Saudi’s e-commerce trends: Preference for processed food dips as health demands soar

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

More Saudi consumers are buying healthier food, such as whole grains and organic food, according to Danube, Saudi Arabia’s hypermarket. ©iStock
More Saudi consumers are buying healthier food, such as whole grains and organic food, according to Danube, Saudi Arabia’s hypermarket. ©iStock

Related tags Health Organic e-commerce

More Saudi shoppers are buying healthier food, such as whole grains and organic food, while demand for highly processed food have dropped.

Danube, Saudi Arabia’s hypermarket, which also operates the country’s first e-commerce grocery platform, released new trends observed in its online grocery shopping application Danube App last week.

Findings released showed that both male and female consumers are becoming more health conscious, with an almost “identical rise”​ in demand for healthier food, such as whole grains, organic food, fruits and vegetables.

The trend was seen alongside a dip in the demand for highly processed food.

Riding on the waves of healthy living, Danube last year added a superfood section that features quinoa, chia seeds as well as various high protein food in its retail stores. 

Besides Danube, other grocery retailers, such as Manuel and Carrefour are also increasing their offerings of better-for-you products.

A Euromonitor report published last June noted that these retailers have “played a key role in popularising better-for-you packaged food among Saudi consumers in recent years” ​with their “wide assortments of imported better-for-you packaged food brands”.

“Over 2016-2017, these retailers responded to increased budget-consciousness among consumers by expanding their offers of lower-priced imported better-for-you products,”​ the report added.

For instance, food manufacturer Fromageries Bel SA has set the retail price of its spreadable cheese product that was lower in sodium and fat at similar prices as other regular spreadable processed cheese.

During the recent Gulfood conference, OZCO research manager Hamza Nizal also emphasised that Saudi’s healthier food market was booming​, with demand for organic foods, gluten-free, vegan and high-protein foods rising, yet, consumers remained highly cost-conscious at the same time.

Men’s participation

On the other hand, the findings showed that more men were buying baby products, including baby food.

In the past 12 months, the number of male consumers buying baby products grew by more than 5%, while there was also a 5% drop in female consumers ordering these products.

“A great fact from our online shopping behaviour data is the gender gap narrowing across the baby product categories. From this insight, we can surmise that one of the ways new fathers in the Kingdom are supporting their wives with the arrival of newborns is taking on the tasks of grocery shopping,” ​said Majed M Al Tahan, co-founder and CEO of Danube Online.

“Online shopping can be a convenient fast way to get these items at home and it’s a nice trend to observe,” ​he added.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Elevate your snacks with novel cheese flavours

Elevate your snacks with novel cheese flavours

Content provided by Givaudan | 23-Feb-2024 | Product Brochure

Aside from conducting desk research to understand snacking preferences and taste profiles among consumers in the Asia Pacific, Givaudan also embarked on...

How Korean culture penetrated the APAC food industry?

How Korean culture penetrated the APAC food industry?

Content provided by BIOSPRINGER, natural Yeast ingredients | 17-Jan-2024 | White Paper

Korean food is on-trend in Asia. We mainly find Korean taste in noodles, sauces & dressings, pickled condiments, ready meals and savory snacks.

Empowering Women Through the Life Cycle

Empowering Women Through the Life Cycle

Content provided by Glanbia Nutritionals | 07-Nov-2023 | Product Brochure

As discussions around female empowerment widen, and advances in women’s health access and provision accelerate, the implications for business, healthcare,...

Analyzing the unknown threat from Microplastics

Analyzing the unknown threat from Microplastics

Content provided by Agilent Technologies | 06-Nov-2023 | Infographic

Microplastics are any plastic-derived synthetic solid particle or polymeric matrix, ranging in size from 1 µm to 5 mm and insoluble in water.

Related suppliers

Follow us

Webinars

Food & Beverage Trailblazers

F&B Trailblazers Podcast