Rice – side is the leading food and beverage sub-category constituting the majority market share by the number of menu items offered in restaurants, followed by the meat mains – others and meal deals and combinations sub-categories, according to GlobalData’s menu intelligence database. In its menu analysis of the rice – side sub-category in UAE report, GlobalData analyses 19,319 menu items from different foodservice outlets and provides an overview of the food categories available across the foodservice channel in UAE. According to the report, the rice – side sub-category constituted a 44% share among all restaurant types in UAE. Buy the report here.

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Rice was found to be the most-used ingredient in the rice – side sub-category featuring in 94% of menu items, followed by noodle and chicken. Egg and vegetables were also significant ingredients.

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

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

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

While consumers become more price conscious, operators too, look for ways to optimize their costs to retain margin and market share. In 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 UAE sub-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.