Food, Beverages and Tobacco in Middle East and Africa

November 2021

The Middle East and Africa remains one of the smallest food and beverage-producing regions globally, registering turnover of USD442 billion in 2020. Furthermore, the region remains highly dependent on imports. Nevertheless, expanding populations, rising average incomes, urbanisation as well as potential to increase manufacturing productivity from currently low levels provide incentives to invest in the food industry in the region.

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Key Findings

Middle East and Africa to continue underperforming in food and beverage production in global context

Rapidly expanding population will ensure increasing domestic demand for food and beverages in the Middle East and Africa region, however the industry’s production development remains hindered by low productivity, limited domestic agricultural output and low investment levels into upgrading the production facilities in most African countries.

Bakery products gain growth momentum in the region

Dairy and grain mill production will remain the largest food processing industries over the outlook period, however bakery products are set on the steepest value growth path. African populations are registering rising urbanisation, as a result creating demand for faster meal options.

Rapid growth for bottled water demand to boost soft drinks industry’s revenues

Soft drinks and more specifically bottled water is projected a steep growth trajectory in most Middle East and Africa countries, given the ongoing scarcity of clean, accessible and safe drinking water as well as significant population growth.

Industry concentration remains relatively low

The food, beverages and tobacco industry remains dominated by small companies, yet large food-producing enterprises are gradually expanding their presence across African markets. The rising income levels and increasing urbanisation stimulated demand for more value-added foods, animal proteins and foreign flavours.

Middle East and Africa region remains a net importer

Given the strained agricultural production, slow innovation levels in manufacturing and rising urbanisation, the region is unlikely to significantly reduce dependency on food imports.


Key findings

Production Outlook

Middle East and Africa lags behind in food, beverages and tobacco production
Israel to be one of the main growth drivers regionally
Bakery products to lead food industry’s revenue growth
Bottled water to drive Nigerian soft drinks market growth
Future growth to be driven by expanding grain mill, bakery products and dairy
Diversity in food industry’s structure across the Middle East and Africa
Soft drinks and beer dominate beverage production in the region

Competitive Landscape

Low industry concentration to tighten over the forecast period

Foreign Trade

Egypt to ramp up frozen fruit and vegetable exports
Dependency on food imports to remain across the Middle East and Africa

Country Snapshots

Algeria: production context
Algeria: foreign trade landscape
Angola : production context
Angola : foreign trade landscape
Cameroon : production context
Cameroon : foreign trade landscape
Egypt : production context
Egypt : foreign trade landscape
Ethiopia : production context
Ethiopia : foreign trade landscape
Ghana : production context
Ghana : foreign trade landscape
Iran : production context
Iran : foreign trade landscape
Iraq : production context
Iraq : foreign trade landscape
Israel : production context
Israel : foreign trade landscape
Kenya : production context
Kenya : foreign trade landscape
Kuwait : production context
Kuwait : foreign trade landscape
Morocco : production context
Morocco : foreign trade landscape
Nigeria : production context
Nigeria : foreign trade landscape
Qatar : production context
Qatar : foreign trade landscape
Saudi Arabia : production context
Saudi Arabia : foreign trade landscape
South Africa : production context
South Africa : foreign trade landscape
Tunisia : production context
Tunisia : foreign trade landscape
United Arab Emirates : production context
United Arab Emirates : foreign trade landscape


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