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The GCC dairy market is being driven by the rising demand for fresh milk, butter, and cheese in the region. The region is dependent on imports to meet the rising dairy demand as it has slow production expansion capabilities and limited natural resources. The expanding population of the region is also leading to increased consumption of dairy and dairy products, leading to greater import demand. Thus, the increasing imports of dairy into the region is contributing to the growth of the global dairy trade. The global dairy trade witnessed a hike of 15.3% in Q1 of 2018 as compared to the previous year, attaining a value of USD 33.9 billion in the period. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the major dairy importers in the GCC and globally. Its imports witnessed an estimated rise of 13.2% in 2017, as compared to the previous year. Saudi Arabia, another major dairy market in the region, is a major importer of cheese, butter, and other dairy products, with the domestic players primarily producing chilled and fresh dairy products like milk and yoghurt. The country accounts for over three-fourths of the dairy production and consumption in the region.
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The markets in the GCC is also being driven by the rising health consciousness among the consumers. Major players are developing innovative and premium products in response to consumer demand for mineral-enriched, low-calorie, low-fat and low-sugar dairy products. Al Rawabi, a UAE-based dairy company and a major player in the GCC dairy market, announced its plans to introduce heathier dairy options to meet the rising demand from consumers for more nutrient-rich products. The company introduced vitamin-enriched dairy products to help mitigate the growing vitamin D deficiency in the region. Its ‘Supermilk’ is enriched with vitamin along with other crucial minerals. The company, which caters to the cultural tastes of the region, also introduced vitamin and mineral-enriched laban, Nutreeboost, as a part of their new functional dairy products line. Their fortified product line was introduced as a part of their 2021 goals, which seeks to double their output by 2021 and expand their customer base to span other GCC countries along with some African countries. As a part of their 2021 vision, the company also seeks to reduce its dependency on imports to meet the domestic demand by expanding its production capacity. The increased dairy output by a leading player in the GCC dairy industry, thus, will aid the growth the regional market.
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Almarai Company, National Agricultural Development Company (NADEC), Al Rawabi Dairy Company, Al Ain Dairy, Saudia Dairy & Foodstuff Company (SADAFCO), Nestlé S.A., Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited, Arla Foods amba, and Lactalis Group are the key players in the GCC dairy market as identified by the EMR report. The comprehensive report covers their market share, capacity, and latest developments like mergers and acquisitions, plant turnarounds, and capacity expansions.
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