A recent report published by Food from Britain (FFB), the market development consultancy for British food and drink companies, proves that Brits still savour the taste of home. The research, entitled “The British Ex-pat & Tourist Market in the Gulf States”, reveals that there are significant opportunities for UK food and drink producers.
The Gulf States not only contain large numbers of ex-pats and tourists, but their high concentration in clusters means they can be effectively targeted through the many retail and foodservice outlets that specifically cater for them and via the specialist distributors that serve this channel.
Food from Britain’s survey of ex-pats and tourists in the Gulf States has found that Dubai is the key market for UK exporters with 65% of expatriates in the Gulf based here and 95% of tourists to the Gulf States visiting the Emirate. Saudi Arabia also offers opportunities, as the biggest market by population with a third of residents being non-Saudi’s. However, this can be a challenging market to enter due to strict import controls.
Of the 700,000 expatriates in the area made up of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, 150,000 of these are from the UK, offering excellent export prospects for manufacturers of products such as bakery and confectionery goods, breakfast cereals and tea, where interest is highest.
The current value of UK food and drink exports to the Middle East is £337 million, “But with the right marketing and expertise, these exports could potentially be doubled in the next five years”, says Chris Brockman, FFB’s Head of Research and Consultancy.