Interest in plant-based eating and alternative proteins in the Middle East and Africa had been steadily rising pre-pandemic and was further accelerated by consumers looking at healthier options. The Middle East and Africa has the lowest per capita sales of processed meat and dairy, and so meat and dairy alternatives hold huge potential to address increasing demand. Affordable prices, trustworthy ingredients and halal certification are the keys to success in the region.
This report comes in PPT.
While there may be varying cultures of consuming dairy and meat across the different countries comprising the Middle East and Africa (MEA), plant-based eating and alternative proteins has been steadily rising and was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers in the Middle East and Africa have a higher propensity towards plant-based eating when compared to their global peers.
Health benefits are the main reason for consuming plant-based diets. Plant-based alternatives are deemed to be (and are marketed as) healthier compared to their dairy/meat counterparts. Concerns over climate change and sustainability are also driving growth, however these are still small compared to health motivations and not considered as major reasons for shifting to plant-based diets.
An effective strategy used by manufacturers is launching plant-based meat and dairy to foodservice in the region first. For example, Beyond Meat’s burger was initially served at Burger Fuel and created a buzz among consumers to try them at home. Once consumers became familiar with the products in foodservice, they became more likely to buy in retail.
Across the region, Israel is far advanced in terms of plant-based trends and the country is home to many start-ups focused on food technology, including production of cell-based meat and dairy. With the normalised relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, technological know-how is expected to be shared between these two countries and then later on with the wider region.
Factors to be considered are halal certification and ensuring that consumers trust the product. Price points are important and as more players enter the market, more consumers will be able to afford a plant-based eating lifestyle. Ingredients are also becoming more scrutinised as consumers become more conscious of food sustainability.
NOTE: Couscous, polenta and quinoa are excluded from staple foods.See All of Our Definitions
If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extraction Free!