Health comes first for Danube Online shoppers

Updated 28 November 2019

Health comes first for Danube Online shoppers

Danube Online, an online grocery shopping platform in the Kingdom, has revealed the top online food shopping trends in advance of its “Green Friday” shopping festival. The sale event is Danube Online’s take on the global shopping phenomenon “White Friday,” which takes place on Friday, Nov. 29.

Online grocery shopping in the Kingdom continues to show strong growth. Forty-five percent of shoppers in the Kingdom bought groceries online at least once and with the Kingdom’s retail market predicted to be valued at $119 billion by 2023, the forecast for growth remains strong. 

Danube Online and the Danube app are on track to hit 3 million users in 2019.

Majed M. Al-Tahan, founder and CEO of Danube Online, said: “This is our third year celebrating ‘Green Friday’ which is the Danube Online take on the global shopping phenomenon ‘Black Friday’ or ‘White Friday’ as we say in the Middle East. To mark the occasion this year, we are sharing some telling insights into online grocery shopping trends from Saudi Arabia and we can see clearly that our Danube Online shoppers are becoming increasingly health-conscious and demanding healthier food options. Online grocery is one of the fastest growing retail segments in the region. These insights are gathered from shopping patterns over the last year, but we predict these trends to continue in 2020.”

Amongst Danube Online shoppers, cravings for sugar alternatives and natural flavors are growing. Over the 12-month period from September 2018 to September 2019:

• The growth in sales of honey was 64 percent higher than growth in sales of sugar.

• The growth in sales of natural drinks sweeteners such as stevia-based sweeteners was 87 percent higher than the growth in sales
of sugar.

• The growth in sales of fresh juices was 96 percent higher than the growth in sales of sugary soda drinks.

• The growth in sales of sugar-free jams was 44 percent higher than the growth in sales of chocolate spreads. 

• The growth in sales of healthy potato chip alternatives such as chia seed and kale chips grew 160 percent versus the growth in sales of regular potato chips.

• Fresh fruit sales grew over 70 percent.  The demand for whole-grain products such as whole-grain bread, whole-grain rice and whole grain tortillas grew by 340 percent compared to sales of the same non-whole grain product options over the same period. 

Another strong food trend emerging is the thirst for organic milk options, which grew in sales by over 200 percent when compared to sales of non-organic milk. 


SAGIA, Xylem ink $50m MoU to advance water security

Updated 05 December 2019

SAGIA, Xylem ink $50m MoU to advance water security

Water technology firm Xylem has signed an MoU with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), representing an investment of $50 million. The agreement aims to expand Xylem’s manufacturing footprint into the Kingdom, and to better serve its portfolio of customers in Saudi Arabia and across the region.

Under the MoU, Xylem will work with SAGIA to develop and localize advanced water and wastewater products and technologies to address water challenges in Saudi Arabia, as well as increase its footprint of service points and rental fleets across the Kingdom. A core objective of the MoU is to accelerate adoption of digital water solutions and optimize utility networks across the Kingdom.

The proposed multimillion-dollar investment will not only help build a vibrant local supply chain, but also see Xylem bringing additional commercial opportunities into the Kingdom, with the wider aim of improving water solutions locally. The agreement is in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to promote economic diversification through investments in localization that will also contribute to the export of “Made in Saudi” products across the world.

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), commonly known as the “Davos in the Desert,” by Ibrahim A. Al-Omar, governor of SAGIA, and Steven Leung, senior vice president and president, emerging markets of Xylem, in the presence of senior officials of both entities and Frank Ackland, managing director Xylem Middle East.

Al-Omar said: “As Saudi Arabia welcomes investors and decision-makers from across the globe to this annual global investment platform, the agreements exchanged here reflect the strength and diversity of the economy. Under Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is undergoing an ambitious program of economic reform, and the world is taking notice. This month, Saudi Arabia climbed 30 places in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, becoming the most improved economy globally. The indicators are
clear: Saudi Arabia is not only open for business, it’s the economy of the future.”

Leung added: “As Xylem continues to lead the water sector’s digital transformation globally, this MoU presents an opportunity to leverage our market-leading portfolio and application expertise to advance water security in Saudi Arabia. Through our investment of $50 million, and with our strong presence in Saudi Arabia, backed by our dedicated office and team, we are committed to creating in-Kingdom value through our investments and partnerships. We are thankful to SAGIA for the opportunity to directly contribute our expertise to the development vision of the leadership, as the Kingdom embarks on its ambitious transformation program.”