Global Food Thickeners Market is expected to grow at a high CAGR of 5.3% during the forecasting period (2022-2029).
Food thickeners are usually based on polysaccharides or proteins and have been found to play a key role in changing the viscosity of food products. The choice of the type of thickeners may vary widely. The consistency requirements vary widely depending on factors such as taste, clarity, and environmental conditions. The demand for food thickeners with a good thickening capability to suit a range of food products is key to the evolution of the food thickener market. Growing awareness about the way food thickeners should be used in the general populace is boosting the market. Further, a rise in health consciousness among consumers is expected to present a substantial growth opportunity to the global industry players. However, fluctuation in prices of food thickeners and high R&D costs associated with their production may restrain the growth. The global food thickeners market valued USD XX million in 2020 and is forecasted to reach USD XX million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period (2022-2029)
Multifunctionality and compatibility with other ingredients to drive the consumption growth of food thickeners
With the rising demand for convenience foods, consumer awareness toward a healthy diet, healthier lifestyles and multiple functionalities and advantages associated with the use of food thickeners, the demand for food thickeners will likely accelerate. Manufacturers of food thickeners are continuously spending and focusing on product innovation to expand their product portfolios and improve functional properties such as flavour, texture and other organoleptic properties of their products, which is driving the demand of food thickener market across the globe. For instance, scientists at Oregon State University discovered and commercialized a new type of dairy thickener, namely, Ropy 352. Ropy 352 may add probiotic characteristics to some of the products in which it is used. As per Oregon State University, it is estimated that the US spends up to USD 120 billion a year on probiotic products such as yoghurt, sour cream, and buttermilk. Many potential natural thickeners are under examination or in the process of approval. For instance, cress seed gum is one of the potential food thickeners.
However, high R&D costs associated with the development & manufacturing of food thickeners and fluctuations in raw material prices of hydrocolloids are the major restraints for the market. Each food thickener works differently, depending upon the application. Hence, food thickener manufacturing companies should have a strong and dedicated R&D facility to develop food thickeners that are innovative and suitable to demanding product formulations. High R&D costs associated with the extraction and manufacture of vegetable gum and starch derivatives are restraining this market’s small and medium manufacturers.
The bakery and confectionery segment is expected to dominate the global food thickeners market, by application
The global food thickeners market has been segmented by application into bakery and confectionery, dairy, sauces and dressings, and beverages among others. The bakery and confectionery segment is expected to hold the highest market share in the year 2019. Hydrocolloids are usually used in confectionery products which mainly include jam, jelly, marmalade, chewing gum, and low sugar/calorie gels. Pectin is widely used as a food thickener in marmalades, jams, and jellies. Technologies such as anhydrous gum formulation are used to make chewing gums and to enhance the shelf life of the product. Ingredients such as clean label gelatin and clean label native starch are increasingly finding their usage in confectionery products as thickening agents. Though the market for these clean label ingredients is currently estimated to be very niche, increasing health awareness among consumers has resulted in significant demand and is an evolving trend in some of the developed countries such as the US, the UK, Germany, and France.
The beverages segment is projected to be the fastest-growing during the forecast period. A number of innovations in the beverage sector, coupled with additional properties of food thickeners such as fat replacement, water binding, emulsifying, and texturizing, are driving their use in various beverage applications.
North America is the largest market for food thickeners with a share of nearly XX% in 2020
By geography, North America is expected to dominate the global food thickeners market in the year 2020, growing with a CAGR of xx% during the forecast period. The dominant share of the North American region is attributed to its high consumption of hydrocolloids, proteins, and starch & starch derivatives in a diverse range of food & beverage applications. Also, rising consumer demand for healthy and low-fat food is further boosting the growth in this region.
Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing region. This is attributed to the growing consumption of various types of food thickeners in Asia-Pacific, as food & beverage manufacturers focus on product innovation, health aspects, and improving the functional characteristics such as texture, flavour, and other organoleptic properties of their products.
The global food thickeners market is highly fragmented. Some of the key players in the market include Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Ingredion Incorporation, Ashland and Dupont among others. The global manufacturers of food thickeners are anticipated to increase their business by improving their product by expanding their product portfolio and are engaging in mergers & acquisitions and developing synergies to deliver healthier foods like reduced sodium and reducing sugar & fat content, with increasing protein & fibre content in their products. Moreover, product differentiation is one of the key strategies to gain an advantage over competitors. The industry is characterized by a wide range of products offered by manufacturers. However, most of the products have similar applications, which make it difficult to attain product differentiation. Product differentiation in the market is attained by a few players including ADM and Ingredion Incorporated. For instance, in April 2019, CP Kelco U.S. Inc. announced that they are looking to introduce a new product portfolio, termed “NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber”, which focuses on the natural clean-label products demand from the consumers.
COVID-19 Impact: Negative impact on the food thickeners market due to supply chain disruptions
Consumer behaviour shifts are having a major impact on the food industry and will likely lead to permanent changes in how consumers shop for food and how supply chains respond to changing consumer demand. As both retailers and manufacturers prioritize the re-stocking of essential food items in response to COVID-19, the daily routines and activities of food scientists, purchasing managers and operations personnel have changed. The focus shifts from product innovation and new launches to minimizing supply disruptions and shortages. Weaker consumer demand for lifestyle and wellbeing products due to social restrictions and lockdown policies shall have a negative impact on the demand patterns of food thickeners. However, public discourse about restarting economic activities and easing restrictions in the industry for consumer goods suggests that the recovery of demand is imminent.
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