Honey is a natural sweetener that is produced by bees and collected from the nectar of flowers. Carbohydrates, water, nitrogenous substances, and minerals are the main components of honey. It is considered to be a possible substitute for table sugar. It is graded by colour, with the clear, golden amber honey often fetching a higher retail price than the darker varieties. A significant driver is expected to change consumer preferences towards a safe, nutritious, and natural sugar and artificial sweetener substitute. In addition, since it contains excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, the product is anticipated to gain traction. Furthermore, an increase in demand for honey in cosmetics and medicines is expected to provide a substantial growth opportunity for the market.
The global honey market valued USD XX million in 2020 and is forecasted to reach USD XX million by 2029, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period (2022-2029)
The global honey market continues to gain traction due to modern uses of honey in the health and food & beverages industry
Honey is being progressively advocated as an ideal substitute for conventional sugar due to its various health-benefiting properties. The rising health consciousness among consumers has motivated them to include natural sweeteners in their diets and reduce their white sugar intake. The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of natural sweeteners and the presence of several crucial minerals and vitamins within them have made them an ideal sweetener choice. Furthermore, the longer shelf-life of the product and its high affordability are the other prominent factors that are positively impacting the market's growth rate.
Potential therapeutic effects of the product due to the presence of various amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and other nutritional substances in it has fetched its roaring popularity across the pharmaceutical sector. Honey has arisen as a prominent ingredient in cough syrups due to its antibacterial properties and its ability to act as a demulcent. This is one of the major factors driving the growth of the global market. Moreover, the widening acceptance of the Ayurveda medical system globally due to its effectiveness and low to no side effects is expected to impact the market growth positively. In Ayurveda, the product is used to treat several diseases and conditions, such as skin problems, insomnia, indigestion, sore throat, and others.
However, in recent years, honey adulteration and fraud incidents have emerged as one of the industry's major problems, which has had severe impacts on the product’s price and has further negatively impacted market growth. According to the U.S. Pharmacopeia’s Food Fraud database, honey has emerged as the third most targeted food for adulteration after milk and olive oil. The extensive supply of adulterated natural sweeteners in the local and global markets has resulted in a loss of profits for high-quality and pure product producers. Moreover, the presence of alternatives, such as stevia, maple syrup, and others, in the market and their rapid adoption by consumers is predicted to hamper the market's growth.
The food and beverages segment led the global honey market.
The global honey market has been segmented by application into food & beverage, cosmetics & personal care, pharmaceuticals and others. The food and beverages segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. As a result of its nutritional benefits as well as flavour, the product is widely used in the food and beverage industry. It is also commonly used as a home remedy for a common illness, for direct consumption, and in the preparation of cuisines and healthy drinks. Due to a significant rise in the number of applications, new organic products are being introduced by manufacturers to meet the increasing demand for products around the world. In January 2018, for example, Emami Ltd., a leading FMCG player based in India, launched pure and organic honey for health-conscious customers under the brand name 'Zandu Pure Honey. The business aims at offering a pure product with zero sugar content.
On the other hand, the demand for the product in the pharmaceutical industry, especially for the formulation of cough syrups and liquid dietary supplements, is rising due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and other health-enhancing properties. In the personal care & cosmetics industry, honey utilization in soap, face wash, moisturizers, and other products is growing at a fast rate. The reason behind this is the potential of the product in retaining skin moisture, inducing soothing effects on the skin, and acting as an anti-ageing agent.
Asia Pacific is the largest market for honey with a share of nearly XX% in global sales value in 2020
The Asia Pacific is the leading region, accounting for the market's highest revenue share, and the region is predicted to dominate the global industry throughout the forecast period. The increasing production and consumption of natural sweeteners across countries, such as China, India, Australia, and others, are anticipated to drive the regional honey market trends. China is one of the leading producers and exporters of natural honey in the world and the country exports stood at 123,826 tonnes to foreign markets in 2019. Moreover, at country levels, in economies such as India and Australia, rising governmental investments in promoting beekeeping and boosting production will support the market growth. For instance, in May 2020, the Government of India allocated approximately USD 68 million towards beekeeping under its Atmanirbhar Abhiyan.
On the other hand, North America is expected to contribute to a market revenue share of XX% in the year 2020. In North America, the growing number of beekeepers in the U.S. and Canada is positively impacting the regional industry. According to the Canadian Honey Council, at present, the number of beekeepers in Canada is approximately 7,000, operating a total of around 600,000 bee colonies.
The global market is fragmented, with a huge number of industry players operating within the market. The rising demand across several economies due to the increased consumer inclination towards natural sweeteners and healthy sugar alternatives has offered market players an abundance of opportunities to innovate and expand globally. Along with new product launches, companies such as Capilano Ltd., Barkman, Dabur India Ltd., Comvita, and others are focusing on various strategies, such as base expansion, sales or distribution channel expansion, and others, to increase their market share. For instance, in April 2019, Comvita entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the remaining 49 per cent of its Chinese Joint Venture (JV), Comvita China Ltd. and Comvita Food Ltd. The acquisition is aimed to strengthen its direct business in China and obtain higher flexibility for sales optimization and improved profitability. In September 2020, Comvita introduced its first multi-floral, MGO-certified Manuka honey. With this launch, the company aims to expand its consumer base that demands affordable yet healthy and flavorful natural sweetening products. In June 2020, Capilano Honey Limited announced its new product, a low GI (Glycemic Index) honey. The product claims to be of great significance for people on low GI diets and consumers looking to reduce their sugar intake.
COVID-19 Impact: Supply chain disruptions to have a negative impact on the market
The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected various industries across the globe as governments have undertaken lockdown measures and restricted the movement of people to contain the contagion. The closure of processing plants/units significantly affected the production of various food products in the initial months of the pandemic. Moreover, labour shortages, supply chain disruptions, trade & transport restrictions, fluctuating logistics, and others were observed in the lockdown period.
However, with the re-opening of production and processing facilities across various economies and increased efforts by beekeepers and market players to re-establish the disrupted supply chain, the condition of the natural sweeteners market is expected to improve. As honey is considered a health-enhancing product, its sales across several countries have witnessed an incredible rise and have resulted in a remarkable amplification of quarterly revenues of companies. For instance, in July 2020, Dabur India Limited, in its first quarterly report (Q1 2020-21), disclosed that its immunity products (such as Dabur Honitus) witnessed a growth of 60% and 80%, respectively, in the first quarter.
The demand for immunity-boosting products even after the end of the pandemic is expected to remain strong, which can add to the revenues of the market. Due to its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, is receiving appreciation and wider acceptance as an effective medicine to treat acute cough and throat infection observed in corona-infected patients. The Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines have recommended honey as a prominent first line of treatment in treating acute cough caused due to respiratory tract infection, which is one of the foremost symptoms in patients suffering from the COVID-19 disease.
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