The Middle East is witnessing a significant growth in the packaged food industry, with the market accounting for five per cent of the global consumption of packaged foods. This rising demand is expected to further increase by 21 per cent to reach 44 million tons by 2026. According to market figures, the region has become a growing market for the industry, further driving them to adopt new packaging and processing technologies and expand current production levels.
The Middle East contributes significantly to the consumption of packaged food, with Saudi Arabia having a share of just under 30 per cent, followed by Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. Reports further indicate that consumption in these regions is anticipated to rise, with Iraq’s consumption rising by 28 per cent, Saudi Arabia’s by 22 per cent, and the UAE’s by 19 per cent.
According to the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Association, the regional market also witnessed an increase in imports of food processing and packaging machinery in 2021 by over eight per cent. Italy, Germany, and China have ranked as the top three supplying countries for this machinery, with Italian production accounting for 28 per cent, Germany for almost 20 per cent, and China for 12 per cent of the machinery and equipment.
Furthermore, with sales expected to increase by another 20 per cent to reach 18 million tons between 2021 and 2026, ‘Baked Goods’ has been named the sector’s largest product category in the market. This is followed by ‘Dairy Products,’ which is the second largest product category, with sales expected to increase by 19 per cent in 2026, in addition to rice, pasta, and noodles products with expected increase in sales of 25 per cent in 2026. Similarly, the confectionery segment is also anticipated to grow at a rate of 14 per cent to 0.5 million tons in 2026.
As these reports suggest significant growth for the sector, industry experts from the Middle East market have now been invited to the Interpack 2023 exhibition, one of the global innovators in the packaging materials and machinery for the food, beverage, confectionery, bakery, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, non-food, and industrial goods sectors. The exhibition will take place in Messe Düsseldorf in Germany from May 04 to 10, 2023, and will welcome over 2,700 exhibitors from around the world to invest in building and expanding production capacities, as well as identifying and adopting the latest packaging technologies.
The event will also enable businesses to focus on building a circular economy, enhancing resource management, adopting digital technologies, and improving product safety. Additionally, this is in line with the sharp increase in global demand for machinery and equipment for the production, processing, and packaging of food, beverages, and pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products.
Thomas Dohse, Project Director of Interpack, said: “Interpack is the platform for all the latest developmental technology, and we are pleased to bring it back for Interpack 2023. Our last event welcomed a significant number of visitors from the GCC, as a result of which, we are hoping for a similar turnout for the upcoming event. The regional market has experienced significant growth in the packaged food sector and is well-positioned to explore and utilise the latest packaging innovations that can positively impact the market.”
The Middle East has grown to be a significant market for the packaged food industry, and its participation at Interpack 2023 will further influence the sector’s future course. Despite the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Interpack 2023 is returning to demonstrate the strength of the packaging industry, while giving companies a unified platform to network and explore the newest trends, which will surely aid businesses in steering the future of the market.