The global food waste management market size was estimated at USD 32.64 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 5.0% over the forecast period. Rapid industrialization and rising R&D activities for developing efficient systems are expected to have a positive influence on the growth.
Rising use of organic waste for the production of animal feed and fertilizers, reducing greenhouse emissions, and growing energy requirements are the factors projected to drive demand for the food waste management systems. Increasing consumption of processed food, including ready-to-eat meals is also likely to boost the demand.
In U.S., the fruits and vegetables segment held over 39.4% of the revenue share in 2018. The presence of health-conscious consumers in the country is likely to boost the consumption of fruits and vegetables, thereby resulting in increased food waste generation. Furthermore, the government initiative to educate people regarding appropriate storage methods for fruits and vegetables to prevent rotting is expected to drive the growth.
Growing demand for enhanced technology such as gasification for treating wastage is expected to create new opportunities over the next seven years. Gasification process converts organic materials such as biomass or combinations of inorganic and organic surplus into a combustible gas known as syngas.
Adverse effects of incineration and landfill techniques on the environment are expected to hamper the market growth. Incineration and landfill both contribute to the emission of GHG, the major cause of global warming. Incineration process involves the burning of the waste to convert it into ashes and heat. Whereas, leakage from landfills can result in the contamination of the hydrosphere.
Anaerobic digestion is a recent technological trend that is expected to boost industrial growth for food wastage disposal as it helps to recover energy and nutrients from the produce. The segregation and collection of waste is a key challenge, which is anticipated to boost industry demand over the forecast period.
Fruits and vegetables segment accounted for a significant revenue share of over 40.6% in 2018 on account of the improper handling, storage, processing, and cultivation of the produce. Majority of fruits and vegetables are wasted during the production and harvesting stages. Improper storage and handling of fresh produce lead to spoilage, which, in turn, is expected to lead to higher amounts of wastage as compared to other segments.
Meat is expected to be one of the fastest-growing segments over the forecast period owing to the increasing generation of edible wastage in developed economies such as U.S. In addition, increasing government initiatives regarding the waste management of meat and meat products for reducing the impact of Green House Gases (GHGs) on the environment is likely to boost the growth over the forecast period.
Dairy products is estimated to reach USD 8.98 billion by 2025 on account of increasing product wastage caused by the lack of cold storage or infrastructure and transportation of the products. Furthermore, the growth of the segment is attributed to improper processing and unhygienic storage of products at an inappropriate temperature.
Rising consumer disposable income and increasing standard of living are likely to drive the generation of processed food wastage. This can be attributed to the growing consumer spending capacity and increased consumption of ready-to-eat and other processed foods. Furthermore, increasing consumer negligence and reducing value of money are likely to drive the generation of processed food wastage globally.
Anaerobic digestion, composting, and landfill contributes to a significant share of the processes involved in the treatment of food waste. Anaerobic digestion segment led the food waste management market in 2018, accounting for over 45.2% of the global revenue share. It is a widely used process for the disposal of waste as the process aids in recovering energy such as biogas and nutrients.
The wastage of food treated using anaerobic digestion has a less number of pathogens and thus, restricts the spread of odor and diseases and promotes hygiene and sanitation. It is an effective alternative to fossil fuel and energy produced through anaerobic digestion is not dependent on weather change. The waste disposed using this process includes municipal and industrial sewage, domestic and commercial food waste, and agricultural material and livestock manures.
Aerobic digestion segment is estimated to reach USD 3.80 billion by 2025 on account of its ability to decompose food waste such as cereals and fruits and vegetables aerobically to form compost. The compost obtained from this process is used as fertilizers on account of its composition, which includes potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen, as well as the presence of soil conditioning micro-organisms.
Combustion or incineration process involves the controlled combustion of mixed waste at extremely high temperatures, wherein the energy is recovered from the combustion process in the form of heat and electricity. Economies, including Japan, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, treat over 90% of the residues through incineration or energy recovery to generate electricity and heat from the process.
The inedible food parts, such as juice pulp, whey permeate, and spent brewer’s grains; which are deemed edible for livestock are collected and segregated before feeding them. Animal feed production is an ecological and economical method of food waste management. However, only specific types of food waste, such as cereals, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, fish, and meat, are used as feed for animals.
Fertilizers are projected to witness a CAGR of 4.2%, in terms of revenue, from 2019 to 2025, owing to rising demand from farmers to reduce the contamination of land and water from the leeching of synthetic fertilizers. Moreover, the use of food waste as fertilizer aids in soil conditioning or repairing owing to the ability of fertilizers in improving the water holding capacity along with the absorption of nutrients, which are utilized further during farming.
The economic and nutrient value of the digestate used as fertilizer varies according to the treatment process and type of waste. The fertilizers obtained after the treatment can be used in agricultural land, forestry, home gardens, and horticulture for soil conditioning or repairing and enhances the water holding capacity of the soil.
Biofuel is expected to witness substantial growth over the projected period owing to rising awareness regarding renewable energy coupled with constant fluctuations in the prices of crude oil. Methane, hydrogen, ethanol, and biodiesel are the different types of biofuels produced from food waste.
Municipalities and households sector is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 5.5% in terms of revenue, from 2019 to 2025, owing to the rising wastage by consumers across the globe. The causes of waste by households include preparation of food in excess, improper management, lack of cooking skills, improper storage, and lack of awareness among consumers regarding the expiry date of the products.
Food distributors and suppliers accounted for over 23.7% of the total revenue share in 2018, attributed to inappropriate means of transport and inadequate storage facilities used by the entities. In addition, the spoilage of meat owing to the changes in climatic conditions, improper handling, and unavailability of proper storage contributes majorly to the total waste.
Food service providers segment is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period. Factors driving the segment are overstocking, expiration, spoilage, inefficient production, and overproduction that leads to a considerable amount of waste generated before offering it to consumers. These service providers include hotels, restaurants, street vendors, and cafes.
The types of waste generated by primary producers include cereals, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, meat, and fish. These producers are involved in agricultural activities such as farming, animal husbandry, and fishing. Loss due to spillage, poor crop harvest, and animal death are the factors contributing to generation of food wastage.
Europe led the in 2018, accounting for over 32.5% of the revenue share. The factors contributing to the regional growth include government initiative for reducing food wastage as well as increasing investment in advanced disposable techniques for acquiring useful products such as biogas and fertilizers.
North America is estimated to reach USD 13.84 billion by 2025, on account of overproduction, lack of cold-chain infrastructure, market fluctuations, and varying customer demand. U.S. is projected to account for a major regional market share owing to the booming food industry in the country.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness significant growth on account of rising exports of various products from Asian countries to the North American and European countries which are further expected to increase the amount of wastage during transit. The food waste in the region is majorly decomposed and is converted into biogas, which is also used in electricity generation.
The advanced economies in Middle East and Africa, such as Qatar, contribute majorly to the global food wastage on account of the unavailability of an adequate number of cold storages and warehouses and the lack of transportation facilities. However, the regional governments are focusing on proper management on such wastage. For instance, Dubai has taken the initiative for achieving zero waste and has launched the UAE Food Bank.
The market is highly competitive in nature. Major companies in the market include Veolia Environment; Suez Environment; Waste Management, Inc.; Republic Services, Inc.; Clean Harbors, Inc.; and Stericycle, Inc. The source of competition varies by the region and type of service offered by the regional and local players.
Market players work with the governments to improve the overall customer services as well as the customer experience of dealing with waste management. In addition, public-private partnerships benefit the government as well as the companies involved as they receive a higher level of cooperation from each other for improved functioning.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2017
2019 - 2025
Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Germany, U.K., China, India, Japan, Brazil
Revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global food waste management market report on the basis of waste type, process, application, source, and region:
Waste Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Fruits & Vegetables
Fish & Sea Food
Process Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Source Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Primary Food Producers
Food Distributors & Suppliers
Food Service Providers
Municipalities & Households
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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