Food market analysis: Saudi poultry

Increasing Demand

Poultry meat accounts for nearly three-quarters of meat consumption in the Saudi Arabia, compared to a global average of less than 40 percent. Consumers love chicken because it is a healthy source of protein, is versatile and is available at a low cost. The emergence of a fast-growing and discerning Saudi middle class has seen an increase in demand for both fresh poultry meat products.

The Saudi government has put into place a range of incentives for local poultry producers, with a long-term goal of reaching self-sufficiency, in order to boost the desert nation’s food security.


It’s also an attractive sector for private investors, as poultry production is relatively resource-efficient by comparison to wheat and dairy production, both of which exacerbate the Kingdom’s dwindling water reserves. Poultry accounts for more than 70 percent of domestically produced meat.

Local producers can compete effectively against competing imported chicken, particularly as consumers become more discerning and demand fresh and chilled chicken products.

Demand for chicken in Saudi Arabia has been growing strongly since 2008, but it is only since 2010 that growth in local production has out-stripped import growth.

This dovetailing of public and private interests means that local production is forecast to grow by as much as 50 percent over the next decade. This production is expected to come as a result of major investments by the most significant participants in the market – Al Watania Poultry, Al-Fakieh and Almarai.

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Malachy Mitchell

Managing Director

As Farrelly and Mitchell's co-founder and Managing Director, Malachy provides unmatched expertise. Working alongside CEO's, executives, and leaders from public and private sectors, Malachy empowers agribusinesses to fully achieve their potential.

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