Consumers in most Far Eastern nations are increasingly looking for alternative sources of protein and healthy oils, according to Technavio, which has compiled a report on the market. Now South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia are expected to emerge as the target markets in this region.
Also, the growing trend among Asia-Pacific doctors and dieticians to recommend hemp-based foods and beverages to protein-deficient patients will help the region to emerge as a lucrative market in the segment. Moreover, specialists have been increasingly recommending hemp oil as it aids in curing terminal cancer, depression and anxiety.
“The demand for hemp-based foods is rising, primarily due to the emergence of hemp as a superfood owing to high content of the two essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6,” said Manjunath Reddy, a lead food research expert from Technavio.
“Rises in per-capita household income levels, along with the growing number of health-conscious consumers, will fuel market growth. Urbanisation, with its influence on consumer lifestyles, has brought about changes in diet patterns. Consumers now prefer more protein and EFAs-based products of hemp.”
Canada Hemp Foods, Hempco and Naturally Splendid are among the manufacturers now supplying hemp-based foods to Japan, China, Korea and other Asian nations.
The North American market, meanwhile, is expected to post annualised growth of over 18% until 2020 at a time when the number of people suffering from food allergies, including gluten and lactose intolerances is growing sharply.
According to Technavio, North America dominated the global gluten-free food market with a share of around 55% in 2014. The number of consumers there switching to a gluten-free diet owing to sensitivity is comparatively higher than in other regions.
Like Asia-Pacific, the European market is expected to post annualised growth of over 23% on the back of a continuous increase in the value of the naturally healthy food and beverages market. There has also been significant demand in Europe for drinks that act as substitutes for dairy-based drinks.