, Middle East
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Middle Eastern market shifts to locally sourced drink brands

Leveraging social media is deemed crucial for engaging younger demographics.

Consumers in the Middle East are increasingly choosing drink brands that align with their values like sustainability and local sourcing, according to Euromonitor International.

“In an age of social media, consumers are looking beyond pricing when making drink brand choices, and seeking those brands that resonate more with their values,” the report stated. 

“However, this phenomenon had been less visible in the Middle East in the past due to less consumer awareness of value-driven claims and limited brand choice,” it added.

Middle Eastern consumers now prioritise locally sourced products, driven by environmental concerns and a preference for natural ingredients. Brands such as Star Cola, Almarai, Nada, and Barakat are capitalising on this trend, gaining ground against international competitors.

Additionally, consumers in the region are increasingly scrutinising beverage ingredients, opting for healthier options with natural juice and reduced sugar. Brands that highlight these attributes are seeing growth in an increasingly health-conscious market.

With a large youth population, social media plays a crucial role in shaping brand preferences. Nearly 50% of people in the UAE and 45% in Egypt "follow" or "like" a company’s social media feed or posts, compared to the global average of 34%, as per Euromonitor’s 2023 Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey.

ALSO READ: Half of Asian consumers prioritise inner beauty in F&B choices

Moreover, young consumers actively engage with brands on platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, seeking alignment with their social values. 

“The brand is constantly updating their consumers with new launches, highlighting product values and ingredients, such as sustainability and communicates with their consumers on the benefits of using locally sourced ingredients,” the report said.  

“This strategy can be replicated by other brands for successful new products launches, with success for those drink brands that clearly communicate values aligned with that of the young: local sourcing, regionally owned, natural ingredients and sustainable packaging,” it noted.

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