Recent Study: Kuwait Food & Drink Report Q1 2014

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Jan 14 2014

We expect continued steady growth across Kuwait's food and drink sector, with some subsectors (e.g. soft drinks, snack foods) performing particularly strongly. The country's economy should continue to grow moderately, with our real GDP forecast for 2014 standing at 2.6% and increasing at a slightly faster rate in 2015. We also expect private consumption activity to remain buoyant and forecast growth of 4.0% for this year and for 2015. Progress on the Kuwait Development Plan is proceeding slowly but should impact positively on both the oil and non-oil sectors, increasing Kuwait's economic stability and scope for expansion.

Headline Industry Data (local currency)

* 2014 food consumption growth = +2.5%; forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the five year period to 2017 = +2.4%
* 2014 per capita food consumption growth = -0.7%; forecast CAGR 2013 to 2017 = 0.0%
* 2014 soft drinks value sales growth = +25.2%; forecast CAGR 2013 to 2017 = +19.2%
* 2014 mass grocery retail sales growth = +3.2%; forecast CAGR 2013 to 2017 = +2.6%

Full Report Details at

Key Industry Developments

Kout Acquires Little Chef in the UK: In summer 2013, Kuwait based Kout Food Group acquired the UKbased Little Chef chain of roadside eateries from private equity firm RCapital in a deal thought to be worth about GBP15mn. Kout already runs more than 40 Burger King and KFC outlets in the UK, as well as the Maison Blanc patisserie chain.

Carrefour Sells Stake in JV to Majid Al-Futtaim: In a surprise move in May 2013, Carrefour sold its 25% stake in its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) joint venture to its partner Majid Al-Futtaim (MAF) for AED2.5bn (EUR530mn). Under the agreement, MAF will retain a franchise agreement with Carrefour until 2025, so the stores will retain the popular Carrefour banner until then.

Key Risks To Outlook

Economic Risks To The Upside: We regard economic risks to our forecasts as lying predominantly to the upside. The state certainly has the firepower to move forward with its capital spending plans if political compromises can be reached. Furthermore, the regime's renewed domination of parliament, following legislative elections in December 2012, offers the prospect of an acceleration of long-delayed economic reforms and infrastructure projects. As always, given the economy's heavy dependence on oil, any sustained downturn in global energy prices would prove disastrous. That said, Kuwait has the financial wherewithal to cope with any short-term volatility in oil prices and therefore the underlying risks in this regard are minimal.

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