GVR Report cover Lecithin Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Lecithin Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Source (Soybean, Rapeseed, Sunflower), By Application (Convenience Foods, Bakery, Confectionary, Pharmaceuticals, Animal Feed, Industrial), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: May, 2017
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-858-9
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2016
  • Number of Pages: 100

Industry Insights

The global lecithin market size was estimated at USD 849.8 million in 2016. The growing demand for food ingredients derived from natural sources and awareness regarding phospholipids are expected to boost market growth.

Lecithin is composed of phospholipids and majorly obtained from oilseeds such as soy, sunflower, and rapeseed. The abundant availability of raw materials coupled with the growing demand in end-use industries is expected to have a positive impact on lecithin manufacturing industry. The emulsifying property exhibited by this product is driving its demand in the industrial and food applications. The multifunctional and flexible nature is expected to play a major role in boosting its demand in end-use industries.

Germany lecithin market revenue, by source, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million)

Germany lecithin market

The industry in Germany is driven by the growing demand in the convenience food and confectionery product categories. The presence of major food conglomerates, such as Nestlé, Dr. Oetker, Vion Food Group, Tchibo, Coca-Cola, and Mondelēz International, is boosting market growth in the country. Growing consumer awareness regarding high-quality natural ingredients is expected to augment the market demand.

Packaged food industry has witnessed significant growth on account of changing consumer perception toward their eating habits. The shift in preference is primarily driven by changing lifestyle of consumers including long working hours, increasing number of women workforce, and quick access to packaged food products that are available in a broad range of cuisines. Lecithin acts as an emulsifier during the processing of packaged food, which are used in the manufacturing of processed meat such as sausages, salami, liver sausages, and ready-to-eat meals.

The decline in demand for whole grain bread products, especially in North America and Europe, due to rising concerns over diseases related to high cholesterol levels has reduced lecithin demand in these regions. Manufacturers are now turning to enzymes, such as DATEM or mono and diglycerides, to provide consumers with healthy eating options.

The regulatory support by numerous agencies including the FDA and European Commission is expected to augment the demand for enzymes. Increasing price fluctuations of oilseeds on account of drought and political instability in key manufacturing countries along with supply demand gap is expected to act as a restraint for market growth.

Source Insights

The major sources from which lecithin is extracted include soybean, rapeseed, and sunflower. In 2016, soybean was the major source with a market share of 79.6%. The functional and therapeutic advantages provided by soybean are driving the demand for products obtained from these sources.

The growing demand in industrial applications, such as paints and inks, is expected to boost the market growth over the forecast period. The major restraint for soy lecithin is the growing concern regarding the use of GMO soybean in the manufacturing process.

The sunflower lecithin market is expected to progress rapidly as it is considered as a preferred substitute for soy-based products. The major advantage of solventless extraction provided by this product is expected to boost the market demand.

The usage of hazardous chemicals, such as hexane and acetone in the extraction of soy lecithin is expected to promote the use of substitutes including sunflower based products. The demand for this product is expected to be high in Europe owing to the presence of a large number of sunflower fields in France, Hungary, Ukraine, and Russia.

Application Insights

The application segments include convenience foods, bakery, confectionery, pharmaceuticals & personal care, animal feed, and industrial. In 2016, the animal feed application was the largest segment with a market share of 42.1%. Lecithin is employed as emulsifiers in the manufacturing of animal feed. The addition of lecithin not only improves the feed obtained for domestic animals but also plays an important role in maintaining their health.

Global lecithin market value, by application, 2016 (%)

Global lecithin market

Lecithin is used in the manufacture of a large number of confectionery products such as chocolates, caramels, fudge, toffee, and brittles. The demand is driven by its ability to act as a natural emulsifier, antioxidant, and flavor protector. The rapidly growing sugar-free confectionery industry is expected to have a positive impact on the market growth over the forecast period.

The pharmaceutical & personal care manufacturers majorly prefer soy lecithin for the manufacturing of its products. High-quality lecithin obtained from the processing of standard derivatives are used as excipient in drug formulations. The growing importance of emulsion-based pharmaceutical products is expected to boost the demand for these ingredients as it aids in maintaining the stability of oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions.

Regional Insights

In 2016, Europe dominated the market with a share of 31%. The growing consumption of healthy foods and nutritional supplements is driving the market demand. The growing research on non-GMO soy lecithin is expected to further boost the demand.

Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region on account of increasing demand in India and China. The growing demand for confectioneries and bakery products since the past few years is expected to have a positive impact on lecithin demand.

The industrial application is expected to witness a high growth owing to research on the inclusion of natural products in paint manufacturing. The market growth is also aided by the presence of a large number of farmlands that are employed to cultivate oilseeds such as soybean, rapeseed, and sunflower.

Central & South America is one of the rapidly growing regions owing to the presence of large area of land under soybean cultivations. The demand is driven by major countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, which are involved in the cultivation of soybean. The changing consumer habits and rising disposable incomes are expected to boost the application in end-use industries.

Competitive Insights

The global market is highly competitive in nature and, therefore, marked by regional expansion and product innovation. The major industry participants are Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, DuPont Nutrition and Health, Lipoid GmbH, and American Lecithin Company. The other companies are Bunge Ltd., Sternchemie GmbH & Co. KG, NOW Foods, Thew Arnott & Co., Ltd., and GIIAVA.

Industry participants are entering into long-term agreements with end-use industries to strengthen their position globally. However, intellectual property requirements have impacted the import of lecithin as regulations vary in different regions. Manufacturers are turning their attention toward non-GMO soybean that is available in the South America and Asia Pacific regions for the manufacturing of lecithin.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2016

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation                                       

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD Million, and CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

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

Country scope

The U.S., Canada, Germany, France, China, India, Brazil, Argentina

Report coverage             

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

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)

If you need specific market information, which is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization

Segments covered in the report

This report forecasts revenue growth at country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the lecithin market on the basis of source, application, and region:

  • Source Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)

    • Soy

    • Sunflower

    • Rapeseed

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)

    • Convenience Foods

    • Bakery

    • Confectionary

    • Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care

    • Animal Feed

    • Industrial

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • Middle East & Africa

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