Coffee and tea consumption in the Arab World sees triple growth

Coffee and tea consumption in the Arab World sees triple growth
The year 2015 witnessed a whopping 40 per cent rise in coffee purchases, making the UAE one of the region's leading markets.

The beverages registered an 85 per cent increase in the UAE alone



by

Sadiq Shaban

Published: Wed 2 Nov 2016, 11:01 AM

Last updated: Wed 2 Nov 2016, 1:36 PM

The UAE is home to millions of tea and coffee lovers. Despite the popularity of soft and energy drinks in recent years, a preference for traditional brews like tea and coffee is still prevalent. According to International Coffee and Tea Festival, over 19,000 kg of tea is consumed across the UAE daily.
A Euromonitor International survey paints a similar picture. The regional coffee industry, it suggests, continues to thrive despite the economic downturn in recent years, which saw most consumers cutting back costs on non-basic commodities. Notably coffee and tea consumption in the Arab World has tripled over the last decade with the UAE alone registering an 85 per cent increase, according to recent coffee statistics from the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).
Given its immense popularity, cafés and tea shops have emerged as major watering holes in the country. With its huge client base, the UAE has become a favourite destination for globally-recognised coffee brands such as US giant Starbucks, UK's Costa Coffee and Canada's Tim Horton's, to name a few. In addition tointernational brands, numerous local operators have contributed to the vibrancy of the coffee and tea business in the region. Coffee brands like Hintz with its carefully selected coffee beans and the range of instant coffees - spray-dried, freeze-dried and decaffeinated - have established a name for themselves.
The UAE's booming economy and diverse cultural makeup has been crucial in creating a secure market for both tea and coffee. The country has become an important hub for the import and re-export of coffee - raw, roasted and ground. As the biggest importer of tea (with over 83,000 tonnes imported in the country annually), the country's share of total global tea imports continues to be on the rise, as per a report issued by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade recently.

In numbers

$242.7 million
Tea and coffee market growth by 2019
6 per cent
Coffee year-on-year growth
5.4 per cent
Tea year-on-year growth
Source: Euromonitor
Consuming tea several times a day has been part of the Arab culture for hundreds of years.  It does not come as a surprise that, in the UAE, tea ranks second only to water as the most consumed drink among residents, with over 4,000 coffee and tea houses present in the country. The year 2015 witnessed a whopping 40 per cent rise in coffee purchases, making the UAE one of the region's leading markets.
For an authentic tea experience, tea lovers vouch for brands such as Lipton. As one of the first companies to introduce the concept of tea bags and individual brand tags in the country, the Lipton brand holds about 70 per cent of the UAE tea market. Besides resonating deeply with the consumers, Lipton has managed to stay relevant to the current generation also largely due to its innovative flavours and quality products.
Not only is tea considered a rich source of antioxidants that helps neutralise free radicals (which can damage cells and contribute to chronic diseases), tea's ties to weight management and cognitive functions are very well researched and documented. Owing to its myriad health benefits and cultural value, tea and coffee is going to stay on top of people's preferred list of brews.
- sadiq@khaleejtimes.com


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