Convenience, sustainability, personalization key trends shaping growth of online grocery in Saudi Arabia


JEDDAH — Tetra Pak, the world›s leading food processing and packaging solutions company, released it’s 11th annual Tetra Pak Index, which highlights Convenience, Sustainability, Personalization, Uniqueness, Technology and Performance, as the top trends shaping the growth of online grocery shopping.

With online grocery shopping in Saudi Arabia on the rise, traditional stores are being reinvented, merging together into an omnichannel where consumers expect to be able to buy whenever, wherever and however they choose, with the smartphone as their compass.

According to, 71 percent of the Saudi population are Internet users, out of which 12.94 million are E-commerce users with an additional 6.34 million expected to shop online by 2022. In 2018, 23 million people in Saudi Arabia accessed the Internet through their mobile phone.

The Tetra Pak Index 2018 highlights the key trends shaping the growth of on-line grocery:

Convenience: The main driver for on-line consumer take-up, as time-crunched consumers look for new ways to make their life easier. Key opportunities include easy product replenishment, voice, and convenient packaging.

28 percent of Saudi consumers are aware and would like to try the auto-replenishment service and 29% are interested in voice ordering through artificial intelligence technology.

• Sustainability

Pressure on plastic and awareness of the circular economy will continue to grow, and recycling will become ever more important. Consumers want to know whether brands are ‘doing the right thing’.

• Personalization & uniqueness

Customization of products and personalization in the consumer journey will be important differentiators going forward. This is accelerating the direct-to-consumer trend and as many as 80% of consumer-packaged goods companies are predicted to migrate to this model by 2025. In Saudi Arabia, 76 per cent of consumers perceive unboxing as a fun time and the aesthetics of the cardboard box are part of it.

• Technology & performance

Super-fast delivery in as little as 10 minutes is expected by 2025, changing consumer behavior to buy more frequently and in smaller amounts, adding more complexity to the logistics. Supply chains will continue to be transformed by a raft of technologies, notably radio-frequency identification (RFID) and robotics, boosting efficiency and transparency

Niels Hougaard, Managing Director Tetra Pak Arabia Area, said: “The rise of on-line grocery is a great opportunity for food and beverage brands, and packaging plays a key role in supporting their success. In particular, smart packaging helps drive greater transparency and efficiency in the supply chain, up and down stream, while also enabling a direct, interactive relationship with the consumer in this market“

According to Tetra Pak Index 2018, packaging will play an important role in response to the trends that are shaping the growth of on-line grocery. Smart packaging technologies based on unique digital codes will take both online and off-line grocery in exciting new directions during the next few years. — SG