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Oman Demographics

  • Population of 3.2 million; 73.4% urban
  • GDP (PPP) of $95 billion (compared to US); est. 2013ranks 77 in the world
  • GDP (OER) of $82 billion (compared to US); est. 2013
  • GDP real growth rate 5.1%; est. 2013
  • GDP Per Capita (PPP) $29,800; est. 2013 Ranks 50 in the world
  • GDP Composition, by end use:
    • Household consumption: 30.5%
    • Government consumption: 17.8%
    • Investment in fixed capital: 27.3%
    • Investment in inventories: -0.5%
    • Export of goods and services: 63.8%
    • Import of goods and services: -39.4%
  • 6.1% of all imported products are of US Origin
  • Euromonitor has estimated 2012 retail sales in the packaged food market to be US$2.7 billion in the UAE. That represents an increase of 30.3% and over US$639.7 million from 2008. They also forecast sales of packaged food in the market to reach nearly US$3.5 billion by 2017, an increase of US$744.4 million and 27.1 %
  • High growth items in the forecast include snack bars, noodles, frozen processed food, soup, meal replacement, confectionery, noodles, and sauces, dressings and condiments. It is interesting to note that in all of the GCC countries with the exception of the UAE, the highest growth item in the forecast is baby food. In the UAE it is still growing as well, at nearly 30% but all of the other categories listed have much higher growth rates than that.
  • Hypermarkets are transforming the local retail sector by forcing local entities to expand and/or upgrade existing facilities to remain competitive. A major U.A.E.-based importer, distributor and retailer is upgrading and expanding its hypermarket/mega store chain in the region. Several other local retailers are doing the same, targeting both upscale and more middle class consumers and trying to fill particular niches for premium foods.
  • The ability to consolidate shipments is an important consideration for U.S. exporters. Most importers, wholesalers, and distributors do not require an entire container of a single product or products from a single brand or company. Instead, they rely on mixed containers of assorted products to meet their needs. This is especially important for U.S. exporters who face higher freight costs than other closer suppliers.
  • Competitors are generally able and/or willing to meet the UAE food import labeling requirements, includingArabic labels and production and expiration dating, which can give them an advantage if a U.S. food company is reluctant to modify labels for a relatively small market. The U.S. market share for food imports is 8%-10%. And as mentioned, nearly 50% of products imported the U.S. are consumer-ready. Some U.S. origin food is re-exported to countries throughout the region. Food re-exports (from all sources) totals an estimated US$3-4 billion annually. This also re-enforces the fact that the U.S. market share could increase if more exporters were willing to consolidate shipments.