Investment in the GCC food industry surged from $13.6 billion in 2010 to $23.7 billion last year with a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8 per cent, the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (Goic) said in its latest food industries directory.
Individual food segments registering strong CAGR increases were animal feeds, 23.5 per cent; dairy products, 23.1 per cent, and soft drinks, mineral water and other bottled water, 22.6 per cent.
Other segments showed the following increases: processing and preservation of meat and fish, 14.7 per cent; cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery, 10.5 per cent; vegetable and animal oils and fats, 7 per cent; processing and preservation of fruit and vegetables, 6.2 per cent, and grain mill, bakery and macaroni products, 3.9 per cent.
A segment classified as “other food products NEC”, registered 16.9 per cent.
As regards performance in 2014, soft drinks, mineral waters and other bottled water registered investment of $5.84 billion, 24.6 per cent of the total of 23.7 billion for the year and the largest percentage share.
Other segments that did well were: grain mill, bakery and macaroni products, $4.71 billion (19.8 per cent), dairy products, $4.49 billion (18.9 per cent) and processing and preservation of meat and fish, $2.21 billion (9.3 per cent).
Percentage representations of other products were: prepared animal feeds $1.85 billion (7.8 per cent), cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery $1.12 billion (4.7 per cent), processing, preservation of fruit and vegetables, $900 million (3.9 per cent) and vegetable and animal oils and fats $689 million (2.9 per cent).
The ‘other food products NEC’ category amounted to $1.89 billion (8 per cent).
The number of factories advanced from 1,606 to 1,965 during the same period, showing a CAGR of 5.2 per cent.
Factories producing soft drinks, mineral water and other bottled water had the best CAGR growth of 8.3 per cent followed by plants engaged in cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery, 8.1 per cent and those engaged in the processing and preservation of fruit and vegetables, 7.5 per cent.
Dairy plants showed a decline of 3.8 per cent. There were 152 such plants in 2010 with the figure declining every year to reach 130 in 2014.
The labour force numbered 159,613 in 2010 against 238,825 in 2014.