By 2027, the global lecithin and phospholipids market is anticipated to have grown from its value of $5.5 billion in 2022 to $7.5 billion, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3%. The Asia Pacific region is predicted to hold the biggest market share globally in 2022. Lecithin is being used more frequently in bakery and confectionery, convenience meals, and feed products as a result of the growing desire for natural ingredients. The demand for lecithin as a food additive in the food and beverage sector appears to be driven by the rising number of eating establishments and foodservice businesses.
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The global lecithin and phospholipids industry is driven by shifting consumer preferences to convenience food, changing work culture, and expansion of the retail industry globally. However, health issues associated with the consumption of genetically modified (GM) products are expected to restrain the market growth.
The market for lecithin and phospholipids is expected to grow in the coming years, driven by increasing demand for natural and healthy food ingredients, rising popularity of functional food and dietary supplements, and growing awareness about the health benefits of phospholipids. These ingredients are used in a variety of applications such as functional foods, infant formula, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and animal feed. The Asia-Pacific region is projected to be the largest market for lecithin and phospholipids, due to the growing demand from countries such as China and India.
Opportunities: Emerging markets and changing consumer lifestyles
The trend of consumer preference for low-fat products is rapidly rising, and marketing campaigns are planned around highlighting their use and health benefit claims. Cargill (US) produces lecithin that functions as a low-fat dressing, gaining the attention of those who aim to produce low-fat food products.
The demand for low-fat products may be driven by the increase in processed food production and innovation in almost all segments, such as meat products, dairy, and bakery & confectionery products. However, the demand for the usage of lecithin is expected to grow continually in early adopting countries such as Japan, and exponential growth is projected in new and emerging markets such as Australia and other Asia Pacific countries.
In addition, Asia provides a cost advantage in terms of production and processing. High demand, coupled with low cost of production, is a key feature, which would aid lecithin suppliers.
By nature, GMO is the largest segment in lecithin market in 2021
The GMO segment is estimated to dominate the lecithin market in 2022. GM oilseeds such as soybean, sunflower, and rapeseed are used for extracting lecithin, a natural emulsifier utilized in various industries. Today, 90% of commercially available lecithin is extracted from soy and sunflower. Lecithin has a dual function in food as an emulsifier and healthy ingredient. Because of its lipid-friendly and hydrophilic properties, lecithin is used in many foods and other areas of the industry.
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By region, Asia Pacific is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Asia Pacific accounted for 33.9% of the lecithin market in 2021. In the Asia Pacific region, lecithin is gaining popularity due to busy lifestyles, urging consumers to opt for on-the-go and RTE products. The demand for lecithin is expected to increase in the coming years due to the growing population and increasing per-capita income of consumers, based on a World Bank report. Moreover, export opportunities of non-GMO lecithin from countries such as India to the European market are expected to drive the lecithin market in the region.