Saudi energy drink market valued at $1.5bn amid ban fears

High spending figure comes as experts warn of losses due to recent govt. crackdown

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Saudis spend a staggering $1.5 billion a year on energy drinks, it has been estimated, amid industry fears of losses due to a partial government ban on brands such as Red Bull, Monster and Power Horse.

Investors and workers in the food sector at the Council of Saudi Chambers estimated that Saudis consume millions of energy drinks each day, the Al-Yaum newspaper reported.

“Estimates indicate that the volume of daily consumption of energy drinks in the Kingdom reached 5 million cans consumed at a cost of SR15 million. If we consider the average price of a can at SR3, the monthly spending reaches SR450 million and annual spending exceeds SR5.5 billion [$1.5 billion],” said Fahd Al-Tayyar, a member of the Food and Drinks Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia last week banned the sale of energy drinks in sports clubs and within government, health and education facilities. It also outlawed all forms of sponsorship and advertising, and prohibited free distribution of the drinks.

Investors said the decision to partially ban the drinks is the correct one as its objective is to safeguard the health of society, Al-Yaum reported. They added that those most vulnerable to ill-effects from the drinks include adolescents, heart patients, athletes and people suffering from allergies.

Yet energy drink makers told Al Arabiya News that they are surprised at the decision, with industry insiders warning that the partial ban could bring “huge losses” to the industry.

(With The Saudi Gazette)

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