KSA to become self-sufficient in infant formula
The Kingdom is on the road to achieving self-sufficiency in infant formula, according to a recent report released by Euromonitor.
Baby food in Saudi Arabia is expected to thrive in the long run given the country’s consistently high birth rate, a young population and high per capita incomes.
This category is also slated to get a boost from the fast-growing retail market, particularly pharmacies, which is witnessing strong growth.
Furthermore, the rate at which the health care sector is developing, coupled with more qualified doctors, means mothers will become more knowledgeable about nutritional guidelines for their children, thus giving the category a positive boost.
Almarai’s International Pediatric Nutrition Company currently meets 70 percent of market needs, with the remaining 30 percent open for investors to set up new plants to cater to the needs of a growing population.
The global infant formula market is estimated at $58 billion and the Middle East has been witnessing a 6.6 percent rate of growth since 2004.
The International Pediatric Nutrition Company produces 20,000 tons of infant formula, which translates to 280 milk packets per minute. Almarai started the first infant formula factory, Enfamil for children, in January 2011 at Al-Kharj, some 60 km from the capital.