at specific consumer audiences.

Mix of international and local players in cheese

In 2018, there remained a mix of players, both international, regional and local, in cheese in the United Arab Emirates, hence the category’s fragmented competitive landscape. However, in the fast growing unprocessed cheese category, particularly hard cheese, international brands remained prominent.

Prospects
Price controls limit category growth

The growth of drinking milk products in the United Arab Emirates in 2018 continued to be limited by price controls. Due to being an essential product, prices are heavily regulated by the government.

Milk alternatives the best performer

There were no major shifts in demand in 2018. The majority of consumers continued to opt for traditional products, although some chose alternatives which have been present in the marketplace for some time.

Internet retailing gains ground

Drinking milk products are readily available in the United Arab Emirates, with hypermarkets and supermarkets being the leading distribution channels. However, internet retailing, although still relatively limited in scale, is slowly gaining ground, especially when it comes to shelf stable milk which does not need to be delivered to consumers immediately.

Competitive Landscape
Al Ain Dairy leads drinking milk products

Al Ain Dairy remained the leading player in drinking milk products in 2018 thanks to its strength in fresh milk, which accounts for the majority of the wider category’s value sales. Almarai and Al Rawabi Dairy maintained their rankings of second and third, respectively.

Ace Canning Corp leads soy drinks

Ace Canning Corp remained the leading player in soy drinks in 2018. This company manufactures the brands Soyfresh, Drinho and Homesoy, which appeal to both lactose-intolerant consumers as well as those who simply consider such products to be healthier than cow’s milk.

Arla National Food Products launches organic milk

Arla National Food Products launched its first branded organic milk in the Middle East in 2017, the company’s biggest strategic growth market outside Europe. Organic food currently remains a niche in the United Arab Emirates but growth in this space is being driven by new products and strong marketing campaigns from large manufacturers.

Prospects
Health and wellness trend drives growth

In 2018, the category continued to benefit from the fact that a number of product types have long been part of the daily diets of many consumers in the United Arab Emirates. For example, laban, a type of sour milk, is a traditional local beverage which is consumed after meals or as a snack.

Flavoured yoghurt the best performer

The ongoing rise in health awareness among consumers in the United Arab Emirates continued to support the rise in popularity of products which are perceived as healthy, such as flavoured yoghurt. Local consumers are increasingly switching to flavoured yoghurt as an alternative to traditional sweet treats.

Plain yoghurt remains a very popular product

Yoghurt is considered a staple food by many of the nationalities living in the United Arab Emirates. Within local culture, as well as in the main Asian cultures present in the country, plain yoghurt is a side dish that is often served at mealtimes, hence its significant share of overall yoghurt value sales.

Competitive Landscape
Almarai and National Food Products lead the category

Almarai remained the leading player in yoghurt and sour milk products in 2018, largely thanks to its widespread distribution network and the strong visibility of its products in retail outlets. The company also benefits from a wide product portfolio under its Almarai brand, with its offering being well adapted to local tastes and consumption patterns.

Al Safi Danone leads drinking and flavoured yoghurt

Al Safi Danone ranked third in yoghurt and sour milk products in 2018 thanks to its leadership of drinking and flavoured yoghurt through the combined strength of its Activia Laban and Actimel brands. The former is based on laban, a traditionally popular sour milk drink in the Middle East, and is perceived as a healthier choice than the packaged laban products offered by other companies thanks to containing probiotics.

Agthia Group launches drinking yoghurt

In 2018, Agthia Group launched the Yop and Petits Filous drinking yoghurt brands in a bid to compete in the area of healthier alternatives to carbonated soft drinks. Yop claims to be free from preservatives, artificial colourings and flavourings and comes in strawberry, mango and peach flavours.

Prospects
Fresh milk poses strong competition to other dairy

Consumers in the GCC region generally regard dairy products as healthy. The health and wellness trend, however, has led to more consumers being able to distinguish between the health attributes of different dairy products.

Cream one of the most dynamic categories in other dairy

Cream in the United Arab Emirates comes in different formats, for example thick, cooking, whipped, whipping and half, as well as in flavours such as plain, strawberry and honey. It is an important ingredient in different dishes and drinks due to the various nationalities residing in the country.

Modern grocery retailers remains the leading distribution channel for other dairy

In 2018, other dairy products continued to be typically purchased in hypermarkets and supermarkets but also traditional grocery retailers. Internet retailing, however, continued to gain share as a result of growing interest from different dairy companies.

Competitive Landscape
Frieslandcampina Middle East remains the clear category leader

Frieslandcampina Middle East remained the clear leader in other dairy in 2018, primarily thanks to its dominance in condensed milk. The company’s main brand, Rainbow, is used in the preparation of many traditional desserts.

Pinar and Almarai the second- and third-ranked companies

Pinar Food & Beverage Group and Almarai ranked second and third, respectively, in other dairy in 2018. The position of Pinar Food & Beverage can be attributed to the strength of its labneh product, which is a type of fromage frais and quark.

Economy brands lead sales

The majority of value sales in other dairy are accounted for by economy brands, such as the above-mentioned Rainbow. Low prices are used to attract low-income and price-sensitive expatriate workers, while higher-income consumers tend to purchase fresh milk instead of condensed milk.

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Overview

Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Dairy industry in United Arab Emirates with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.

Find hidden opportunities in the most current research data available, understand competitive threats with our detailed market analysis, and plan your corporate strategy with our expert qualitative analysis and growth projections.

If you're in the Dairy industry in United Arab Emirates, our research will save you time and money while empowering you to make informed, profitable decisions.

The Dairy in United Arab Emirates market research report includes:

  • Analysis of key supply-side and demand trends
  • Detailed segmentation of international and local products
  • Historic volumes and values, company and brand market shares
  • Five year forecasts of market trends and market growth  
  • Robust and transparent market research methodology, conducted in-country

Our market research reports answer questions such as:

  • What is the market size of Dairy in United Arab Emirates?
  • What are the major brands in United Arab Emirates?
  • How has the economic downturn impacted sales performance given its staple food status?
  • Given mounting obesity concerns, are consumers moving from full-fat to reduced fat/fat-free offerings?
  • How are volatile farmgate prices for milk impacting retail prices and sales performance?

Why buy this report?

  • Gain competitive intelligence about market leaders
  • Track key industry trends, opportunities and threats
  • Inform your marketing, brand, strategy and market development, sales and supply functions

This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.

Butter and Spreads

Cheese

Drinking Milk Products

Other Dairy

Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products

Packaged Food in the United Arab Emirates - Industry Overview

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The introduction of VAT leads to more cautious consumer spending
Slower growth in 2018 than the review period average
Leading companies retain their rankings
Hypermarkets and supermarkets remain the leading distribution channels
Stable growth expected over the forecast period

FOODSERVICE

Sales to Foodservice
Companies distributing in retail strengthen their foodservice sales
Drinking yoghurt is the most dynamic product
Federal Foods leads sales to foodservice
Consumer Foodservice
Saturation leads to lower growth in 2018
Increased health awareness leads to an opportunity for new concepts
Online ordering and delivery platforms enhance the competitive environment
Category Data
Table 1 Foodservice Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Volume 2013-2018
Table 2 Foodservice Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Volume Growth 2013-2018
Table 3 Forecast Foodservice Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Volume 2018-2023
Table 4 Forecast Foodservice Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Volume Growth 2018-2023

MARKET DATA

Table 5 Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Volume 2013-2018
Table 6 Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Volume Growth 2013-2018
Table 7 Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Value Growth 2013-2018
Table 8 GBO Company Shares of Packaged Food: % Value 2014-2018
Table 9 NBO Company Shares of Packaged Food: % Value 2014-2018
Table 10 LBN Brand Shares of Packaged Food: % Value 2015-2018
Table 11 Penetration of Private Label by Category: % Value 2013-2018
Table 12 Distribution of Packaged Food by Format: % Value 2013-2018
Table 13 Distribution of Packaged Food by Format and Category: % Value 2018
Table 14 Forecast Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Volume 2018-2023
Table 15 Forecast Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Value 2018-2023
Table 16 Forecast Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Volume Growth 2018-2023
Table 17 Forecast Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Value Growth 2018-2023

SOURCES

Summary 1 Research Sources