Middle East and Africa Free-From Food Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

Middle East and Africa Free-From Food Market is Segmented by Type (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Allergen-Free and Other Types); End Product (Bakery and Confectionery, Dairy Free Foods, Snacks, Beverages, and Other End Products); Distribution Channel (Supermarkets/Hypermarkets, Online Retail Stores, Convenience Stores, and Other Distribution Channels); and Geography.

Market Snapshot

Study Period: 2016 - 2026
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: 8 %

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Market Overview

The Middle East and Africa free-from food market is forecasted to witness a CAGR of 8.00%, during the forecast period (2020 - 2025).

  • The free-from food products have a significant scope to expand in the region. The retailers in the region generally operate in the low-margin environment. The local and expat population in the region are becoming highly aware of free-from food products, as well as the potential role of these products in a balanced diet and ensuring good health, which is expected to drive a significant growth in the market, over the forecast period.
  • Moreover, a major portion of the Middle East & African population is lactose intolerant. Soy-based dairy alternative, followed by rice- and coconut-based dairy alternatives dominate the market. The aforementioned factors, coupled with the rising consumer preferences to maintain a healthy diet, are driving the growth of the free-from food products in the region.
  • However, the comparatively high prices of free-from food products pose a challenge to the market. The presence of nutritionally-equivalent alternatives for a lower price affects the consumer behavior and refrains the purchase of free-from food products.

Scope of the Report

The Middle Wast and Africa Free-From-Food market is segmented by type into gluten free, dairy free, allergen free and other types, by end product into bakery and confectionery, dairy free foods, snacks, beverages, and other end products, by distribution channel into supermarkets/hypermarkets, online retail stores, convenience stores and other distribution channels.

By Type
Gluten Free
Dairy Free
Allergen Free
Other Types
By End Product
Bakery and Confectionery
Dairy Free Foods
Other End Products
By Distribution Channel
Online Retail Stores
Convenience Stores
Other Distribution Channels
By Country
South Africa
United Arab Emirates
Saudi Arabia
Rest of Middle East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Rising Awareness on Clean Labeling in Africa

Clean-label ingredients are consumer-friendly ingredients, which are natural, organic, non-GMO, and very minimally processed. The omission and elimination of intolerable and allergenic ingredients in clean-label products is facilitating the market for free-from foods in Africa.

The clean label trend started more recently in the African countries especially in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt but is growing fast year on year. Therefore, clean label market can be considered to be a developing market in Africa.

In Egypt, the free-from trend is forcing the bakery industry to reconsider the traditional preservation methods and replace chemical preservatives with natural alternatives to guarantee the clean label.

Growing consumer awareness of food ingredients and the desire for simple, natural foods have forced food manufacturers to develop products with a clean label appeal. This trend is only significant in the urban areas of Egypt and among the effluent class.

Middle East and Africa Free-From Food Market 2

The Increasing Consumption of the Free-From Food in UAE

Being an import driven country, the United Arab Emirates imports majority of its gluten-free products from Europe, the United States, and Australia. Some of the international brands offering gluten-free products in the UAE market are Schär, Gerblé products from Nutrition and Santé, Choithrams (gluten-free bread), Barkat gluten-free pastas, and Alara gluten-free cereals.

With the growing demand for gluten-free and allergen free products in the UAE market, many regional players are also emerging in the market. For instance, Areej Jomaa operates a 100% gluten-free bakery in Dubai, where all the gluten-, lactose-, and allergen-free products are available.

Moreover, the online retail plaforms are too occupying this space in the country for instance, the GlutenFree-Supermarket.ae is an online shop selling all gluten-free food items, including dry goods, such as cereal, pasta, bead, sweets, pastries, and condiments.

Middle East and Africa Free-From Food Market1

Competitive Landscape

The Middle East and Africa free-from food market is highly competitive, with a prominent presence of private label brands, and highly fragmented. Key players in the market include Dr. Schar AG/SpA, Hain Celestial, General Mills, and Danone SA.

Over the past few years, expanding one’s market presence in emerging economies like Afica and Asia-Pacific region has been a key strategy behind the major companies’ growth. With growing income levels and an increasing level of knowledge regarding the consumption of healthy food in these economies, companies are catering to the healthy needs of the people.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Drivers

    2. 4.2 Market Restraints

    3. 4.3 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Type

      1. 5.1.1 Gluten Free

      2. 5.1.2 Dairy Free

      3. 5.1.3 Allergen Free

      4. 5.1.4 Other Types

    2. 5.2 By End Product

      1. 5.2.1 Bakery and Confectionery

      2. 5.2.2 Dairy Free Foods

      3. 5.2.3 Snacks

      4. 5.2.4 Beverages

      5. 5.2.5 Other End Products

    3. 5.3 By Distribution Channel

      1. 5.3.1 Supermarkets/Hypermarkets

      2. 5.3.2 Online Retail Stores

      3. 5.3.3 Convenience Stores

      4. 5.3.4 Other Distribution Channels

    4. 5.4 By Country

      1. 5.4.1 South Africa

      2. 5.4.2 United Arab Emirates

      3. 5.4.3 Saudi Arabia

      4. 5.4.4 Rest of Middle East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Most Active Companies

    2. 6.2 Most Adopted Strategies

    3. 6.3 Market Positioning of the Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Danone S.A.

      2. 6.4.2 The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

      3. 6.4.3 General Mills, Inc.

      4. 6.4.4 Dr. Schar AG / SPA

      5. 6.4.5 Orgran SA

      6. 6.4.6 Hunter Foods Limited FZCO

      7. 6.4.7 Vfoods (Violife)

      8. 6.4.8 Probios S.p.Aa

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Middle East and Africa Free-From Food Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Middle East and Africa Free-From Food Market is growing at a CAGR of 8% over the next 5 years.

Danone S.A., The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. , General Mills, Inc. , Dr. Schär AG / SPA, Orgran SA are the major companies operating in Middle East and Africa Free-From Food Market .

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