Bahrain Food and Drink Report Q3 20103 Feb 2012
Bahrain has moved into second position in BMIs regional Food & Drink Business Environment
kingdoms GDP forecast to reflect a 0.55% contraction in 2009. AlthoughBahrain does not
provide investors with the premiumisation potential of the UAE or the large markets ofEgypt
or Saudi Arabia (Bahrain has a GDP per capita of US$25,628 and a population of 1.1mn), its
mainattraction is its excellent regulatory environment, which is among the Middle Easts most
liberal. Thekingdoms openness to foreign investment has attracted big name mass grocery
retailers (MGRs) such asCarrefour and Waitrose despite the small size of the market as
discussed in BMIs recently publishedBahrain Food & Drink Report for Q309.
In Q209, UK-based premium-end retailer Waitrose announced its intention to launch its first
supermarketin Bahrain by 2010 at the state-of-the-art US$800mn Villamar development. It will
mark Waitrosessecond foray into the Middle East following its entry into the UAE. The
retailer will target pockets ofextreme wealth across the kingdom.
Waitroses imminent entry adds to an impressive array of retailers that include Carrefour (in
a jointventurewith its Middle East partner Majid Al Futtaim), UAE-based EMKE and France-based
Casino(in partnership with Fu-Com International).
BMI has forecast MGR value sales to grow by 31.8% through to 2013. The expansion will
bespearheaded by the supermarket and hypermarket segments. Declining real estate prices could
speed upthe pace by which the countrys retailers launch stand-alone outlets. Presently, a
number of supermarketsand hypermarkets are located adjacent to wow gold to hasten the pace at which Bahrainsgrocery
retail sector formalises. By 2017, BMI forecasts that the organised MGR sector will account
for57% of total grocery sales (up from an estimated 46% in 2007). Retailers seeking entry are
likely to investsooner rather than later as the kingdoms small population means its MGR
market is likely mature overthe next five to ten years.