Asia Pacific will see a 9% CAGR in its emulsifier market until 2017, fuelled by China, driven by a sustained demand for natural emulsifiers and low-fat foods in a burgeoning processed foods segment, according to a report.
The Global Industry Analysts (GIA) report found that while the developed markets, the US and Europe, capture the largest market share (55%) of the snowballing global emulsifiers industry, Asia Pacific is poised to realise the fastest growth.
The February GIA report, Emulsifiers: A Global Strategic Business Report, forecasted a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 9% through to 2017 for Asia Pacific.
The Asian emulsifiers market is driven by sustained demand from the lecithin segment;”a natural emulsifier that“captures the lion’s share,” in China and represents a third of the global market, GIA said.
This anticipated growth in Asia will be catalyzed by rapid development in China’s emulsifiers market, GIA added.
China, the growth engine
“The food emulsifier market in China is primarily driven by increase in processed foods production and innovation in almost all segments such as bakery, dairy, oils, meat products and confectionery,” the analysts said.
The market has also benefited from increased consumer demand for low-fat foods, GIA said, and emulsifiers are considered ideal replacements for trans-fats.
China, along with India, has become an attractive target market for international emulsifier manufacturers, the report noted, but leading global players “face intense competition from the rapidly growing might of Chinese producers.”
Emulsifiers manufactured by Chinese producers include fatty polyalcohol ester and the most popular natural product in Asia, lecithin.
However, the report said, “lecithin manufactured in China is generally low in active content, and suffers from deoderisation and decolourisation issues.”
Therefore lecithin produced in the country is used in low quantities within food applications, GIA noted.
The Chinese market has experienced a shift to multi-food emulsifiers, the report said, but “the market is expected to face competition from enzymes in bakery and dairy segments due to cost efficiency and technological advantages of enzymes over emulsifiers.”
“In order to thwart any competition from enzymes, emulsifier producers need to develop products largely based on market demand,” GIA noted.
The overall forecast of the GIA report was that the global emulsifiers market is set to hit 2.6m tons by 2017.