According to the study, ‘Baby Nutrition Insights: Issue 35’, various countries around the world have developments taking place in the baby nutrition sector. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey and the UAE are undergoing major changes in their baby nutrition market.
The Middle East and African countries are not among the most advanced or developed in the world but they are interesting markets for baby food and nutrition. The current Middle East & Africa Baby Food & Infant Formula Market was recently valued at a few billion US Dollars however, it is likely to reach a significant amount in the same units by 2026. Africa and the Middle East are believed to be a cradle for growth of the baby food sector because of their trends in population growth. By 2050 these regions will be home to nearly three and a half billion people which is likely to be more than the populations of India and China combined. Such an unprecedented boom will present challenges as well as opportunities for the international community such as that of baby food. Countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia alongside Israel and Turkey are prominent markets for baby food. These countries are expected to have one of the greatest growth rates. Saudi Arabia accounted for the largest revenue share in 2017. A possible reason is the conservative society of the country and increasing employment of women. After Saudi Arabia, Turkey is the second largest market for baby food in the Middle Eastern region. Turkey is believed to hold large potential of growth in the infant formula market.
Africa continues to remain a region plagued by malnutrition. Baby food here poses a special concern, if the child is not nourished from a very young age then it is unlikely that baby food will come in the picture. This is because baby food, baby cereals and other such products are used once breastfeeding is done with however, if initial nutrition is hampered then the scope for further processes is reduced.
Despite these trends the baby food sector in Middle East and Africa has been growing rapidly with the market being dominated by a few players only. Milk formula has been the largest contributor to the market followed by the dried baby food sector. Saudi Arabia has had a strong hold in the baby food industry as it is not only the leader but has performed well even in recessionary years. The country is currently witnessing increasing demand for the packaged baby food products. As the country liberalizes towards women its working women are said to drive the industry of packaged baby food due to a busy lifestyle and time constraints. Milk formula is the largest revenue generator in baby food market in Saudi Arabia. The country even seems to be going low on breastfeeding tradition and prospering on milk formula. The revenues of the milk formula market of Saudi Arabia have been increasing at a significant rate. Saudi Food Industries Co. emerged as the leading player in baby food in the country. Nestle SA is also a major player in the industry. Nido and Cerelac are known for having loyal consumers due to their longterm presence in the country. Both brands are active on social media in order to interact with their consumers and aggressive promotions ensure widespread availability of products. Major milk formula brands that are widely used in the country are Wyeth (Nestle), Similac, Aptamil and Bebelac.
The Middle East and African regions are transforming rapidly with countries such as Saudi Arabia paving the way for future developments. The country has emerged as one of the hubs for baby foods in the region and is currently among the most prosperous. The future expectations also seem to be in favor of the country’s baby food nutrition sector.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications