Global Lecithin Market Size, Trends & Analysis - Forecasts to 2026 By Source (Soy, Sunflower, Rapeseed, Others), By Application (Convenience Foods, Bakery, Confectionery, Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care, Animal Feed, Industrial, Others), By Region (North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East & Africa); End-User Landscape, Company Market Share Analysis, and Competitor Analysis
Lecithin is a kind of matter obtained from various commercial sources like soybeans, egg yolks, and sunflowers, among others. Lecithin is usually employed because of its unique features like smoothening textures of food, repelling the sticky materials, dissolving powders, and homogenizing mixtures in liquid. Lecithin is a material that has found applications in drug creation and is widely used in pharmaceutical manufacturing. North America and the Asia-Pacific regions are the largest producers of lecithin worldwide. Globally, Non-GMO and organic lecithin is in high demand.
Major drivers that influence lecithin's demand are from the food manufacturing industry. Moreover, due to its many medicinal benefits, lecithin can be consumed as medication and used in the production of pharmaceuticals. Lecithin enhances liver and cell function, fat transfer and metabolism, healthy reproduction and child growth, and gallstone care. It is utilized as a food additive, and where it has been used in the form of a lubricant stabilizer, a natural emulsifier, and realizing agent for several other purposes.
Lecithin is also making inroads in the cosmetics industry, especially in skincare products. Furthermore, by lowering the surface tension of the emulsified substances, lecithin aids in the formation of emulsions. Leading cosmetic manufacturers are launching a variety of skincare and personal care products.
On the other hand, lecithin is also trending its needs from the pharmaceutical manufacturers. The increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and obesity has increased market demand for food ingredients such as lecithin. The rising health awareness among consumers has also increased pharmaceutical demand as one of the products utilized for preventive purposes. Lecithin helps treat illnesses related to a neurological disorder, liver, therapeutic purpose, and cholesterol level. All these factors will propel the lecithin market growth over the forecast period.
However, the FDA has eased COVID-19 labelling requirements for a few ingredients, including soy lecithin. Soy lecithin was removed from the allergen list by the FDA, meaning that the substance was never supposed to be classified as allergens. Even in the face of persistent COVID-19, such regulatory measures have provided enough space to rebalance the lecithin industry.
Based on the source segment, the market is segmented into three segments namely: soy, sunflower, and rapeseed.
The soy segment is expected to hold the largest market share over the forecast period in terms of revenue. The therapeutic and functional advantages of soy will drive the demand for products acquired from these sources. The growing demand for industrial applications, such as inks and paints, is predicted to propel the lecithin market growth during the forecast period.
The sunflower lecithin market is anticipated to advance fast because it is considered a favoured substitute for soy-based products. The main advantage provided by this product is solventless extraction, which is anticipated to support the market demand. The usage of hazardous chemicals, like acetone and hexane in the extraction of soy lecithin, is foreseen to promote substitutes, including sunflower-based products. The demand for this product is assumed to be high in Europe due to many sunflower fields in France, Ukraine, Hungary, and Russia.
Based on the application segment, the market is segregated into convenience foods, bakery, confectionery, pharmaceuticals & personal care, animal feed, industrial, and others.
On examining the global level market's overall demand for lecithin, it is estimated that the convenience food segment will account for most of the market share in terms of volume and value, followed by the pharmaceutical & personal care industry and industrial segments. The majority of the lecithin demand is from the food and pharmaceutical industry. In the food industry, lecithin is utilized as a food additive due to its functional property of emulsifiers and anti-spatter. Lecithin is used in the production of many confectionery products, including toffee, chocolates, fudge, caramels, and brittles. The ability to act as a natural emulsifier, antioxidant and flavour protector drives demand. Over the forecast era, the rapidly rising sugar-free confectionery industry is projected to have a positive effect on market growth.
The industrial application is anticipated to witness a high CAGR due to research on incorporating natural products in paint manufacturing. The lecithin market growth is also supported by the presence of many farmlands used to cultivate oilseeds such as rapeseed, soybean, and sunflower.
On the other hand, in the pharmaceutical industry, it is employed as a dispersing agent and aids in encapsulation, and also it has application in the form of nutritional supplements. The pharmaceutical & personal care manufacturers mainly favour soy lecithin for the manufacturing of their products. Excipients in drug formulations include high-quality lecithin derived from the processing of standard derivatives. The increasing importance of emulsion-based pharmaceutical products is expected to drive up demand for these ingredients, which help in the stabilization of oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions.
Lecithin is also widely used in industry as an anti-sludge additive, release agent, spreading agent, emulsifier, and for a variety of other purposes. Lecithin is used in a variety of industries, including plastics, rubber, textiles, and paint.
In the production of animal feed, lecithin is used as an emulsifier. The addition of lecithin improves the animal feed received for domestic animals and plays a significant role in their wellbeing.
China will rule the lecithin market in the Asia-Pacific region. Due to the extremely growing demand for natural ingredients, lecithin is increasingly being used in dairy, bakery and confectionery, and meat products. The growing number of foodservice establishments and food outlets appears to be driving up demand for lecithin as a food additive, especially in the Chinese F&B sector. China is a fast-growing market because of the increasing problems of obesity and more notice being given to the nutritional content in food products, which propels the lecithin market over the forecast period.
On the other hand, the increased demand for cosmetics and personal care products in the country is anticipated to heighten the need for de-oiled lecithin. Furthermore, the thriving aquaculture industry in China is anticipated to spur lecithin in the animal feed market.
Europe will dominate the lecithin market over the forecast period. The increasing consumption of nutritional supplements and healthy foods is accelerating the market demand. The rising research on non-GMO soy lecithin is anticipated to boost the demand further.
Global River Food Ingredients, Archer Daniels Midland, Lipoid GmbH, DuPont, Wilmar International, Bunge Ltd., American Lecithin Company, Soya International, NOW Foods, Sternchemie GmbH & Co. KG, Cargill Inc., GIIAVA, and Thew Arnott & Co., Ltd., are some of the identified industry players.
Please note: This is not an exhaustive list of companies profiled in the report.
In April 2021, Sternchemie received a GRAS "notice of no objection" from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its extensive line of sunflower lecithins.
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The Global Lecithin Market has been studied from the year 2019 till 2026. However, the CAGR provided in the report is from the year 2021 to 2026. The research methodology involved three stages: Desk research, Primary research, and Analysis & Output from the entire research process.
The desk research involved a robust background study which meant referring to paid and unpaid databases to understand the market dynamics; mapping contracts from press releases; identifying the key players in the market, studying their product portfolio, competition level, annual reports/SEC filings & investor presentations; and learning the demand and supply-side analysis for the Lecithin Market.
The primary research activity included telephonic conversations with more than 50 tier 1 industry consultants, distributors, and end-use product manufacturers.
Finally, based on the above thorough research process, an in-depth analysis was carried out considering the following aspects: market attractiveness, current & future market trends, market share analysis, SWOT analysis of the company and customer analytics.
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