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Top Trends in the F&B industry of Saudi Arabia

  • Published on : 05/02/2021

Saudi Arabia’s Food & Beverage industry is the largest in the Middle East region and has a valuation of about $45 billion. A forecast by The Saudi Arabian General Authority for Investment (SAGIA) reported that by 2024 the expenditure on food services is expected to grow by 6% per annum. This particular industry reportedly contributed 10% to the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in 2018 alone, which emphasises its importance and impact on the overall economy.

Let’s look at the four major F&B trends to watch out for in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which will continue to shape the growth of the industry.

1. Focus on an enhanced dining experience

An increased focus on enhancing the dining experience caused due to sudden behavioural changes will push fast casual dining set up into the forefront. These changes will come into force as more and more consumers look to experience a safer fast food dining format

With a spotlight on experience coupled with convenience, the Kingdom will witness a shift from the present closed space food courts in malls, to a range of open space food halls, market places and other dining & entertainment options.

2. Arming up with technology

The major reason behind the restaurant industry, both organised and unorganised, growth by leaps and bounds will be due to the emergence of restaurant technology.  Restaurant technology adoption rate is set to grow by 10X times in the Saudi market.

As technology gets more accessible and easy to use, it will start to become a necessity as opposed to just being an accessory. The primal reason behind this will be increased customer demand and preference for restaurants equipped with such technology. 

For restaurants, one of the primary objectives will be seamless operations and reinventing their dining experience, and this will be made possible by inresto. It’s front end & back end restaurant technology provides the best user experience and helps restaurants boost their revenue

Our array of transformative tech services that includes – website building, digital valet, digital menu, digital payment, POS, SCM, campaign management, table management, digital feedback and loyalty is set to take the middle east market by storm. 

Also Read: Technology trends to rule the restaurant market in the Middle East in 2021.

3. Tilt towards sustainable eating

Consumers worldwide are gaining awareness about their health & wellness, the same will have a trickle-down effect on the people of The Kingdom. This will directly impact their food choices leading to an array of new demands which is set to grow by 4X times.

This process has already taken effect as we see more and more fast-food chains already in the market introducing more healthy menu items. A more prominent proof is new & standalone brands emerging with the concept of healthy eating alone. This provides an opportunity to capitalize on the health-conscious consumer, and cater to an untapped market.

4. Reinventing their service style

While in dining restaurants will pick up pace, a new business model – Takeaway is set to take the centrestage and grow at 2X rate.This pushes the restaurateurs to reimagine and replicate their service style in this new model. Restaurants will need to curate a Takeaway only menu that consists of food items that are travel friendly. 

To further elevate their customers’ experience they will have to invest in sturdy packaging materials that prevent the food from spilling or getting damaged.The packaging will also need to share safety & prevention related information like temp of cook/staff etcs. 

5. Home Delivery & Cloud Kitchens

While more and more people step out of their homes to enjoy a dining experience, the market for home delivery will continue to grow at a steady pace. A very important development will be the emergence of delivery-only concepts, i.e cloud kitchens. Data reported by Statista has indicated that cloud kitchens are expected to grow at 12 per cent CAGR through 2024.

Cloud kitchens let the restaurateurs cater to the needs of customers who are still wary of stepping out.  This business model, which is essentially internet-enabled kitchens with better tech capabilities, have comparatively lesser overhead costs and generate more returns on investments. Without the seating limitation, and lesser rent prices they just need a quality chef, travel-friendly menu items, and a robust order management system to operate seamlessly.

These are some of the trends that will impact the rapidly changing F&B industry in Saudi Arabia. Drastic behavioural changes & increase in young working professionals are expected to contribute towards the evolving F&B market. This will receive an additional thrust when the tourism and entertainment industry picks up pace as travel bans get lifted. 


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