July 1, 2008

Research and Markets: Government-Funded Retail Group Union of Co-Operative Societies (UCS), Has Warned That Kuwait Consumers Will Have To Deal With Major Increases in Food Prices in 2008

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/1135b9/kuwait_food_and_dr) has announced the addition of the "Kuwait Food and Drink Report Q2 2008" report to their offering.

The Kuwait Food Drink Report provides independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Kuwait's food and drink industry.

Food price inflation continues to be a key concern in Kuwait, as discussed in BMI's recently published Kuwait Food & Drink Report for Q208. The country's main retailer, the government-funded retail group Union of Co-operative Societies (UCS), has warned that Kuwait consumers will have to deal with major increases in food prices in 2008. The UCS, which operates across a variety of store formats, dominating the country's mass grocery retail sector, has said that the price of some food items will increase by 100% in the face of rising food price inflation. The chairman of the UCS has also said that rising prices will force importers to turn to cheaper, low quality imports from Asia rather than more costly products imported from the Euro zone. Prices rose sharply in 2007, along with general inflation, which reached 4.6% in July. With food prices increasing so drastically, there will be mounting pressure on the government to do something to ease the impact on consumers Kuwait is known as an oasis of stability in the volatile Gulf region. Thanks to the high standard of living enjoyed by Kuwaiti citizens, as well as the strict control exerted over the large expatriate workforce, the risk of widespread social discontent has remained low. However, political stability in the Gulf hinges on this high standard of living that generous government spending provides. Evidence from neighbouring Gulf states suggests that there is widespread and growing dissatisfaction with inflation, with recent riots in Dubai being a prime example. Although our core scenario remains one of broad stability, both political and economic, for Kuwait, the risks to both categories are rising thanks, primarily, to inflation. On the political front, Kuwait is still relatively turbulent compared with the rest of the region, albeit not to an extent that should worry investors at present. Economically, inflation is the only blip on an otherwise very positive horizon: Kuwait looks set to record very strong real GDP growth this year and next, with only a mild cyclical slowdown anticipated further out in the forecast period.

Despite this current period of turbulence, many foreign countries are moving ahead with their investment plans for the country. In February UK-based Coffee Republic, an independent coffee and deli bar operator, announced that it reached a franchising agreement with Aquila Food Company to enter the Kuwait market. Aquila is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jassim Al-Sayegh Sons & Co. a Kuwait-based company, and has been established solely for the purpose of opening the Coffee Republic franchise in Kuwait. Under the terms of the agreement, Aquila will roll out a minimum of 14 units over the next five years. Western-style coffee shops have grown increasingly popular in Kuwait over the past decade, with a number of international majors having already established their presence, meaning that Coffee Republic will face considerable competition, along with the challenge of rising food and drink prices.

 Key Topics Covered:  Executive Summary 5 Business Environment 6 Regional Food & Drink Business Environment Ratings 6 Table: Middle East Food & Drink Ratings - Q208 8 Kuwait's Global Food & Drink Business Environment Rating Peer Group 9 Table: Kuwait's Global Food & Drink Business Environment Ratings Peer Group 9  SWOT Analysis 10 Mass Grocery Retail 10 Kuwait MGR Industry SWOT 10 Food and Drink 11 Kuwait Food And Drink Industry SWOT 11  Macroeconomic Outlook 12 Table: Economic Activity 14 Retail 15 Industry Forecast Scenario 15 Kuwait Mass Grocery Retail Sales Value by Format (US$bn) - Historical Data & Forecasts 16 Grocery Retail Sales By Format - Historical Data and 16 Industry Developments 17 Market Overview 18 Table: Structure of Kuwait's Mass Grocery Retail Market by Estimated Number of Outlets 19 Table: Structure of Kuwait's Mass Grocery Retail Market - Sales Value by Format (US$bn) 19 Table: Estimated Annual Average Sales Value per Outlet, 2007 19  Food And Drink 20 Regional Overview: Coffee and Doughnut Shops in the Middle East 20 Table: GDP Per Capita, US$ 21 Industry Forecast Scenario 24 Food 24 Table: Food Consumption Indicators - Historical Data & Forecasts 24 Table: Kuwait Food, Drink & Tobacco Trade Indicators (US$mn) - Historical Data & Forecasts 25 Drink 25  Industry Developments 26 Food 26 Drink 27 Market Overview 29 Agriculture 29 Food 30 Drink 30  Competitive Landscape 32 Key Players 32 Mass Grocery Retail 32 Table: Key Players In Kuwait's Mass Grocery Retail Sector, 2007 32 Food and Drink 33 Table: Key Players in Kuwait's Food & Drink Sector, 2007 33 Regional Company Case Studies 34 Drink: Aujan in the Middle East 34 Table: Aujan Industries - The Figures, 2006 34 Table: Aujan Shareholders 35 Table: Aujan Industries Production Facilities In Saudi Arabia 36 Mass Grocery Retail: Carrefour in the Middle East 37 Table: Carrefour's Middle East Operations - The Figures 37 Table: Carrefour's Middle East Network By Market 38 Food: Kraft in the Middle East and Africa 41 Table: Kraft's Key Brands In The Middle East 41  Company Profiles 44 Mass Grocery Retail 44 Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies (UCCS) 44 Food 45 Americana (Kuwait Food Company) 45 Kuwait Dairy Corporation 46 Drink 47 United Beverages Company WLL 47  Food & Drink Ratings Appendix 48 Introduction: Revised Methodology 48 Ratings Overview 48 Ratings System 48 Indicators 48 Table: Limits of Potential Returns 49 Table: Risks to Realisation of Potential Returns 50 Weighting 50 Table: Weighting 51 BMI Forecast Modelling 52 How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts 52 Retail Industry 52 Sources 53  Companies Mentioned: - Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies (UCCS) - Americana (Kuwait Food Company) - Kuwait Dairy Corporation - United Beverages Company WLL 

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/1135b9/kuwait_food_and_dr.