Factors That Affect Consumption Patterns and Market Demands for Honey in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Despite the significant annual consumption of honey in Saudi Arabia, information gaps remain with regard to the marketing and market structure of honey along the value chain. This study analyzed the major factors that influenced the consumption, expenditure patterns, and demand of honey in Saudi Arabia. This study forecasted the near-future expected market demands for honey in Saudi Arabia by collecting and analyzing the primary data using questionnaires. A total of 331 respondents from representative regions and large cities were randomly selected and interviewed. The data were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods as well as appropriate econometric models. Respondents characterized honey quality using organoleptic words, and these characterizations varied based on the relative significance of perception parameters. Taste, aroma, physical state, and color had aggregated average scores of 4.58, 4.44, 3.54, and 3.28, respectively. In addition to the above parameters, honey source, brand name, and confidence in the producers influenced its perceived quality. The major outlets for honey in Saudi Arabia included producers, specialized honey stores, and auction markets in major cities during the harvesting seasons. Medication, food, and sweetening were the major motivations for buying honey in the Saudi market, with aggregate scores of 4.52, 3.71, and 1.52, respectively. Significant honey price variations were observed within and among different honeys and packaging volumes; this finding might be due to factors such as botanical and geographical origins, package volume size economics (i.e., bulk purchases), honey variety blending, brand names, and producer policies. The average price of locally produced honey was approximately $73 per kg, which is 10 times more than the average price of honey in the US and the EU. The estimated consumption/income elasticity was 0.27. These results suggest that honey is a basic commodity in Saudi Arabia. Based on econometric model forecasts, the Saudi market demand for honey is expected to reach approximately 29,784 tons in 2025.

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Ismaiel, S. , Kahtani, S. , Adgaba, N. , Al-Ghamdi, A. and Zulail, A. (2014) Factors That Affect Consumption Patterns and Market Demands for Honey in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 1725-1737. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.517186.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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