Packaged Food Continues to Record Sustainable Growth in North Africa

Despite uncertain economic conditions in North Africa, the packaged food market is performing steadily due to increasing consumer demand for high quality and value for money products. The packaged food sales in Algeria increased in 2016, according to a recent report by Euromonitor, with all categories continuing to record healthy retail volume and value sales growth, driven by a growing population and changing lifestyle trends. In Egypt, packaged food recorded positive growth in current value sales in 2016, despite the fact that Egyptian consumers became cautious with their expenditure on food due to high inflation. Most packaged food categories in Tunisia recorded healthy growth rates in 2016.

Packaged food sales in Algeria increased in 2016, driven by a growing population and changing lifestyle trends according to Euromonitor. Nevertheless, packaged food saw a slight slowdown in volume terms in 2016 due to declining disposable incomes as a result of the economic crisis, which has led to drastic price growth. Fortunately, favorable demographic trends and the search for greater convenience helped maintain positive growth, despite higher prices, as the majority of categories in packaged food remain essential for consumers. Nevertheless, the country’s economic challenges and the devaluation of the national currency have impacted the purchasing power of Algerian consumers. Indeed, many people who were used to buying high-quality imported brands have been forced to shift to more affordable lower-quality domestic products. Therefore, in comparison to 2015, retail value growth was slightly lower in 2016. The majority of packaged food sales are accounted for by independent small grocers due to the overwhelming number of these outlets and the fact that modern retailing channels are still developing. There is growing trend of consumption of frozen food in Algeria due the increasing prices of fresh food such as vegetables and sea food, according to a recent report by Future Market Insights. There is growing demand for frozen food owing to less availability of fresh fish in Algeria.

“There is growing trend of consumption of frozen food in Algeria due the increasing prices of fresh food”

In Egypt, frozen food market segment is expected to show growth, according to the report, owing to the shift in consumers. Consumption pattern from fresh food to frozen food such as frozen meat. Sales of frozen meat increased due to the increasing unit prices of fresh meat owing to the increasing demand of fresh meat and comparatively less supply of fresh meat. Another trend in the frozen food market is expanding distribution network through supermarkets and also hypermarkets. In Tunisia, despite being impacted by the weak economy, packaged food recorded value sales growth of 8 percent in 2016, increasing only marginally compared with the previous year, according to Euromonitor. Baked goods, dairy and confectionery remained the largest categories in value terms, and grew by 6 percent, 7 percent and 10 percent in 2016, respectively. Some categories were emerging from a low base, for example frozen desserts, and continue to see rapid expansion. Value sales of packaged food at constant 2016 prices are expected to rise by a CAGR of 5 percent over the forecast period (2016-2021), reflecting an improved performance compared with the review period constant 2016 value CAGR. Given the tight competition between local players in terms of advertising and marketing, and following the significant import rates in almost all categories, the forecast period will be characterized by a motivating situation for the different players.

Fatima Saab
Content Editor & Researcher
CPH World Media