16 - 20 FEBRUARY 2020


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Pulses, Grains & Cereals

Pulses, Grains & Cereals

Globally, pulses are set to record a CAGR of 3.2% over the next five years, which is in line with the 3.5% CAGR seen for the Middle East and Africa region. Within fresh foods, the pulses category was the best performer, increasing by 7% in volume terms over the past year. They provide an affordable source of protein and are particularly important across developing and emerging markets. The global success of pulses is largely attributed to 4% growth in India, where some 360 million vegetarians rely heavily on pulses for dietary protein. The growth of pulses in the Middle East and Africa region is supported by the popularity of pulses within the region, as well as steady influx of South Asian expatriates. As health-conscious consumers are increasingly interested in pulses, premium varieties, especially organic products, are expected to enjoy increasing demand.

Breakfast Cereals:

Globally, breakfast cereals sales are forecast to grow at a 1% CAGR over the 2017-2022 period, in constant retail value terms. In contrast, the Middle East and Africa is predicted to see CAGR of over 3% during the same time period. Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and South Africa are the main markets for breakfast cereals, while it remains an underdeveloped category in the less wealthy markets in the region. Rise in inflation in these countries has led consumers to seek lower priced breakfast cereals, with some manufacturers launching more affordable variants to maintain volume sales. Sorghum-based brands are more affordable options, especially for these markets.

Children’s breakfast cereals are forecast to see the strongest performance, with a 5% CAGR between 2017 and 2022, largely fueled by rising sales in Morocco, where children's breakfast cereals recorded the fastest retail current value sales growth of 11% in 2017. Flakes and muesli, on the other hand, have gained popularity among young adults in Morocco, who show growing interest in fitness and personal appearance.

Hot cereals, although a popular category in MEA, remains predominantly Ramadan-specific due to high use of oats in popular local meals.

*Source: Euromonitor International

"I’m here looking to buy rice and grains, and also baked goods, to import into our main markets in Africa and India. It has been a very successful visit for me. There is a great deal of options here and you get to search through so many different baskets.”

Piyush Jain, Bhagwanji & Co Importers & Exporters, Mumbai

Key trends and sales drivers include:

  • Pulses are considered as a cheaper alternative to meat among low-income consumers
  • As nutrition and sustainability become front and center of health trends, pulses are becoming more important as it works well with high-protein, high-fiber, and gluten-free diets
  • Cereal bars complementing the ‘on-the-go’ snack movement
  • ‘Trendy’ grains such as quinoa, buckwheat and spirulina, which suit paleo and other specialist diets
  • More organic products are expected to become available, targeting both children and adults

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