Saudi Arabia
3.5.1 Saudi Arabia Food Suppliers


The Saudi food sector is constantly seeking suppliers for high quality and competitively priced of high value and intermediate food products such as dairy products, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, red meats, condiments and sauces, beverage and other coffee shop ingredients baked frozen pastries, and frozen sandwich bread. In 2021 KSA imports grew by 6,5% from the previous year and reached US$144,3 billion. Food imports also continued to rise especially for cereals, rice, meat, and dairy products.

The harvested area in Saudi Arabia is less than 1 million hectares (10,000 km2), Therefore, the kingdom imports more than 80% of its food requirements from foreign countries like Germany, the USA, China, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. The vast majority of the food products are imported by the private sector and are subject to a 5% import duty while coffee, tea, and fresh red meat enter the country duty-free. Selected processed food products, however, are assessed higher import duties.


Saudi Arabia is a major importer of cereals, with a value of around US$$4.3 billion.  In a top of most imported cereals rice places first, followed by barley, corn, and wheat.

Wheat - SAGO is the exclusive importer of subsidized food-grade wheat in Saudi Arabia. The major food suppliers of wheat are the USA, Germany, Lithuania, and Poland.

Barley - Imported barley is used for animal feed, as there is no beer production in Saudi Arabia. Approximately 80% of imported barley is fed to sheep, camels, and goats without further processing in combination with green forage.

Rice - Saudi Arabia’s rice per capita consumption is estimated at 35 kg/year. The major supplier of rice is Pakistan, Thailand and India.

Corn - The import of corn is expected to rise approx. 13% in 2022.


There is a high demand for meat, especially for halal and red meat, having an import value of approx. US$1,5 million. The suppliers are Brazil (79.1%), France (18.2%), U.S. (1.2%) and Argentina (1.1%). The biggest demand is for beef with US$426 million and the biggest supplier is India, followed by Brazil, Australia and the USA.

Dairy Products

In 2021, US$1.88 billion worth of dairy products were imported by Saudi Arabia, along with eggs and honey. Cheese, along with milk cream, was the most searched product with import values of US$246 million. The major suppliers are New Zeeland, USA, and the United Arab Emirates, which supplied dairy products worth of US$226.31 million.

Fruits and Vegetables

Another category that saw a rise in imports is fresh fruits, especially exotic fruits and fresh vegetables. In the category of exotic fruits, bananas, watermelons, apples, and pineapples are highly requested and Latin America remains the major supplier. In the case of vegetables, China, Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey and Australia represent the biggest suppliers, being imported US$126.08 million for this segment.

Food Importers from Saudi Arabia

  1. Al Rasheed Trading
    Address: P.o Box 28411, Riyadh
    Phone: 0096614727741
    Top products imported: Various Ethnic Foods
  2. Al Kabli Holding
    Address: P.o. Box: 3311, Jeddah
    Phone: 00966126686000
    Top products imported: Chocolate, Candy, Biscuits, Cookies
  3. Orient Provision & Trading
    Address: 4th Floor, Optc Building, Tahlia Street, Jeddah
    Phone: 0096626690999
    Top products imported: Canned Fruits and Vegetables

For more information on food supplier contact details, please see the following link: 4.10 Supplier Contact List.

Retail Sector

the traditional retail sector is being displaced by hyper and supermarkets, and demand for packaged food continues to increase.  Major drivers of this transition include increasing disposable income, a growing population and the creation and expansion of urban centers. In 2020, total retail sales in Saudi Arabia were estimated at approximately US$37 billion, and 59% was generated through traditional grocery stores.  The other 41% passed through modern retail channels, but traditional grocery stores have been declining over the past several years due to rapid expansion of new urban centers throughout the country.

Types of Retailers Available

Type of Retailer

Rank (1-5)

Supermarket – concentrates mainly in supplying a range of food, beverage, cleaning and sanitation products; have significant purchasing power; are often part of national/regional/global chains.


Convenience Store/Mini Market – medium sized shop; offers a more limited range of products than supermarkets; usually has good/stable purchasing power; may be part of chain or cooperative.


Permanent shop with strong supply capacity individually/family owned store; usually offers fewer commodities and a limited selection of brands; good storage and reliable supply options.


Permanent shop with limited supply capacity individually/family owned store; offers fewer commodities and a limited selection of brands; limited storage and unstable supply options.


Mobile Shop/Market Stand individually/family owned store; usually offers fewer commodities and a limited selection of brands; may be found at outdoor markets, camps or unstable environments.


Please copy the below section for each wholesale-level supplier assessed.


The following companies are the major players in the food retail market:

  • Panda Retail Company: The largest retailer in Saudi Arabia. This publicly traded Saudi company has 230 retail outlets (hypermarkets and supermarkets) in Saudi Arabia.  The firm also has two hypermarkets in Egypt and one in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Most of the company’s purchases are local, but it also imports directly. 
  • Othaim Supermarket Chain: This Saudi company has 227 stores in Saudi Arabia and 46 stores in Egypt. The company has also several wholesale outlets.  Most of the company’s purchases are local, but it also imports directly. 
  • BinDawood Holding: This Saudi Company operates a total of 73 stores across the KSA, including the BinDawood and Danube supermarket chains and purchases food products locally as well as internationally.
  • Tamimi Supermarkets: An upscale supermarket with 45 branches in Saudi Arabia and one in Bahrain. The company is one of the largest consolidated U.S. food products importers in Saudi Arabia.  It is the only Saudi supermarket that currently sells chilled U.S. beef.  
  • LuLu Hyper / Supermarkets: A Dubai headquartered retailer with 36 outlets in Saudi Arabia, mostly hypermarkets. It has more than 150 hypermarkets in the Middle East and Asia.  The company had plans to open five new Saudi supermarkets by the end of 2020.
  • Carrefour Saudi Arabia: It is a subsidiary of Majid Al Futtaim of UAE; the exclusive Carrefour franchisee in 38 countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. They have 18 Saudi hyper and supermarkets, and mainly imports from France. 


Disclaimer: Inclusion of company information in the LCA does not imply any business relationship between the supplier and WFP / Logistics Cluster, and is used solely as a determinant of services, and capacities.

Please note: WFP / Logistics Cluster maintain complete impartiality and are not in a position to endorse, comment on any company's suitability as a reputable service provider.

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