Fats & Oils


Fats & Oils

The edible oils category is predicted to record a 4% CAGR from 2017 to 2022 in the Middle East and Africa, a slightly higher growth than the world average. A slowdown in growth in Saudi Arabia due to unfavorable economic conditions led to slower overall growth.

While sunflower oil is forecast to remain the largest edible oil category, it is expected to remain outperformed by olive oil, with a CAGR forecast of 7%. Despite increasing unit process, olive oil is set to be the most dynamic edible oil category in the Middle East and Africa. In the United Arab Emirates, olive oil sales are driven by the increasing influx of Arab and Southern European expatriates. As olive oil is considered a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, this influx naturally increased demand for olive oil. Growth for olive oil in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia is also driven by consumers who are becoming more health-conscious, and deem this type of oil healthier than others. Sunflower oil is commonly blended with other types of vegetable and seed oils, with lower unit prices and appeal to price-conscious consumers.

Other edible oils are also expected to remain a dynamic category in the Middle East and Africa, with a 5% CAGR forecast.

In Egypt, edible oils recorded current value growth of 166% in 2017. This was mostly due to the high increase in the unit price after the floatation of the Egyptian pound, in addition to population growth and a wider availability of different types of edible oils in various marketing channels throughout the country. It remains an essential product for all Egyptian households since it is widely used in cooking, frying, and preparing different kinds of foods, including desserts.

*Source: Euromonitor International

"We came to Gulfood in search of top quality ingredients to prepare our products and have been impressed by the diverse range of things to choose from. We’re have plenty of options to explore ways of enhancing our products."

Arshad Safwan, Al Khatir, Saudi Arabia

Key trends and sales drivers include:

  • Oils from sources such as vegetables, nuts and fish, in high demand among health-conscious consumers who seek low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-calorie varieties.
  • ‘Low impact processing’ varieties of oil (where nutrients are not destroyed by heat), such as virgin olive oil, raw coconut oil and cold pressed walnut oil.
  • In Saudi Arabia, consumers are shifting preference to lower-priced products, including private label.

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