Packaged food includes partial or whole food items or beverages, pre-packed in the packaging so that the external environment can not alter the usability of the content inside unless it's not opened. The consumption of packaged food is rapidly growing among the urban population in Qatar since it provides convenient food options. The demand for packaged food has been promulgated mainly by the high consumption of snacks, carbonated beverages, milk & milk products, etc.
Moreover, its demand has also been fueled by a growing government focus on ensuring food security in Qatar. The harsh climatic conditions, desalinated chlorine water, poor annual rainfall, etc., are unfavorable for agriculture in the country. Due to this, it is highly dependent on other neighboring countries while importing packaged food.
The Qatar Packaged Food Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 5.8% in revenue terms during the forecast period, i.e., 2022-27. Presently, Qatar has one of the highest per capita GDPs globally. It has around 99% urban population that can afford a wide range of packaged & fresh food due to the high-income level. The unavailability of fresh open food due to unfavorable agricultural conditions in Qatar drives the demand for packaged food. The transportation, cold chain systems, & retail infrastructure of the country are highly developed.
|Study Period||Historical Data: 2017-20|
|Base Year: 2021|
|Forecast Period: 2022-27|
|Key Companies Profiled||Baladna Food Industries, PepsiCo Inc., Mesaieed Bakery, Dandy Co Ltd., Arab Qatari Co for Dairy Production, Mars Inc., Kellogg’s Co., Nestle SA, Korean Bakeries WLL, Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., Ferrero Group, American Group Others|
|Unit Denominations||USD Million/Billion|
As a result, the distribution of packaged food is manageable in Qatar. Along with this, for the storage of packed food products, the penetration of refrigerators & freezers is also very high, thus making it convenient for customers to store their packaged food products for a longer time. Hence, the easy availability of packaged food and the high purchasing power of customers is driving the Qatar Packaged Food Market through 2027.
Key Trend in the Qatar Packaged Food Market
Biodegradable food packaging is an emerging trend in Qatar. With the high consumption of packaged food, a significant amount of plastic waste is generated in the country, which has led companies involved in the food & beverages sector to adopt sustainable packaging to reduce environmental pollution. As a result, it shall surge the demand for biodegradable packaging and promote customers to buy respective brands in the food & beverages sector.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Qatar Packaged Food Market
In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for packaged food products rapidly surged as people started stockpiling food products to ensure availability owing to extended lockdown. Packaged food was at the center of the demand amidst the lockdown period to avoid virus transmission since it has been considered relatively safer. The government of Qatar ensured the ample availability of packaged food with the allowance of supermarkets & hypermarkets to stay open during the lockdown from April 2020 to June 2020.
The lockdown restrictions imposed by the government led to the panic buying of food items among consumers to sustain long lockdowns. This phenomenon helped surge the sales of packaged food items in the country. The government also ensured the supply of food items with available food stock imports, which further led to fuel the purchase of packaged food items by consumers. Moreover, the high purchasing power of consumers has attracted international packaged food companies in the country amidst the crisis.
Of them all, Dairy-based packaged food earmarked a sizeable share of the Qatar Packaged Food Market in recent years. Products like milk, yogurt, sweets, milk powder, etc., are among the key contributors to the market growth in the 'dairy' segment. Qatar has witnessed significant growth in terms of dairy production since 2017, after the blockade imposed by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The imposed trade restrictions have forced the country to adopt self-sufficiency in dairy products by taking major steps. For instance:
By Sales Channel:
Of both, Offline sales channels, majorly grocery & retailers, held a considerable share in the Qatar Packaged Food Market. Offline sales channels are often the one-stop purchase point for consumers with the extensive availability of quality food products. Due to well-connected infrastructure and small geography, the supply chain for food products has been robust and contributed to the increased demand for packaged food.
In 2020, after the upliftment of lockdown in September, only supermarkets/hypermarkets were allowed to open in the country. However, the demand for packaged food through online sales channels witnessed a steady growth that year.
Of them all, Plastic packaging grabbed a considerable market share in Qatar during 2017-21. Affordability & availability of small size packaging options for food products, such as yogurt, chewing gums, confectionery items, sweets, snacks, desserts, etc., are some of the major factors attributing to the increasing demand for plastic food packaging.
In Qatar, dairy-based items like milk, yogurt, milk-based sweets, etc., are considered staple food products, due to which a large amount of plastic packaging is used. Many brands, such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, etc., have a dominant presence in Qatar due to the high consumption of international & regional snacks & beverages among consumers. These brands also provide most of the food products in plastic packaging, owing to which the usage of plastic in food packaging has been on the higher side.
Recent Developments by Leading Companies
Key Driver: Increasing Government Focus on Ensuring Food Security in Qatar
Since the agricultural activities in Qatar are negligible, the country is highly dependent on other countries for its food import, i.e., 90%. Hence, food safety plays a crucial role in the supply & quality assurance of the food imported. Hence, the several initiatives & regulations for food safety imposed by the government assure consumers of the product quality.
In August 2021, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) announced the pilot launch of an electronic food safety system in collaboration between the Food Safety and Environment Health Department. As per the government, it is one of the key initiatives to ensure food control management within the country. The project includes 3 interconnected electronic food control systems for local, imported, & exported food.
Possible Challenge: High Reliance on Imported Packaged Food
Qatar is mostly an urbanized country with more than 99% population living in urban areas. The agriculture, and the production of food items in the country, have been majorly import-dependent. The country with high reliance on imported food products has been prone to trade embargos and sanctions. For instance, in June 2017, GCC nations & Egypt imposed trade & travel restrictions on Qatar that severely affected the packaged food market.
The availability of many food products from UAE, Saudi Arabia, & Egypt vanished from the stores in Qatar, which led to the increased reliance of the country on other countries for the alternative supply. However, with the relaxation of the trade & travel embargo in January 2021, the supply of many food products was ensured. Still, the country has a high dependence on imported packaged food items.
Growth Opportunity: Increasing Demand for Organic Packaged Food
Change in the lifestyle of the urban population across Qatar has increased its dependence on packaged food products. Furthermore, rising awareness about the health benefits of organic food would increase the demand for organic packaged food. According to World Bank data, in 2019, Qatar had 56.6% of the female labor force in the country.
As the number of working women is increasing in the country, its busy schedule would leave lesser time for household chores, which, in turn, would increase the dependence on organic packaged food for the healthy daily diet, cited UN Women. Hence, owing to taste & health benefits, the urban population of Qatar is shifting its preference towards organic packaged food products, which is a lucrative growth opportunity for the Qatar Packaged Food Market in the coming years.
Key Questions Answered in the Market Research Report:
Frequently Asked Questions
A. The Qatar Packaged Food Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 5.8% during 2022-27.
A. The food and Beverages sector is anticipated to emerge as an area of remunerative opportunities for the leading players in the Qatar Packaged Food Market during 2022-27.
A. The growing health concerns & government initiatives for ensuring quality standards of packaged food products, coupled with mounting demand for packaged baby food, etc., would emerge as key growth opportunities for the leading players in the Qatar Packaged Food Market over the forecast years.