Demand for dairy products has come under severe pressure due to Lebanon’s protracted economic and social crisis. With demand shifting towards the lowest-cost options, many are turning to unpackaged artisanal dairy products, especially in traditional categories such as milk, cheese and fromage frais and quark, while black market and grey market imports are also gaining ground.
Lebanon is a major producer of dairy products that range from local yoghurt (Labneh) to white and yellow cheeses and a wide range of modern, value-added products across numerous dairy categories. However, the country’s dairy market struggled to function effectively in 2022 due to the multi-layered political, economic and social crisis which has struck Lebanon in recent years.
The Lebanese are generally very enthusiastic consumers of a wide range of dairy products. As such, per capita sales of cheese, labneh, laban and milk are high and all of these products form a key part of the everyday diets of a high proportion of the country’s population.
Lebanon’s economic collapse continued to build over the course of 2022. Hyperinflation caused by the collapse in the exchange value of the Lebanese pound against the US dollar and other benchmark currencies has made the cost of basic necessities very difficult to bear for the majority of consumers.
Lebanon’s deeply rooted infrastructure issues have been further exacerbated with the onset of the economic and social crisis. Power cuts that were already common have become total blackouts that can last for weeks and even months.
The ongoing economic and social crisis will undoubtedly remain the most important factor influencing dairy products and alternatives to Lebanon during the forecast period. In particular, importers and manufacturers are expected to continue facing huge challenges due to fluctuations and anomalies in the exchange rate between the Lebanese pound and the US dollar, among other benchmark level currencies, and this is set to result in huge price increases for imported products as well as a dramatic rise in the cost of various inputs, raw materials and packaging materials required to manufacture products locally, resulting in higher unit prices across the board.
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Dairy Products and Alternatives
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