Open to Imports

QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS

Quick Facts

  • Kuwait’s economy is the third largest of the Gulf Coastal Countries, after Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Real GDP growth was -2.1% in 2017.
  • Kuwait’s population has been rising at a steady pace and reached 4.5 million in 2015; it is projected to reach 5.9 million in 2030.

General Economic & Demographic Landscape

Economy:

  • Kuwait is the third-largest economy of the Gulf Coastal Countries, after Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
  • In 2017 real GDP is contracted by 2.1% after gains of 3.5% in 2016. The most severe blow to the economy has been a decline in oil output after an extension of the OPEC production cuts.
  • Government spending accounts for about 75% of GDP. Most industries are subsidized, and many workers depend on government-run companies for employment.
  • Kuwait’s economy has slipped in and out of recession in recent years in line with the movement of oil prices and capital inflows.
  • Many of the country’s largest investment banks encountered difficulties recently, with several defaulting.
  • The non-oil sector has been growing by about 3.5% per year as oil prices weakened.

Population demographics:

  • Kuwait’s population has been rising at a steady pace, reaching 4.3 million in 2017.
  • The population is projected to grow to 5.1 million in 2030.
  • Fertility has been falling for several decades, and was slightly lower than replacement level in 2017 at 2.0 births per female.
  • A factor offsetting the decline in fertility is a large increase in the number of women of childbearing age (15 to 49 years old).
  • The median age was 31.1 years in 2017, well above the regional average. By 2030 Kuwait’s median age will be 33.7 years.
  • Immigration has shaped Kuwait’s demographic landscape. It has fluctuated in more recent years, but the number of immigrants is expected to be about 20,000 per year in the medium term.

Income & expenditure:

  • The savings ratio in Kuwait is substantial, amounting to 17.2% of disposable income in 2017. The ratio will dip to 17.1% in 2018.
  • Consumer expenditure per capita totaled KWD2,795 (US$9,182) in 2017. An increase of 1.1% (in real terms) is expected in 2018.
  • Hotels and catering will be the most dynamic spending category from 2017 to 2030, followed by communications.
  • Total consumer expenditure (in real terms) will rise by 2.8% in 2018.
  • In the 2017–2030 period, total consumer expenditure will grow at an average annual rate of 3.6%.

QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

Organic packaged food & beverage data

Data type

Unit

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

CAGR
(14-17)

CAGR
(17-20)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health & wellness products consumption

USD million

        705.6

        727.5

        785.6

        842.6

        882.4

        922.8

        967.9

6.1%

4.7%

Organic packaged food and beverages consumption

USD million

            5.6

            6.6

            7.5

          13.5

          15.0

          16.6

          18.3

34.1%

10.7%

Organic packaged food consumption

USD million

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

-12.6%

0.0%

Organic beverages consumption

USD million

            5.3

            6.4

            7.2

          13.3

          14.8

          16.4

          18.0

35.9%

10.6%

Organic packaged food and beverages consumption as a % of total health & wellness products consumption

%

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

-

-

Economic & demographic data

Data type

Unit

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total population

million

            4.0

            4.1

            4.2

            4.3

            4.4

            4.4

            4.5

% Middle and upper class of total population

%

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

            0.3

% Population aged 65+

%

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

            0.0

% Population aged 0-14

%

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

            0.2

% Population with higher education degrees

%

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

            0.1

Average number of children per household

children

            1.4

            1.4

            1.4

            1.3

            1.3

            1.3

            1.3

GDP per capita

USD per capita

   38,342.2

   27,672.2

   26,197.5

   27,717.8

   28,362.5

   28,984.1

   29,559.6

Consumer expenditure per capita (US$)

USD per capita

     8,510.6

     8,761.9

     9,002.8

     9,182.1

     9,408.3

     9,617.4

     9,835.8

Consumer expenditure per capita on food and non-alcoholic beverages (US$)

USD per capita

     1,609.8

     1,678.7

     1,726.0

     1,762.4

     1,808.0

     1,849.5

     1,891.4

Retailer & City Data

Data category

Rank

City/retailer

Population
(mns)

 

 

 

 

Top cities by population (2017)

1

Kuwait City

             3.8

Top cities by population (2017)

2

-

 -

Top cities by population (2017)

3

-

 -

Top cities by population (2017)

4

-

 -

Top cities by population (2017)

5

-

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

1

-

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

2

-

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

3

-

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

4

-

 -

Top grocery retailers by sales (2017)

5

-

 -

USDA GATS data

Rank

2017

2016

2015

2014

  Export Value (US$, thousands)

1

Tomato Sauce

355.0

Grapes

Grapes

209.0

Tomato Sauce

116.0

2

Brocolli

Celery

Coffee Roast

152.0

Grapes

37.0

3

Grapes

Lettuce

1,668.0

Tomato Sauce

111.0

Coffee Roast

14.0

4

Lettuce

1,108.0

Carrots

40.0

Apples

106.0

Brocolli

4.0

5

Cauliflower

 

-

Berries

20.0

Cauliflower

3.0

Total

1,647.0

1,965.0

611.0

173.0

Policy Information

Government Agency(s)/Competent Authority

Authorized Government Agency(s): 

Kuwait is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that includes Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. Gulf Standards Organization (GSO) is responsible for developing food and non food standards in the GCC. Once a new standard is approved by the GSO food standards committee, each member country officially adopts the standard, thus making it a national standard as well as a GSO standard. 

The Department of Standards and Metrology, Public Authority for Industry (PAI), in cooperation with the Kuwait Municipality (KUM), the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAFR), the Consumer Protection of the Ministry of Commerce, Customs, Chamber of Commerce and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) constitute the “National Food Safety Committee” which is responsible for establishing local food safety regulations. 

Regulatory enforcement is divided between the KUM, MOPH and PAAFR. 

The Imported Food Department within KUM has responsibility for the initial inspection of imported food products, including verification of compliance with label requirements and collection of samples for laboratory analysis. 

Agency(s) Contact Information: 

GCC Standardization Organization (GSO)
Riyadh - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
AlGadeer - Olaya Street
P.O.Box 85245 Riyadh 11691
Phone: (+96611) 2746655
Fax: (+96611) 2105391
Email: csc@gso.org.sa
Website

Public Authority for Industry (PAI)
PAI Reception
Phone: (+965) 25302222
Fax: (+965) 25302190
Email: indust@pai.gov.kw
Website

Kuwait Municipality
Website

Organic Regulations and/or Standards

Name(s) of Regulation and/or Standard: 

Regulation and/or Standard Scope: 

The standard applies to unprocessed plants and plant products, livestock and livestock products, and processed agricultural crop and livestock products intended for human consumption. A product will be regarded as bearing indications referring to organic production methods where, in the labelling or claims, including advertising material or commercial documents, the product, or its ingredients, is described by the terms “organic”, “biodynamic”, “biological”, “ecological”, or words of similar intent including diminutives which, in the country where the product is placed on the market, suggests to the purchaser that the product or its ingredients were obtained according to organic production methods.

Imported Products Requirements

Imported Products: 

All food products must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the appropriate government agency in the country of origin, attesting to the product's fitness for human consumption. Meat and poultry products must be Halal slaughtered. Halal slaughter certificates accompanying meat and poultry shipments are required to be notarized by the Kuwaiti Embassy in the country of origin. If not available, notarization from any of GCC or other Arab countries will suffice. Animal fat should be sourced only from Halal slaughtered animals. The importation of alcoholic beverages and pork, and food products containing alcohol or pork, is prohibited.

GCC Guide for Control on Imported Foods is useful for all food imports.

Definitions

Review definitions of terminology included in this website.