The global food thickeners market size was estimated to be USD 13.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.0% from 2020 to 2027. This growth in demand for food thickeners is spearheaded by the growing applicability of the product in food and beverage application along with rising consumer awareness regarding health and wellness.
Factors such as ongoing product innovation, changing consumer preferences for high-quality products, and strengthening government food regulations are expected to positively impact market growth. Favorable government regulations pertaining to the growth of the food & beverage industry are anticipated to augment the demand over the forecast period.
Various governmental agencies and organizations have launched and implemented schemes for promoting healthy lifestyles. These schemes include the introduction of innovative healthy products for reducing diabetes, obesity, and cholesterol levels, thereby, augmenting industry demand. Robust growth of the food and beverage industry, coupled with the presence of a broad consumer base, is anticipated to boost the consumption of the product over the forecast period. Similarly, rising disposable income, along with changing lifestyles of consumers due to rapid urbanization, is expected to have a positive influence on the market.
Food thickeners such as starch, hydrocolloids, and proteins find application in the baking industry, wherein they are predominantly used as a thickening, stabilizing, and gelling agents. In addition, increasing demand for ready-to-eat snacks, protein-rich products, and nutritional foods is estimated to drive the demand for the product in the coming years.
Rising demand for non-alcoholic drinks, including fruit juices and energy drinks, is expected to augment market growth over the forecast period. The market is highly competitive and comprises major industry players such as Cargill Inc., and CP Kelco with large production volumes. These major players compete on the basis of formulation blends and customization services, thereby catering to a larger consumer base.
Hydrocolloid as a food thickeners accounted for more than 41.0% share of the global revenue in 2019. The various types of hydrocolloids used as food thickeners include alginate, pectin, locust bean gum, guar gum, xanthan gum, carrageenan gum, and beta-glucan. The stable nature of hydrocolloids under low pH makes them fiber rich, thus, enhancing its application in the food & beverage industry.
Hydrocolloids are widely used as food additives and thickeners, for instance, they are used as a sugar substitute in whipped creams & steamed bread, wheat flour substitute in cookies, coating material in nuts & dried fish, food stabilizer in whipped cream, bulking agent in ice cream & yogurt, and for starch dispersion in rice.
Starch in food thickeners market sized to be more than USD 3.2 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 5.5% in 2020 to 2027. Factors such as high viscosity, stability, and low cost are expected to further drive the use of starch as a food thickener over the forecast period. In addition, the rising demand for gluten-free products is expected to further drive product demand.
Major sources of starch include tapioca, rice, wheat, and corn. Starch is widely used owing to its low cost, wide availability, and ability to provide thick-base texture to sauces and soups. In addition, it does not impart any foreign taste when used in a concentration of 2-5%. The product improves the mouthfeel and texture of gravies, soups, and sauces. All these factors are expected to ascent the product demand as a food thickener over the forecast period.
Plant based food thickeners led the market and accounted for more than 66.0% share of global revenue in 2019. Plant-based products are the most popularly used ingredients in most applications such as bakery, confectionery, ready to eat meals among others, which can be ascribed to their high efficacy and competitive pricing. Some of the widely used plant-based food thickeners include cornstarch, tapioca, agar, xanthan gum, rice flour, and pectin.
Food thickeners derived from plants are sustainable and highly in demand from consumers due to the rising trend of veganism and vegetarian diets, especially in food products such as bakery, confectionery, and processed food. The easy availability of raw materials for the production of plant-based food thickeners coupled with the product popularity among consumers is expected to drive the segment over the forecast period.
The animal segment accounted for more than USD 2.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.8% during the projected period of 2020 to 2027. The products derived from animal sources include egg, blood albumin, collagen, and gelatin. The egg is widely used as a coagulating agent in cookies, cakes, and candies. It is also used in clearing wine. The egg can hold four times its moisture, which makes it a good thickener for sauces, custards, and curds.
Blood albumin (from any slaughtered animal) is used in cheese making and medicines. Blood proteins are used as a replacement for eggs owing to their low cost and low cholesterol concentration. Thickening agents, when added to an aqueous mixture, increase the mixture viscosity without substantially modifying its properties such as taste, texture, and flavor. In addition, they provide body, increase stability, and improve the suspension of added ingredients.
Bakery is the largest application segment for food thickeners and accounted for a market share of more than 24% in 2019. The segment is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period. Factors such as rising demand for organic and natural baked goods and trend of healthy snacks are expected to drive the demand for food thickeners over the forecast period.
Increasing demand for convenience foods owing to rising consumer awareness toward products with exotic and traditional taste is expected to promote the growth of the food thickeners market over the forecast period. Rising disposable incomes coupled with changing lifestyles due to rapid urbanization have led to a shift in food consumption patterns, which should in turn increase demand over the projected period.
Manufacturers are also expanding their product range by including exotic flavors, functional ingredients, and organic herbal fillings in their product formulations to cater to the changing consumer tastes. These factors are expected to drive the demand for confectionery products, thereby augmenting the need for the product in confectionery over the forecast period.
Food thickeners are indispensably used in making sauces and dips as it gives the sauces its characteristic creamy and flavorful texture. With the rise in demand for processed food products, the demand for sauces and other dressings among consumers witnessed a concurrent high, which, in turn, should augment demand for food thickeners over the projected period.
North America dominated the market with a share of more than 38.0% in 2019 owing to the notable demand for the product from various industries located in U.S. and Canada. The market in North America is primarily driven by the highly developed food and beverage industry in the U.S. and Canada. The market also benefits from the presence of various multinational food processing and manufacturing companies, resulting in an increased demand for the product.
North America has been witnessing increasing demand for products such as pastries, muffins, and cupcakes since recent years. Players in the bakery and confectionery industry are incorporating innovation into their products through the use of different thickeners. In addition, demand for bakery and confectionery products is rising in the region.
The demand for food thickeners in Europe is expected to ascend owing to the presence of robust bakery and confectionery industry coupled with the growing consumer demand. Furthermore, rising demand for packaged juices and energy drinks is also expected to propel the market growth over the forecast period.
The exports by various food thickener companies in Europe consist of value-added products including blends of different thickeners and flavor ingredients. The exporters are primarily concentrated in Western Europe and the manufacturers are increasingly expanding their businesses in Eastern Europe.
The industry is highly competitive owing to the magnitude of the food industry and the increasing demand for emulsifiers, gelling agents, and texturants. Moreover, key players in food thickeners market face strong competition from small-sized and local players as they offer cheap and customized products according to the need of buyers. These players have high penetration in specific areas, but irregular demand poses a challenge to small players.
Product differentiation is one of the key strategies to gain an advantage over competitors. The industry is characterized by a wide range of products offered by manufacturers. However, most of the products have similar applications, which make it difficult to attain product differentiation. Product differentiation in the market is attained by a few players including ADM and Ingredion Incorporated. Some of the prominent players in the food thickeners market include:
Archer Daniels Midland Company
DuPont De Nemours, Inc.
Tate & Lyle PLC
TIC Gums, Inc.
Medline Industries, Inc.
Darling Ingredients Inc.
Market size value in 2020
USD 13.8 billion
Revenue forecast in 2027
USD 20.9 billion
CAGR of 6.0% from 2020 to 2027
Base year for estimation
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Type, source, application, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; South America; Middle East & Africa
U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; U.K.; France; Italy; Spain; China; Japan; India; Australia; Brazil; Argentina; UAE; South Africa
Key companies profiled
Cargill Inc.; Archer Daniels Midland Company; DuPont De Nemours Inc.; Tate & Lyle PLC; CP Kelco U.S. Inc.; Kerry Inc.; Ingredion Incorporated; Ashland; TIC Gums Inc.; FDL Limited; Naturex S.A.; Medline Industries Inc.; Darling Ingredients Inc.
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global food thickeners market report based on type, source, application, and region:
Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Source Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Sauces & Dips
Convenience & Processed Food
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
b. The global food thickeners market size was estimated at USD 13.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 13.8 billion in 2020.
b. The food thickeners market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.0% from 2019 to 2027 to reach USD 20.9 billion by 2027.
b. Hydrocolloids dominated the food thickeners market with a share of 41% in 2019, owing to its extensive use in bakery and confectionery industry
b. Some of the key players operating in the food thickeners market include Cargill Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Company, DuPont De Nemours Inc., Tate & Lyle PLC, CP Kelco U.S. Inc., Kerry Inc., Ingredion Incorporated, Ashland, TIC Gums Inc., FDL Limited, Naturex S.A., Medline Industries Inc., Darling Ingredients Inc..
b. Key factors that are driving the food thickeners market include growing product demand for plant based food thickeners owing to rising trends of consumer inclination towards vegetarian and vegan diets
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