The Middle East & Africa plant-based meat and dairy products market was valued at USD 240.96 million in 2020 and is projected to witness a CAGR of 6.01 % during the forecast period (2021 - 2026).
The growing concerns among the people of Middle East about the consumption of conventional animal-based food and beverage products and the adoption of vegan diets in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak due to rising health awareness are expected to drive the plant-based growth of meat and dairy products in the region studied.
Vegan and vegetarian products are not new to the market; however, the recent wave of innovation in products that mimic the taste and structure of traditional meat and dairy products has been a game-changer as they capture meat eaters’ attention. This innovation perfectly placed the likes of Beyond Meat, Danone SA, etc. to fulfil the needs of meat-eaters when the meat industry took a hit during the COVID-19 outbreak, thus bringing in the boom in the market studied.
The shift in consumer behaviour, mainly related to animal products, is majorly due to the rising concerns regarding animal welfare, personal health, and sustainability. As per the records, 40% of children in the UAE are obese, 32% of the population has diabetes, 40% of the population has high blood pressure, Therefore, various food and beverage companies, are launching plant-based or vegan meat and dairy products in the Middle East and Africa market. Also, gaining the popularity of vegan diet and incidences of lactose intolerance are driving the market for plant-based dairy products in the region studied.
The rising consumer awareness regarding the negative impact of the consumption of meat on health is leading to a shift toward a vegan diet. Additionally, benefits of cholesterol-free protein, with meat-like texture, are one of those key factors promoting the growth of plant-based meat and dairy products in the region studied.
Key Market Trends Inclination Toward Vegan and Plant-Based Products
These days, meat and milk substitute or vegan products are becoming more popular. They exist together with meat and milk products in the market. These substitute products are appreciated by consumers due to animal welfare, environmental, and health-related reasons. ?Additionally, functional efficacy and high sustainability claims offered by plant-derived products are the factors primarily driving the plant-based meat and dairy market in the Middle East and African region.
Dairy alternatives hold wide scope for product development, pulling significant attention of manufacturers to contribute to the market. As a result, food companies are increasingly investing to cater to the appeal of novel flavours and taste profiles.
For instance, in 2020, Upfield, a Dutch plant-based company, expanded its reach in major supermarket chains across the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, and Lebanon, and in North Africa, such as Morocco, by launching its plant-based butter and cream, to achieve a significant market share with its plant-based dairy alternatives? in the region.
Increasing Consumption of Plant-Based Meat and Dairy Products in United Arab Emirates
The consumers in the United Arab Emirates consider adoption of veganism in the country as a recent development for a cleaner lifestyle and healthy habits, which is fuelling the growth in the meat substitutes market in the country, due to clinically proven health benefits of a vegan diet.
The tourism in the country from different parts of the world is also contributing to the growth of meat substitutes market of the country. The growing demand for vegan protein-based products resulted in the launch of VBites, which is a vegan food company in the country.
While physical reactions to foods are common, an increasing number of residents in the United Arab Emirates is suffering from lactose intolerances, thereby further increasing demand for dairy alternatives.
Competitive Landscape As plant-based foods undergo product innovation across western nations, market players in the Middle East and Africa region are vying on expansion through partnership. For instance, Superbom Alimentos, a company based in Brazil, has announced the international expansion of the brand to export its products to Dubai. The commercial transaction was carried out in partnership with several supermarkets in the country.
The growth of plant-based foods in both the Middle East & Africa is highly dependent on how consumers perceive such foods. In most cases, brands working in this segment must involve apt marketing and advertising practices to instigate younger consumers since they rely heavily on social media platforms and are avid “out-of-home” consumers. Some of the major companies which are operating in the market studied Danone SA, Beyond Meat Inc., Upfield, and Saudi Dairy and Food Stuff Company.
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