Over SR6 billion spent on energy drinks a year in KSA

Updated 17 March 2014
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Over SR6 billion spent on energy drinks a year in KSA

The Kingdom spends more than SR6 billion a year on energy drinks, investors and businessmen at the Council of Saudi Chambers have said.
The Council of Ministers banned last Monday the sale of energy drinks at government, educational and health facilities. They also prohibited companies advertising these products and sponsoring social, cultural and sports events.
Council members have described the decision as sound and correct considering the fact that teens record the highest consumption of such drinks.
Such drinks, they warn, pose a threat to cardiac patients, athletes and people who are allergic to the components of these beverages.
Fahd Al-Tayar, a member of the Food and Beverage Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said that initial estimates indicate that 5 million young men consume more than 5 million energy drink cans daily, worth SR15 million.
This translates to an average monthly expenditure of SR450 million.
“These figures will gradually drop thanks to strict monitoring on restaurants, canteens and cafeterias across the Kingdom from this month,” said Al-Tayar. “Energy drinks will progressively disappear from the market.”
A single can contains about 30 tablespoons of sugar, according to preliminary investigation, in addition to high levels of caffeine compared to other beverages.
“These drinks are included in the list drawn up by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority as hazardous to public health, mainly to pregnant women, children under the age of 16, cardiac patients, patients with high blood pressure, diabetic persons, athletes and persons allergic to caffeine,” explained Al-Tayar. “Although cans contain warning labels, they are mostly ignored by customers upon purchase.”
“I think the ban on the sale of energy drinks in the Kingdom is an excellent move,” said Mohammed Jan, professor and consultant of pediatric neurology and clinical neurophysiology at the Department of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine at King Abdulaziz University. “These drinks are actually not that bad if consumed just once in a day, but the problem is that it has become more like an addiction. Youth consume up to five cans a day, which is extremely harmful.”
Jan said that these energy drinks act like stimulants. “The high doses of sugar in these drinks decreases appetite, keeps them awake, gives them an energy push and they may develop tendencies to get into fights.”
“I believe this ban will minimize the commercial promotion of these drinks,” he said. “In many developed countries, there is a minimum age for buying energy drinks from supermarkets, but in the Kingdom, there is no such regulation or age limit, so they are exposed to these drinks from an early age.”
Jan said that several cafes and billiard lounges in the Kingdom mix energy drinks with fruit juices.
Khaled Bawazir, deputy chairman of the Food and Beverages Committee at the JCCI, said that starting from next month, all contracts for importing energy drinks will be stopped in line with phasing out current stocks in markets.
“Supervisory bodies will soon submit reports to agencies conceened following inspection rounds to check the compliance of shops, restaurants, malls and cafeterias with the new regulations,” said Bawazir.
He added that the sale of energy drinks is expected to drop by more than 80 percent compared to last year following the implementation of the ban.
Bawazir said that the new trademark owners who are about to enter the Saudi markets will face difficulties in marketing their products in view of the decision, but said that “one should not forget that profit margins of energy drink companies exceed 600 percent compared with the real costs of such drinks.”


GEA and Misk launch ‘Entertainment Pioneers’ program

Updated 26 June 2019
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GEA and Misk launch ‘Entertainment Pioneers’ program

RIYADH: The General Authority for Entertainment (GEA) launched its “Entertainment Pioneers” program, in partnership with the Initiatives Center at the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (Misk).

The program aims to prepare citizens, and especially fresh graduates, to work with the most renowned international companies in the field of entertainment, to gain experience, develop their skills in the field, and enable them to integrate this sector and contribute to its development and prosperity.

The program is part of GEA’s strategy to develop the sector of entertainment in accordance with the best international standards, and to provide it with qualified national competencies in this field, to meet the objectives of the Quality of Life program, a basic part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The first stage of the program will kick off in collaboration with a leading American entertainment company that employs 44,000 people worldwide, and that has a record of more than 30,000 entertainment programs and 100 festivals, with its sales surpassing of 500 million tickets per year.

In addition, various international companies are participating in the event, in order to train Saudis in the tasks of planning, organization and management of entertainment programs and projects.

As part of its plans to develop and increase the size of local content in the entertainment sector, GEA is launching several other initiatives to train Saudi cadres develop their skills, and to integrate the job market especially in small and medium enterprises in the field of entertainment.

For registration a webpage was set on the link: https://misk.org.sa/fellowship/services/live-nation/