British lamb and dairy businesses are in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to attend the Saudi Food Show, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has said.

The businesses are looking to grow consumer demand and build on long-term export opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Food Show, which is Saudi Arabia’s leading event for food and beverage sourcing, kicked off today (Tuesday, May 21) and will run until Thursday (May 23).

AHDB senior halal manager, Dr Awal Fuseini, said: “Although Saudi Arabia is not our biggest market for lamb in the region, it has been identified by AHDB as one of the markets with strong growth potential for our exporters.

“With this in mind, participating in the Saudi Food Show is a great opportunity for us to meet with key industry buyers and emphasise our high-quality lamb production credentials with a view to increasing our presence in this growing market.”

Middle East

Research carried out by AHDB last year revealed that adapting to consumer buying behaviour could present opportunities for British beef and lamb exporters in the Middle East.

The research explored consumer buying behaviour for red meat across the region, including Saudi Arabia.

“Strong population growth, coupled with limited domestic production capacity and a high regard for our production standards presents an opportunity for quality British lamb to meet increasing consumer demand,” Dr Fuseini said.

“A key factor in achieving this is understanding consumer trends to help enable our exporters align their products accordingly to satisfy what the market wants.

“Connecting with buyers at the Saudi Food Show plays a key role in enhancing our knowledge of the market and a greater understanding of how we can maximise opportunities there.”

Saudi Arabia is also a large importer of cheese, which is the most valuable category in the dairy market, accounting for more than 30% of total dairy spends, AHDB said.

AHDB head of trade development (dairy), Lucy Randolph said: “Saudi Arabia is the largest dairy consumer among the GCC countries, with high population growth and per capita helping drive increasing consumption of milk and other dairy products.

“While the dairy market in Saudi Arabia is highly competitive, there are opportunities for UK exporters, with strong demand for cheese and butter.

“The Saudi Food Show will provide us with a platform to get in front of key buyers, showcase our world class dairy produce and strengthen our foothold in this important market.”