Owing to increased awareness about health among consumers, and increased adoption of low fat and convenience foods by different age groups, the global lecithin market has seen immense growth in recent years. Significant growth in working population across the globe has resulted in an increased number of consumers spending on processed and convenience foods, which is driving the growth of the global lecithin market. Also, different industries, such as food, health & nutrition, animal feed, and cosmetics industry, largely use lecithin as an emulsifier. Distributors and direct selling are the two channels majorly aiding in the distribution of lecithin, thereby catering to the surged demand for foods containing the multipurpose food ingredient.
Though, various factors such as flexible nature of lecithin and augmenting health concerns among people are highly encouraging food manufacturers to use new ingredients and cut fat content from processed foods, other factors like easy availability of substitutes for lecithin are hindering the growth of the lecithin market, worldwide.
Based on source, the global lecithin market has been segmented into soy, egg, sunflower, and others. Among all sources, soy comes out as a natural emulsifier, which is extracted from soybean oil and comprises three forms of phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), and phosphatidylinositol (PI). On the other hand, based on application, the market has been categorized into food, animal feed, nutrition and health supplements, cosmetics, and others
Valued at $787.7 million in 2014, the global lecithin market is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.4%, during 2015 – 2020. Based on region, Europe was the largest contributor to the global lecithin market in 2014. Based on source, soy lecithin, which possesses strong emulsifying properties, was the largest contributor to the global lecithin market in 2014. When it comes to the growth driver, the increased demand for healthier food components and that for low fat and convenience foods, has continued to act as a major driver for the lecithin market. However, the demand for high-quality lecithin at low costs from the food industry is acting as a major hindrance to the market growth.
Factors such as escalated demand for processed and convenience foods from increasing working population, growing demand for healthier food ingredients, the ingredient’s highly flexible and multifunctional nature, and rising health concerns among people act as the major drivers for the growth of the global lecithin market. Besides, growth of the food industry at a fast pace has acted as a driver for the global lecithin market.
Together, the aforementioned aspects have been persuading lecithin manufacturers to produce individual as well as blended products, including non-genetically-modified lecithin, which contains either very little or zero amount of fat.
Apart from this, growing health awareness, increasing per capita disposable income and per capita expenditure on processed food, and rise in economically active population, have also emerged as some of the drivers for the growth of the lecithin market around the globe. Since, these factors cause the demand for low-fat foods to intensify, it boosts the need for lecithin. Increasing demand for such foods is likely to have a medium impact on the global lecithin market in the short and medium terms. Nevertheless, the impact is expected to be high in the long run.
Low-fat foods are still least popular in some regions such as Asia-Pacific. But, their popularity is expected to advance in near future in these areas, too.
Despite the high potential of various factors to boost the growth of the global lecithin market, the market is expected to witness a slight challenge in future. The presence of several substitutes, such as sodium stearoyl lactylates, sorbitan esters, poly glycerol esters of fatty acids, mono- and di-glycosides, sucrose esters, and poly glycerol polyricinoleate, results in limited usage of lecithin in the growing food industry. These substitutes may highly impact the lecithin market in the short term. However, the impact may turn medium in the mid and long terms. Moreover, increasing prices of raw materials, including soybean, egg and sunflower, along with demand for high-quality lecithin from food industry at low cost are also some among the impending restraints for the global lecithin market.
The global lecithin market reported a consolidated structure in 2014. Some of the key companies in the global lecithin market include Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Aceitera General Deheza S.A., Lipoid GmbH, Lasenor Emul S.L., Cargill Incorporated, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Kewpie Corporation, Sternchemie GmbH & Co. KG, and VAV Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd.
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