MEA expected to outperform world sales in Dairy

With a 4% forecast CAGR from 2017 to 2022, the Middle East and Africa is predicted to outperform world sales, which are expected to see a 2% CAGR. Annual per capita sales in the region remain low, at US$31, corresponding to less than half of the world’s average.

Product affordability and an underdeveloped cold chain infrastructure in many markets remain key barriers to increased adoption of dairy products in many markets. However, markets with developed modern grocery channels, notably Saudi Arabia and the UAE, benefit from a wider availability of perishable dairy products. Both countries have higher per capita sales than the average for the Middle East and Africa for cheese.

Among the largest markets, Iran has seen a stagnation of sales, while Algeria and Saudi Arabia recorded rapid growth. In Algeria, the affordability of cheese was improved by small portions allowing cheese to be sold individually, as well as by products suitable for non-chilled storage enabling to lower unit prices and target low-income consumers.

Yoghurt and sour milk products has seen a strong performance across most key markets, notably Algeria and Egypt, although it has seen a decline in Iran. In Egypt, a shift from unpackaged to packaged yoghurt helped fuel growth, while drinking yoghurts also saw a rise in popularity.

*Source: Euromonitor International

"It has been really encouraging to see so many MDs, CEOs and business owners on the exhibition floor. I was also impressed by the diverse geographical range of visitors, and there’s been lots of interesting questions about our products and innovations, particularly around our milk protein solutions."

Simon Penfold, GM for Middle East and Africa, NZMP

Key trends and sales drivers include:

  • Greater product variety and more convenient products on offer drive yoghurt sales
  • Non-dairy milk alternatives are increasingly present, whilst remaining a niche
  • Organic products, notably milk, are making gains thanks to wider availability
  • Flavoured variants of dairy products
  • Dairy products marketed to children, notably cheese and butter, providing solutions for on-the-go consumption and lunchboxes


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