The snack product market for Qatar and other countries in the GCC union features a highly fragmented competitive landscape, with the top five companies collectively charting a nearly 50% of the overall market in 2015, observes Transparency Market Research in a recent report. The company Saudi Snack Foods Co. acquired over a quarter of the entire market in 2015 but none of the other top companies managed to gain a sizeable share in the market’s overall valuation.
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Low entry barriers in the market have resulted in the presence of a large number of competitors that are vying for attention from potential consumers and adopting novel strategies to convert them to customers. In the highly competitive market, some of the most popular growth strategies include expansion of product portfolio, ensuring excellent product quality, and product innovations aimed at meeting the rapidly changing demands of consumers.
Potato Specialty Products Emerge as Most Preferred Snack Variety
Transparency Market Research observes that similar to most competitive and saturated markets, the market for Qatar and GCC snack products exhibits strong demand for a variety of products in the snacks category. The market is estimated to exhibit a nearly 9.6% CAGR in terms of revenue from 2016 and 2024. Expanding at this pace, the market is expected to rise from a valuation of US$1103.6 mn in 2015 to US$2682.3 mn by 2024. In terms of the key product varieties in the market, the segment of potato specialty products dominates the market, accounting for over 46.5% of the Qatar market and a nearly 60% of the rest of the GCC snack products market in 2015. The segment of retail package leads in terms of packaging types.
Changing Lifestyles and Consumption Patterns to Drive Market
Factors such as busy lifestyles, rising population of women in the workforce, and the rising trend of nuclear families have led to a significant rise in the demand for easy to make packaged foods and ready to consume snacks in the GCC region in the past few years. The market for snack products in Qatar and other GCC countries is also influenced by factors such as portability of products, innovations in flavors, and increasing investment from various multinationals in the food and beverages sector.
Concerns Regarding Obesity to Increase Consumer Focus on Healthy Snacks
Ready to eat and processed products are mostly linked to high cholesterol and are considered a chief factor triggering obesity and related concerns such as heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis. The market for snack products in Qatar and GCC countries is expected to witness a slight decline owing to rise in concerns regarding the rising population of obese people in the region. According to the WHO, the number of obese people in countries such as Saudi Arabia and UAE is rising at an alarming pace and will account for a much bigger scale of the region’s overall population in the next few years.
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These concerns will lead to a decline in the market for some of the high-cholesterol varieties of snacks in the next few years, but will lead to a significant rise in demand for healthy snack varieties such as nuts, fruit products, organic products, whole grain products, and vitamin fortified products. As the trend gains momentum, key vendors in the market are ramping up the inclusion of healthy snack varieties in their product portfolios to cater to the rising base of health conscious consumers.
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