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20 Jun 2024

Discover the Latest Trends and Opportunities in the UAE Sweets and Snacks Market

Discover the Latest Trends and Opportunities in the UAE Sweets and Snacks Market
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The UAE Sweets and Snacks Market is experiencing steady growth and is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 3.6% between 2024 and 2030. This is driven by evolving consumer preferences, increasing health consciousness and the Emirates’ strategic positioning in the global food industry.

Let’s uncover five key trends and the opportunities they present for snacks and confectionery businesses.

Trend #1: Chocolate Leads the Segment

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Retail sales of chocolate confectionery in the UAE grew by around 13% from 2020 – 2022 and are expected to maintain around 6.6% annual growth by 2025. This signifies that there would be opening of more supermarkets & hypermarkets in the UAE during the forecast period. Therefore, it is essential for snack and confectionery businesses to innovate and expand their product offerings with a focus on chocolate to cater to this growing demand.

Trend #2: Dubai Dominates the Regional Market

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Dubai is expected to maintain its dominance with the highest share in the UAE Snacks Market in the coming years, primarily due to high-level investments and a robust retail infrastructure. In particular, 2023 was characterized by the Emirate’s emergence as a hub for diverse cultural festivals and events that include the sharing of snacks as part of hospitality and feature related vendors, leading to increased consumption and seasonal sales spikes.

Trend #3: Key Players Driving the Industry

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The major players driving the UAE Snacks Market are Mars, Inc., PepsiCo Inc., Nestle Middle East, Kellogg Co, Mondelez International Inc., IFFCO Group, Ferrero & Related Parties, National Food Industries LLC (NFI), Savola Group Co, and Perfetti Van Melle Group. These international entities are expected to continue driving the growth of the UAE sweets & snacks market through product innovation, expanding distribution networks and strategic partnerships

Trend #4: Halal Industry Opportunities Are Soaring

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The UAE is positioning itself as a driving force for the global halal food industry, taking advantage of its strategic location while also playing a leadership role in defining international quality standards and processes for this burgeoning food sector. The UAE government has demonstrated its commitment to bolstering the halal industry in recent years. A few of the initiatives include facilitating halal certification processes, setting international standards, and promoting the export of halal products. In the sweets and snacks category, halal sweets are an emerging segment that businesses can take advantage of if they’re looking to expand their product portfolio.

Trend #5: Growing Demand for Plant-Based Snacks

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Health-consciousness is only on the rise and subsequently there is growing demand for plant-based snacks that align with healthier lifestyle choices. Consumers are eschewing traditional snack foods in favor of plant-based snacks that are richer in nutrients, less processed and lower in unhealthy fats. This is fueling the booming demand for healthier snack options and is a trend that is expected to continue in the UAE market for years to come.

Overall, the UAE Snacks Market is on a very promising growth trajectory, driven by changing consumer preferences, strategic government initiatives and advancements in food technology. If you’re a local or international business looking to gain entry to new markets, innovate your product offering and expand your professional network, visit ISM Middle East 2024 from 24 – 26 September. This must-attend event is MENA’s premier sweets and snacks show and is the ultimate catalyst to build your business in the UAE and beyond.

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