Lecithin can be defined as any group of yellow brownish fatty substances present in animal and plant tissues, and is used for smoothing food textures, homogenizing liquid mixtures, and dissolving powders (emulsifier). In 2015, the global lecithin market was valued at US$ 770.5 Mn and is estimated to reach US$ 804.7 Mn by the end of 2016. In terms of value, the global lecithin market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period, and is expected to be valued at US$ 1,225.0 Mn by 2024 end.
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Increasing preference for low fat food and rising demand for convenience foods and packed foods in the market in various countries are factors expected to drive growth of the global lecithin market during the forecast period. As a result of increasing demand for natural products in Asia Pacific, there are a number of opportunities for various players in the global lecithin market. Ever-rising demand for personal care products and cosmetics with natural ingredients is also expected to result in significantly high sales of ingredients used in these products.
As a result of rising popularity of lecithin and increasing awareness regarding associated benefits, the global lecithin market is expected to exhibit a robust growth during the forecast period. Due to recent concerns over GMO (genetically modified organisms) and growing awareness about food allergies, non-GMO products are expected to witness a significant growth resulting in a high demand for lecithin based products.
Presence of significantly high number of players in the market is creating intense competition. Lecithin is extracted from soy, sunflower, canola, rapeseed, egg, and sometimes shrimps. Lecithin percentage in all raw materials is very less; varying form 0.3 – 1.0%, and hence requires rigorous processing and high volumes of raw material, which leads to high processing costs. These are some of the restraints affecting the global lecithin market.
Among all source type segments in the lecithin market, revenue from the soya bean segment is projected to lead with a CAGR of 5.6% (2016–2024). This segment is expected to remain dominant and expected to account for 50.3% value share over the forecast period. The soya bean segment is estimated to account for major value share in 2016, owing to continuous development, which is expected to fuel growth of this segment over the forecast period.
The food & beverage segment is expected to contribute comparatively high revenue among the application type segment over the forecast period, and is estimated to account for around 40.7% value share of the overall global market by 2016 end. Pharmaceutical segment is also expected to witness a favorable revenue growth in the global lecithin market, registering a CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period. This segment is projected to create incremental $ opportunity of US$ 96.2 Mn between 2016 and 2024.
Markets in North America, APAC and Europe are expected to contribute significantly to overall revenue growth of the global lecithin market. Increasing demand for natural foods is rising globally, with consumers opting for more nutritious food products, are factors expected to fuel the growth of global lecithin market. Among the regions, North America is estimated to account for a major share in terms of revenue at 35.6% in 2016, followed by Europe.
North America market is likely to witness highest growth in terms of value over the forecast period, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Sales of soya bean lecithin-based products in North America and APAC are estimated to collectively account for over 59.4% revenue share of the global lecithin market by 2016 end. Among all major markets for source type, soya bean and sunflower segments are expected to witness significant growth rates over the forecast period.
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Key market players
Key players in the global lecithin market covered in the report include E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co, Cargill, Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Sternchemie GmbH & Co. KG, NOW Foods, American Lecithin Company, Bunge Limited, Thew Arnott & Co. Ltd., and Lipoid GmbH.