Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that originated in most plants which include several fruits and vegetables. It is extracted from biowaste which includes materials such as birch bark and corn cob. It is a carbon-based sugar polyol that is further used as a low-calorie sweetener for chewing gums, candies, and other sugar products. Growing consumer consciousness on the consumption of organic products pertaining to the geriatric population globally will promote product demand. Moreover, xylitol has no aftertaste, acts as natural insulin stabilizer, and is anti-cariogenic owing to which it is considered as a suitable alternative for sugar and also, can be used in the diet of obese and diabetic persons.
The global xylitol market valued USD XX million in 2022 and is forecasted to reach USD XX million by 2029, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period (2022-2029)
Rising number of diabetic populations
The rising number of diabetic populations is a major factor driving the demand for xylitol. According to International Diabetics Federation, the number of diabetics worldwide in 2019 was 463 million. The projected number of diabetics is expected to reach 700 million by 2045. With an increased number of diabetics, the prevalence of diabetes is also projected to increase to almost 11 per cent by 2045. Xylitol is considered as a substitute for sugar and it expands the choices of consumption of food and beverages products among the consumers also ensuring the control of calorie intake. It is considered a food additive that has almost the same taste as sugar but does not contain the same number of calories as compared to sugar. Xylitol provides a sweet flavour and is thus beneficial for patients suffering from diabetes. Prevention of health-related problems associated with diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol has become a global phenomenon among the population thus triggering the growth of the xylitol market.
Further, dental problems due to cavities and gum infections across the globe are also responsible for the rising demand for xylitol. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) identifies that there is substantial research on sugar alternatives, like xylitol, and their probable oral health for infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs. Xylitol also plays a major role in weight control, thus the same has shown a significant rise and has resulted in the rise in consumption of xylitol infused products in recent years.
However, stringent government rules and regulations on xylitol as sweeteners are restraining the global xylitol market. There are several regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug association that have their regulations regarding the usages of xylitol. Thus, this results in delays towards the introduction of new xylitol infused products. Moreover, changing climatic conditions are expected to impact the availability of sources, which in turn is expected to impact overall xylitol production. Pure xylose is required for the production of xylitol, which is costly and its supply is relatively inadequate. Owing to this, the price of xylitol has become higher, which will affect the growth of xylitol market. Xylitol supply variation and availability of substitute polyols such as sorbitol, maltol and mannitol among others are expected to act as restraints for this market.
Chewing gum is by far the largest segment holding about XX% of the global market
The chewing gum segment held a significant share in the xylitol market in 2020 growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. The rising demand for sugar-free chewing gum and confectionery in both developed and developing markets is driving the market for non-calorie sweeteners, like xylitol. Hence, it is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gums, candies, mints, diabetes-friendly foods, and oral-care products. Rising concern about sugar intake has led to the collapse of sugared chewing gum consumption. In 2000, sales of gum with and without sugar were fairly close in the United States. But since then, that gap has ballooned. In 2017, sugar-free gum sales saw higher growth in sales, when compared to sugared chewing gum. Increasing health awareness has led to a change in consumer buying behaviour, exhibiting a growing preference for sugar-free chewing gum. Leading companies of chewing gum have concentrated on the launch of a sugar-free product line, which in turn has driven the growth of the industry. The major chewing gum brands in the United States such as Trident to Orbit, Extra, Dentyne, 5, and Eclipse are specialized in sugar-free, mint-flavoured gum.
North America is the largest market for xylitol with a share of nearly XX% in global sales value in 2020
By geography, North America is expected to dominate the xylitol market. The growing ageing population in the U.S. along with increasing purchasing power, access to quality healthcare and pharmaceuticals may drive the product growth. As a medicine, xylitol is used to avert middle ear infections in young children and acts as a sugar substitute for people with diabetes. According to American Heart Association, over 40% of deaths in the U.S. in 2018 were attributed to coronary heart disease which is shifting consumer viewpoint on low calorie and normal diets. Changing user insights towards healthy diets and growing consciousness on probable aids of naturally derived sugar substitutes should boost product demand.
Moreover, growing cases of various diseases like type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity are likely to boost regional product demand. Pharmaceutical companies are engaged in providing natural products to consumers at low cost to curb various diseases which have also attracted various investments in the region. The increasing number of dental cases in the region owing to the bad eating habits of consumers may boost demand for xylitol in the region. Moreover, the US FDA has approved the use of xylitol in foods for special dietary purposes, as a direct food additive, which further extends to all the other sugar-free and no-sugar-added products and has also classified it as ‘generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
The global xylitol market is fragmented, with key manufactures including Merck KGaA, DuPont, and Nova Green, among others. With three production plants in the USA, China and Finland, DuPont Danisco has become the global leading player in xylitol production. Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the xylitol market. For instance, S2G Biochemicals and Mondelez International collaborated, to build a xylitol plant in the United States. In December 2018, Fazer Group produced xylitol using hull as a raw material. The company utilized its state-of-the-art technology along with the sidestream of the oat milling process for the product. Xylitol production from oat hulls is an innovation in product manufacturing with completely new technology. The production process is unique due to the raw material which is used mainly for catering market needs for food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
COVID-19 Impact: Disruption in the supply chain for the food industry is likely to constrain industry growth
The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to a complete lockdown of the countries. This has affected the market negatively as there is less availability of labour in the production house. Owing to this lockdown, the manufacturers have been forced to use the available stocks. Since there are supply chain disruptions such as less/no imports and exports, there is a major decline witnessed in the consumption of xylitol in the food and beverage industry. Different government bodies have imposed different rules for the purchase of essentials. For instance, in the U.S., only one supermarket/hypermarket is opened per community for restricted timings. This includes social distancing, wearing masks, and disinfecting the hands. Due to various restrictions imposed, the consumer tends to buy only the required essential products such as bread, eggs, milk and others. These regulations vary from one country to the other and have a negative impact on the market, as there is less labour available in the production base.
Xylitol is widely used in various products to produce pure products for application such as food, confectionery and chewing gums. Strict regulations for transport and a deteriorating supply chain for various products makes it difficult to source raw material for these food products. Furthermore, blockage of conveyance routes for the fresh food supply chain may hamper the food industry, which is a huge loss to the industry growth.
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