GVR Report cover Food Waste Management Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Food Waste Management Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Waste Type (Fruits & Vegetables, Dairy Products), By Process, By Application, By Source, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Report ID: GVR-3-68038-146-7
  • Number of Pages: 109
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global food waste management market size was estimated at USD 34.22 billion in 2019. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% from 2020 to 2027. This growth is attributed to the rising concerns over food waste globally. Increasing consumer preference for new types of food and exotic food items, including tropical fruits, premium coffee, and imported products, is expected to complement growth. Increasing trade of food and food ingredients between various countries has led to the development of new supply chains, resulting in increased food waste generated. This has led to stringent regulations put in place by governments and food management bodies, thereby augmenting the market growth.

U.S. food waste management market size, by waste type, 2016 - 2027 (USD Billion)

As per the reports published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, more than one-third of the food produced annually, i.e., around 1.6 billion tons, is either wasted or lost. According to FAO, food waste accounted for 4.4 gigatons (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year, which accounted for more than 8% of the global anthropogenic GHG emissions.

The businesses involved in generating large quantities of food waste, including food processing facilities, retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice providers, are required to report the volume, origin, and waste disposal methods to the respective governments. This informs the policymakers regarding the volume and sources of food waste in addition to enabling the businesses to calculate the cost of their waste, thereby encouraging the reduction of waste.

Governments across various countries are running food waste management initiatives such as Love Food Hate Waste in the U.K. and the Stop Wasting Food movement in Denmark. Also, the Think Eat Save, a global partnership between Messe Düsseldorf, FAO, and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge is to increase awareness about food waste management.

Food Waste Management Market Trends

Food is the primary factor in day-to-day life. Food industry is undergoing tremendous changes and is witnessing an increasing trade of food and food ingredients between various countries, thereby leading to a rise in new supply chains. Technological & economic developments coupled with globalization have led to economic, political, and social interdependence between countries. This has influenced the food supply, consequently increasing the amount of food waste generated. Growing concerns over food waste globally are expected to drive the demand for food waste management over the forecast period.

Increasing consumer preference for new types of food and exotic food items such as premium coffee, tropical fruits, and imported products is expected to contribute to food waste generation. Changing lifestyle and increasing number of dual-earner families are factors further anticipated to boost the consumption of packaged and ready-to-eat foods. Thereby , increasing demand for food waste management over the forecast period.

The different processes involved in food waste disposal include aerobic digestion or composting, anaerobic digestion, incineration, landfill, liquefaction, and combustion. Anaerobic digestion, composting, and landfill contributes to a major share of the processes involved in the treatment of food waste.

Anaerobic digestion is a series of biological processes, wherein micro-organisms digest animal or plant material placed in sealed containers and produce biogas, which is a mixture of carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases. The leftover organic material is known as digestate, which is rich in nutrients such as potash, phosphate, and nitrogen. The demand for anaerobic digestion of separately collected food waste is witnessing significant growth in developed economies on account of rising awareness regarding the environmental and energy advantages associated with the process.

Food waste undergoes various treatment processes of which incineration and landfill have adverse effects on the environment. However, taking preventive measure such as maintaining hygiene during combustion, energy recovery through municipal wastewater treatment plants, and landfill gas capture during the process aid in reducing the environmental impact of these processes.

Landfills are used to dispose of all types of waste, wherein some are designed to dispose of municipal solid waste while others are used for the disposal of commercial & institutional waste. However, the major disadvantage of waste disposal through landfill is: after decomposition, the waste releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, thus, polluting the environment. Majority of the European Union countries including Sweden, Austria, and Germany have banned the disposal of waste through landfills.

Waste Type Insights

Fruits and vegetables led the market and accounted for 40.8% of the global revenue share in 2019, owing to a lack of proper handling, storage, and processing of the produce. Ease in waste management of fresh produce in the food management industry for the fruits and vegetable segment is expected to have a positive impact on market growth.

The cereals waste type is anticipated to witness growth on account of the negligent attitude of consumers towards product expiration dates. The lack of knowledge in consumers towards storage and preservation practices of cereals leads to heavy wastage, which is further expected to drive the demand for waste management in this segment over the forecast period.

The waste generated by the dairy industry is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.6% from 2020 to 2027, owing to the spoilage of products due to unhygienic storage at inappropriate temperatures. The lack of infrastructure for cold storage for dairy products in developing economies is expected to augment the service demand.

As per the reports published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than 45% of fruits and vegetables produced globally are wasted. More than 30% of cereals are wasted due to improper storage and transportation techniques. Governments across various countries are taking serious steps towards preserving food products, which is expected to drive the market growth.

Process Insights

Anaerobic digestion led the market and accounted for a 45% share of the global revenue share in 2019, as the food waste treated using anaerobic digestion has a lower number of pathogens and thus, restricts the spread of odor and diseases and promotes hygiene and sanitation. This process helps recover energy and nutrients from the waste, thus leading to market growth.

Combustion/ incineration technology is used for all types of food waste, saving the cost and time of waste segregation. The combustion/incineration process involves the burning of food waste to convert it into heat and ashes. Moreover, it is widely used in economies such as Japan, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, to generate heat and electricity.

Aerobic digestion is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 6.4% over the forecast period, as compost obtained from this process is used as fertilizers as it includes potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen. It incurs significantly less cost, thus making it effective for usage. The aerobic digestors accelerate the natural processes of decomposition, thereby producing water, heat, and carbon dioxide.

Other processes involved in food waste treatment include landfill, liquefaction, pyrolysis, and gasification. The landfill is the most traditional waste disposal method, wherein the waste is transported to the dumping site and then is spread and compacted using a bulldozer. However, it is banned in many countries, as it spreads gastrointestinal and parasitic diseases among people living or working near landfills or dumpsites.

Source Insights

Municipalities and households led the market and accounted for 43.8% of the global revenue share in 2019. Rapidly growing population and changing lifestyles are expected to boost the food waste generated from households. The causes of food waste in households include excessive shopping, food preparation in excess, improper food management, lack of cooking skills, and improper storage.

The waste generated from food distributors and suppliers witnessed growth on account of the spoilage of food and meat due to changes in climatic conditions, improper handling, and unavailability of proper storage facilities. Bulk size packaging coupled with unsold stock in supermarkets contributes significantly to the generation of food waste.

The waste produced by the foodservice providers is estimated to witness a CAGR of 4.4% from 2020 to 2027. This growth is attributed to various factors such as unskilled trimming, overstocking, expiration, spoilage, unidentified demand, inefficient production, and overproduction of food items by hotels, restaurants, street food vendors, and cafes.

Food waste generated in the distribution process has a significant share in the total food wasted. The causes of food waste during the delivery of food from primary food producers to consumers include the use of inappropriate means of transport and inadequate storage facilities. Human error due to the lack of standardization among staff and inadequate training to the personnel working in the food processing unit contribute to food waste.

Application Insights

Animal feed led the market and accounted for 52.9% of the global revenue share in 2019. Food waste can be directly used as animal feed or processed using a rendering technique and then fed to the livestock without additional costs. As the other types of food waste applications incur extra cost, the application of waste in animal feed is considerably higher.

Food waste undergoes composting or anaerobic digestion to produce digestate, rich in micro-organisms, micronutrients, carbon, and other nutrients such as potash, nitrogen, calcium, and sulfur, magnesium, and phosphate. The appropriate utilization of digestate as fertilizer aids farmers manage soil and reduce the contamination of land and water from the leaching of synthetic fertilizers.

Global food waste management market share, by application, 2019 (%)

The biofuel application segment is estimated to witness a CAGR of 6.6% from 2020 to 2027, on account of the varying crude oil prices and the rising awareness concerning the use of renewable energy. Favorable government regulation towards biofuel applications is expected to drive the application of food waste as biofuel.

Food waste undergoes anaerobic digestion to produce energy along with other forms of power generation, such as solar and wind. The utilization of food waste in the power generation industry contributes to a less significant share of the applications segment on account of the complexity of the treatment process and its high cost.

Regional Insights

Europe accounted for the highest market share of 32.4% in terms of revenue in 2019. The EU member states are engaged in reducing food waste at source as well as investing in proper disposal methods for acquiring useful products such as biogas and fertilizers from the processes. Furthermore, stringent regulations on food waste management is expected to drive the market in the region over the forecast period

Germany is engaged in the recycling of food waste before sending it to incinerators for combustion. Anaerobic digestion process is used in the country for the treatment of food waste and obtaining products, such as solid and liquid effluents, which are further processed to obtain fertilizers along with biogas, which is then used for electricity generation, cooking, and heating purposes.

North America food waste management market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.0% over the forecast period. The U.S. is estimated to account for the largest share of the market in North America owing to the booming food industry in the country. The factors contributing to food waste in North America include overproduction, damage of food products, lack of cold-chain infrastructure, and standardized date labeling practices, rigid food-grading specifications, market fluctuations, and varying customer demand.

India is one of the largest producers of food in the world and contributes to the generation of waste occurred during consumption, retailing, processing, and production. The government is investing in partnership with foreign players with advanced technologies for the management of food waste. The primary reasons for generation of food waste include lack of proper infrastructure, infestation by insects & rats, and early harvesting of crops.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

Companies in the market position themselves based on services offered, which includes the depth of recycling, treatment, and disposal capabilities, ability to collect and transport food waste efficiently, quality of service, and pricing. Major market players are heavily focused on extending their leadership position through innovation and expansion.

The market players are engaged in research and development to design and develop food waste management techniques to increase the production of the byproducts and reduce contamination levels in the environment. Companies focus on getting into long-term strategic relationships with municipalities, residential, and commercial complexes for their daily supply of food waste and reducing procurement costs. Some prominent players in the global food waste management market include:

  • Veolia

  • Suez

  • Waste Management, Inc.

  • Republic Services, Inc.

  • Covanta Ltd.

  • Stericycle, Inc.

Food Waste Management Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 35.97 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 52.03 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 5.4% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Waste type, source, application, process, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; France; Germany; Italy; U.K.; China; India; Japan; South Korea; Australia; Brazil; South Africa

Key companies profiled

Veolia; Suez; Waste Management, Inc.; Republic Services, Inc.; Covanta Ltd.; Stericycle, Inc.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail of customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Segments Covered in the Report

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 this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global food waste management market report on the waste type, source, application, process, and region:

  • Waste Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Cereals

    • Dairy products

    • Fruits & Vegetables

    • Meat

    • Fish & Sea Food

    • Processed Food

    • Others

  • Process Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Aerobic

    • Anaerobic

    • Combustion/Incineration

    • Others

  • Source Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Primary Food Producers

    • Food Manufacturers

    • Food Distributors & Suppliers

    • Food Service Providers

    • Municipalities & Households

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Animal Feed

    • Fertilizers

    • Biofuel

    • Power Generation

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • France

      • Germany

      • Italy

      • U.K.

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

      • Australia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

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