UAE’s online F&B sales touch $412mn in 2020: Analysis

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has released a new analysis which reveals online sales in the UAE’s food and beverage market has surged 255 percent year-over-year in 2020 to reach $412 million.

The analysis which was issued on the sideline of the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade exhibition Gulfood 2021, also predicted that the value of online food and beverage sales in the country will reach $619 million by 2025 and record a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 8.5 percent over the 2020-2025 period.

Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice-President of International Relations at Dubai Chamber, noted Dubai’s efforts in enhancing food security in the emirate to navigate challenges during COVID-19 by leveraging technology and global partnerships.

Last year, the pandemic-led digital transformation became a major driving force for the growth in F&B eCommerce sales Mr. Al Hashemi pointed out, adding, Dubai’s tech infrastructure, logistics facilities, and high internet penetration rate are key elements that supported the trend.

The progress in UAE’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign increased national efforts to enhance food security, Expo 2020 Dubai and newly introduced incentives to attract foreign investment will also play a major role in sustaining the local F&B industry’s growth, said Mr. Al Hashemi.

The presentation identified several high-potential food product categories in which the UAE can widen its trade with other markets, including grains, vegetables and fruits, vertical crops, healthy and halal food products.

Top partner

Referring to the Dubai market specifically, the presentation identified India as the emirate’s top food trade partner in 2020, accounting for 19 percent of all food imports, followed by New Zealand (13 percent), Pakistan (9 percent), the US, Egypt and Canada (4 percent each).

Legumes accounted for about 17 percent of the total food products imported by Dubai during 2020, followed by powdered milk (14 percent), rice (13 percent), sugar (9 percent), onions (7 percent) and potatoes (5 percent). The presentation also noted that sugar was a top product re-exported from Dubai to foreign markets in 2020, followed by legumes and dates.

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