Middle East Dairy consumption grows by 50% in just 5 years


GCC (Gulf Corporation Council) names Saudi Arabia as the largest dairy market

Dairy consumption 1Production of dairy products is growing at a brisk rate and it is happening on a constant basis. Countries irrespective of their economic status –developed or developing kinds are paying strict attention to the investments and consumptions with regards to the dairy industry. A better dairy industry performance not only helps in maintaining a healthy environment in the nation but it also hikes and enhances the condition of the economy as dairy exports mint in huge amounts of foreign exchange helping in the betterment. Dairy companies around the globe are working round the clock in tendon with local as well as international authorities in order to boost up the production levels. About 380 million liters of milk is processed per year in total by all the dairy product companies over the globe.

Developing nations like India and China indicate huge potentials for dairy markets so much so that leading dairy product manufacturers are eyeing to invest further and expand their existence. The Gulf countries are exciting markets too for the products which are growing hugely. The Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) has estimated a consumption increase of 50% in just a span of 5 years. It also indicates that Saudi Arabia is the largest dairy market having a major demand of 74% out of the total consumption.

Asian countries had recorded the largest growth in the global dairy market with 34% of the total dairy imports by the year 2011. Moreover, the region accounted for more than 53% of the SMP (Skimmed Milk Powder) and 40% of the total WMP (Whole Milk Powder) imports globally.

The Saudi region also leads the gulf in the consumption per person and the consumers from Kuwait are termed to be the highest spenders under the dairy industry. Fresh unflavored white milk is the lead selling product from the dairy industry having a massive market share of 41%, it is followed by cheese and laban (buttermilk) which hold a share of 22% and 21% shares respectively in the gulf dairy market. According to a market research, the eating habits of the gulf is slowly swinging away from the high carbohydrate food items in favor to the protein rich foodstuffs such as egg, milk, meat and other dairy products increasing the overall dairy revenues. Urbanization in the gulf regions is seen as the most prominent factor for the developments of industries mainly the dairy segment. Due to the urbanization; there is growth in the occupation opportunities which makes way to a better lifestyle.

GCC’s favorite dairy product is the unflavored white milk which is locally popular as the healthiest drink providing vital nutrients like potassium, calcium and vitamin D. according to 2012 consumption record, the consumption volume of this unflavored white milk had an increase of 6.8% from the previous year and reached a colossal consumption of 1.5 billion kilograms.

Laban took the second place on the list of largest growing dairy items in 2012 with a growth rate of 9% for an annum. Although, its consumption value hardly reaches half of white milk’s.

Yoghurt is another dairy product which is seeing a consumption hike due to the hot climate conditions in the region. The product also enhances the digestive system of the body which is the biggest benefit for the consumers. This segment witnessed a growth rate of above 7.5% (around 7.7%) in its consumption by the year 2012.

In addition to the unflavored white milk market which is doing notably well in the region, there is an inclusion of flavored milk drinks which are available in a variety of tastes like banana, mango, chocolate and strawberry. These differently flavored milk products are a huge success amongst teenagers and kids and they are also catching attention of foreign consumers who land in gulf for a tour.