Mazola signs UAE distribution deal as GCC consumption grows

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Middle east, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Uae

Global cooking oil major Mazola is placing its focus on expanding even further into the Middle East’s growing non-retail sector by appointing Farm Fresh as its new distributor for food-service business in the UAE.

Farm Fresh is a leading marketer and distributor of branded frozen, chilled and dry food products in the UAE and Oman, and has a direct reach and coverage over all market segments, Mazola said in a statement.

Simon Gottfried, vice-president for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “We feel that this move will give us the opportunity to increase business amongst professional staff that appreciate the quality and range of products that Mazola has to offer​.”

The UAE distribution deal comes after Mazola gained ground in Saudi Arabia, the GCC’s biggest food consumer, where it has risen to become the second-biggest corn-oil supplier following average annual growth of 3% since 2014.

According to a study by Alpen Capital Middle East, an analyst, the UAE is expected to witness the fastest growth in food consumption by 2019 as a result of its growing population.

Growth there is forecast at a rate of 3.5% between 2014 and 2019, to reach nearly 52m tonnes of oil.

Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain have also shown similar growth patterns, ranging from 2.7% to 3.2%. Qatar led the GCC food consumption growth at an annualised rate of 5.5%, followed by the UAE at 4.8%.

Consumer spending in in the GCC food retail sector is expected to be worth almost US$106bn by 2017.  

According to Alpen, Saudi Arabia will continue to lead the region’s food sector, accounting for 59% of the total consumption up until 2017. The country currently consumes 872kg of food per capita, compared to 852kg in Qatar, 634kg in Kuwait and 453kg in Bahrain. By 2017, per-capita food consumption for the entire region is forecast to reach 983kg.

The UAE’s reliance on food imports amounts to more than 80% of its food needs with expectations of a compound annual growth rate of 8% on food and beverages spending in the UAE up till 2018, according to Euromonitor projections.

Related topics: Business, Middle East, Supply chain

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