Soft drinks is the leading food category constituting the majority of market share by the number of menu items offered in restaurants, followed by the meat dishes and salads & sides categories, according to GlobalData’s menu intelligence database. According to GlobalData’s menu analysis of the soft drinks category in the UAE report, the soft drinks category constitutes a 86% share among all restaurant types in the UAE foodservice market. The report analyses 61,969 menu items from different foodservice outlets in the UAE and provides an overview of the food categories available across its foodservice channel. Buy the report here.

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Fruit was found to be the most-used ingredient in the soft drinks category, featuring in 27% of menu items, followed by hot drinks and herbs, spices & seasonings. Vegetables and milk were also significant ingredients.

An analysis of the annual price change between 2022 and 2023 indicates that the average menu prices in the soft drinks category remained flat. As on-premises dining gains momentum following the COVID-19 pandemic, the soft drinks category in the UAE is expected to experience overall growth.

Different categories exhibited mixed price movements within the UAE foodservice market between 2022 and 2023. Food categories in the UAE witnessed price increase in their food offerings in the mentioned timeline. Out of these, burgers category saw highest price increase.

An in-depth analysis of the soft drinks category price trend by location reveals consumption trends of each region. The graph below represents the change in soft drinks category menu prices during 2021-2023 across the top five locations. As seen below, soft drinks category menu items in Ajman became more affordable as compared to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

While consumers become more price conscious, operators look for ways to optimize their costs to retain margin and market share. In the UAE market, restaurants operators rely on innovation as a crucial tactic to appeal to customers as well as optimize costs. As increasing number of consumers seek novel experiences, foodservice operators must continuously innovate their menu choices, providing superior taste and quality along with a diverse selection of dishes. Operators should highlight the distinctive tastes and flavours of their food and beverage offerings in a convenient format to enhance customer engagement.

To further understand and explore GlobalData’s insight into the UAE category menu, buy the report here.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Online Menu Intelligence is a database of cost and profit foodservice operators on menus within Foodservice Intelligence Center. The tool’s several search options, such as cuisine, category, menu item, ingredient, and restaurant, help users to conduct focused searches in terms of price analysis (average price and change in prices), menu item claims, popular categories, cuisine/ingredient penetration levels, etc.