Water, beverage sales up with rising mercury

Water, beverage sales up with rising mercury Sarah Young (sarah@khaleejtimes.com) / 11 June 2013 Sales of water and other beverages have almost doubled in some retail outlets, as the temperatures rise and people stock up for Ramadan. Aswaaq merchandise and buying senior manager Tariq Masood said bottled water sales had started to rise since the end of April, and would rise continuously through to October — particularly during Ramadan. “During Ramadan, people consume a lot of water (after dark). Consumption is huge. “Before and after Ramadan, water sale growth is between five per cent to 10 per cent, (while) during Ramadan season (growth) is between 20 to 25 per cent.” Overall, sales usually increased one-and-a-half to double the amount sold in winter, he said. A Thirsty Nation Consumption of beverages in the UAE higher than others in the region The beverages industry is growing rapidly in the UAE, with our drinking habits outperforming other countries with much bigger populations in the region. Secretary-General of the Arab Asian Beverage Alliance (AABA) Dr Ahmed Al Banna said the UAE beverage industry was “growing drastically”. Bottled water sales had been steadily rising — about 23 per cent — from a trade volume of 457.4 million litres in 2007, to 545 million in 2010 and 561.6 million in 2012.  “There’s big growth in terms of consumption, and this is only natural with the growth of the population in the UAE.” Soft drinks trade volumes had risen from 1,224.4 million litres in 2007, to 1,464.2 million litres in 2012 — an increase of about 20 per cent. Sports and energy drinks were also on the rise, growing about 50 per cent from 16 million litres in 2007 to 24.6 million litres in 2012, as were fruit and vegetable juices which had “increased dramatically due to public awareness of the importance of (these in a person’s diet). “People are also becoming more aware of using … specialised or concentrated drinks for sports.” Fruit and vegetable drink trade volumes had increased 37 per cent, from 192.6 million in 2007, to 264.3 million litres in 2012. “All of these increase during summer.” Consumption in general was high compared to other countries in the region, Al Banna said. For example, the UAE’s consumption of soft drinks was close to that of Egypt despite the large difference in population size. In 2012, Egypt, with a population of about 80 million, had a trade volume of 2,111.4 million litres of soft drinks, only 647 million litres more than the UAE with a population less than a tenth of the size. Al Banna said this could be attributed to the geographical location and the heat, the prevalence of marketing schemes and gimmicks here, and the higher per capita income. “In certain countries, soft drinks are considered to be a luxury item … but not here.” Another comparison could be made with Morocco, which did not have the same extremes of heat, he said. Soft drink trade volumes in the UAE were about 42 million litres more than Morroco in 2012, despite also having only almost a tenth of the population. Along with the weather conditions, the growth of the industry in general could be attributed to population growth, social changes such as more knowledge and awareness, incoming tourism, and per capita income, he said. Sarah Young sarah@khaleejtimes.com Aswaaq supermarkets around Dubai were currently building up stocks to meet the needs over the coming months, and commitments had been made with suppliers to guarantee supply within one hour if stocks ran out. Juices, yoghurt drinks and other beverage sales also increased dramatically in summer, and normally rose about 25 per cent during Ramadan. The cordial drink Vimto, popularly used to break the fast, was the highest seller during this period, with more than 75 per cent of the year’s sales for this product was expected to be occuring then, he said. This was also the case for Rooh Afza rose syrup. Sales assistant at the Eppco fuel station at Beach road in Umm Suqeim 2 Arnold Balede said water sales had started increasing since the end of March, and he had started ordering double the amount of water they usually sold to cope with the rising demand. Al Bashaer Grocery store (also in Umm Suqeim 2) assistant Shihabudheen Kulayam Kazhig said the shop usually sold 80 per cent more water during the summer months. Al Bayan was the most popular, followed by Oasis. Almarai Co juices were also starting to sell more frequently. Customer Ayman El Sayed said he generally drank eight cups of water a day, but this increased to about 12 in summer. He would buy two additional 15.1-litre bottles in summer, for a total of six each week for a family of four. “We only drink bottled water. I’m not sure the tap water is that hygienic … especially after seeing the floods in winter here, I’m not sure about the infrastructure.” Secretary-General of the Arab Asian Beverage Alliance (AABA) Dr Ahmed Al Banna said water and other beverage sales saw a significant spike in the summer months. “The high temperatures and high humidity…it’s medically known you lose a lot of fluid, and you need to replace that by drinking a lot of water.” Medical reports suggested people drink about three litres of water per day, he said. “The environment, the geographical location of the UAE and the high temperatures in summer, especially in the months of July, August and September, drastically bring up the consumption of water — for drinking and for hygiene purposes.” Dubai-based supply chain executive for an energy drinks company Nafeesa Fernandes said their company also usually saw a 40 per cent increase in the sale of energy drinks from June to August each year. She had started buying double the amount of water she usually bought — now 12 two-litre bottles per week — this month as the temperatures started to rise, she said. “I used to buy 24 bottles for a month, I drink much less in winter. I’ll probably go up to 14 a week in the middle of summer. “I also buy a lot more juice now too. I have got really dehydrated here in summer, I would begin coughing a lot … and it affects your energy if you don’t drink enough. It’s really necessary in this country. A lot of people just hand out bottles of water on the streets in summer too. “I do feel a bit bad about the amount of plastic I consume, but we have a recycle bin in the office so that’s good.” Dubai-based Zaineb Qamar, from Hong Kong, said she had also doubled the amount of water she purchased this month. “It’s a common thing here, it’s a need … because of the temperature and the humidity, especially in Abu Dhabi. “You notice steel barrels of water out on the street for the labourers now, which are not normally filled with water.  And a lot of guys in the gym drink a lot of energy drinks like Powerhorse and Red Bull.” Taylor Scott International

This entry was posted in Dubai, Education, Entertainment, Investment, investments, News, Property, Sports, Taylor Scott International, TSI and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.