F&B across the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia

Vineetha Sony | 16 Oct 2022 | Middle East perspective

The Food and Beverage (F&B) industry in Saudi Arabia is the largest in the Middle East and is valued at over USD 45 billion. Recent raft of significant tourism activities in Saudi Arabia, clearly indicates that the country is moving towards becoming a world-class global tourism hub. With limited options available for entertainment, the culture of eating at restaurants gained higher preference in the country which has augmented the demand for global cuisines, thus boosting the number of foodservice outlets.

The Saudi Arabian foodservice market is a fragmented and competitive market with numerous players differentiating themselves on the basis of pricing, quality of food service, calorie intake per meal, and healthier menu options.

Like many countries, dining at quick service and fast-food restaurants or going to cafes/coffee shops has emerged as a primary way to socialize with friends. The full-service restaurant segment constitutes the major share in the market, owing to the strong presence of the millennial population, the growing tourism industry, and acceptance of different cuisines across the country.

In combination this has resulted in some interesting trends and opportunities in this market:

  • Local consumers are becoming increasingly selective in their desire for more unique experiences. The increased focus on experience is shifting from Fast Food to Fast Casual formats as consumers attach greater weight to a quality experience rather than just convenience.
  • Local brands are demonstrating they can compete effectively against international giants, leading to opportunities for “home grown” concepts, particularly for those offering healthy options utilizing locally sourced ingredients.
  • As with consumers elsewhere, those in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are becoming increasingly concerned with health & wellness and this is beginning to reflect in their food choices.
  • While more people will go outside the home to share their eating experience, the market for home delivery will remain sizeable. It is increasingly common for food to be delivered to workplaces across Saudi. Also, as the range of entertainment and sporting venues increases in line with the aims of Vision 2030, so will the demand for food delivery to those attending events in public spaces.

An increased interest in this market is underlined by the fact that the very first Saudi Food & Beverage Show & The Saudi Food Manufacturing Show will be held in Riyadh from June 20-22, 2023. The inaugural event will be affiliated to GULFOOD Global, the world’s largest go-to event brand trusted by the global F&B industry. Reach out to us to know more and how we could support you gain access to this burgeoning market.