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. 


LuLu launches its biggest culinary event ‘World Food’

Updated 26 February 2020

LuLu launches its biggest culinary event ‘World Food’

LuLu, the region’s largest hypermarket chain, has launched its annual food festival, “World Food,” across its stores in Saudi Arabia. The event, which runs from Feb. 26 to March 10, is “a celebration of flavors and culture, bringing together foodies, families and friends for a gastronomic experience of global cuisines from more than 25 countries.”

The festival features live cooking competitions, around 20 cooking demos by celebrity chefs and personalities, in-store product offers and a chance for customers to win 1,500 trolleys of food during the promotion period.

Participating chefs include: Chef El-Sherbini, a popular celebrity chef in the Arab world with a culinary journey of more than 45 years (Feb. 26 to 29); Chef Hisham Baeshen, a star in the Saudi food world with a following of 5 million on social media (Feb. 27 to 29); and Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, an Indian celebrity chef known for his entertaining style of cooking (March 5 to 7).

The cooking competition for local productive families will take place on Feb. 28 from 7 p.m. at Riyadh’s Atyaf Mall. The cooks will be judged by at least four famous chefs, as they prepare the dishes and are cheered on by the audience.

Other themed competitions include: Bake Challenge, a search for the best-tasting and beautifully designed pastries; Cook with Mom, a cooking competition with the little ones; and a competition exclusively for men.

World Food 2020 is divided into many themes, such as “Akla Arabia,” featuring Arabic delights; Olives & Salads; Organic Fest; Pagkaing Pinoy for Filipino classics; desserts; barbecue treats; and much more targeting different nationalities and communities. 

Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, said: “We have been organizing our food festival for more than 10 years now, but this is our biggest celebration yet. This year, we have received extensive support from different embassies, trade promotion councils, various community organizations, hotel and tourism sector, celebrity chefs, and social media influencers. Our aim is to offer something unique and a more experiential and engaging shopping experience for our diverse shoppers.”