The date market is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period (2022-2027).
The broadening of trade sanctions and high tariff barriers in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic had a drastic detrimental effect on global food security. The Middle East and North African (MENA) region is the largest dates producer and supplier worldwide. As the number of cases continues to rise in the mid of the global coronavirus resurgence and its latest strains, several Middle Eastern countries have extended restrictions on movements that are expected to put a strain on supply chains. For instance, in February 2021, a 20-day extension was declared by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on restrictions placed earlier this month to stem the pandemic. The date market is expected to see a massive influence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, as the fourth wave of the pandemic has exacerbated the supply-demand gap.
Over the long term, the increased consumption of dates across the world, with the rising awareness about health benefits and rising demand for dates from the processing industries, is expected to drive the market growth over the study period. Fresh dates offer a variety of health benefits. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. They also contribute fiber to the diet and have been shown to help prevent abdominal cancer. Hence, the increased awareness of the health benefits of date consumption has boosted their imports worldwide. However, some factors such as stringent regulations, risk of pests and diseases, and political uncertainties in the Middle Eastern region? are expected to restrain the market growth during the forecast period.
Middle-East and Africa is observed as the largest market for dates globally. Tunisia, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, and Egypt dominate the MENA region based on the volume of dates consumption. Egypt ranked first, with the consumption of 1.68 million metric ton of dates in 2020. The highest per capita dates consumption was recorded in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. Owing to the increasing demand for dates, their consumption is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Rising Awareness about Health Benefits of Dates is Driving the Market
Dates have an excellent nutrition profile. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, vitamin B, copper, magnesium, and fiber. Dates are also a good source of antioxidants, mainly carotenoids and phenolics. Dates are a popular food across the Middle East. They are a sign of hospitability, served both in greeting and post-meal. Further, with the emerging trend of healthy snacking, consumption is rising in other parts of the world as well. India was the largest dates importing country in 2020, with an import volume of 362 thousand metric ton. The United Arab Emirates ranked second in date imports with an import of about 159 thousand metric ton. Indonesia is another major importer of dates in the Asia-Pacific region.
Consumption is also rising in European countries, including the share value of France(27%), Germany (15%), the United Kingdom(13%), and the Netherlands(95). European consumers are searching for healthier alternatives to snacks between meals or for snacks that can replace meals. Younger consumers are switching from sweets such as candies and chocolate snacks to low-sugar alternatives. Thus, considering these factors, the date market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period.
Middle-East and Africa Dominates the Market
Middle-East and Africa hold a major share of about 70% of the global consumption for dates. Saudi Arabia is the leading producer of dates with a 21% share of the world’s production, followed by Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, and Egypt. Dates have been collected for their sweetness and have remained a staple food for thousands of years worldwide, particularly in the Middle East and African regions. Date fruit has a special significance in Islamic countries. Dates are traditionally served at iftar tables to break the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. They are also served at greetings, funerals, and post meals. The demand for dates peaks during the holy season of Ramadan, resulting in high imports of dates at that time.
In 2018, the per capita date consumption in Oman was recorded at the highest at 73 kilograms, followed by the United Arab Emirates (46 kilograms), Algeria (28 kilograms), and Saudi Arabia (50 kilograms). A similar uptrend in consumption is expected to be seen during the forecast period.
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