The global shea butter market size is anticipated to witness rapid growth during forecast period owing to its extensive usage in personal care and cosmetics industries. Shea butter is obtained from the nuts of an African tree, shea, which contains magnesium, potassium, and protein. It contains essential fatty acids, such as stearic and oleic acids and unsaponifiables, such as sterols and phenols, which offer moisturizing and conditioning properties to the end product.
Presence of antioxidants, such as tocopherol and polyphenol makes the product ideal for cosmetic applications. It has a buttery texture with high skin penetration level and 60% of fat, making it highly emollient. It acts as a good moisturizer and helps in smoothening skin and reducing skin inflammation. The product obtains its anti-inflammatory properties from triterpenes that makes it useful in treating rheumatism.
Substantial growth of the market is providing opportunities to the women in West Africa. According to ICCO Cooperation, the market has grown by 600% from 1998 to 2018, and over 350 thousand tons of shea butter is exported from West Africa per annum. Rising consumption of cosmetics and chocolates is a key driving factor.
Availability of substitutes, such as mango butter, shea oil, avocado butter, and cupuacu butter is anticipated to restrain the market growth. Cupuacu has enhanced moisturizing properties, while mango is mostly preferred by the consumers who are allergic to shea butter and the ones who dislike its scent.
Personal care and cosmetics, food, and medicines are the major applications in the market. The food industry holds a prominent share in the market owing to widespread usage of shea butter as a substitute for cocoa butter in confectionery and chocolate industries and as edible vegetable oils and fat in various food applications. In addition, the product is employed as a cocoa butter equivalent on account of its reduced manufacturing cost and functionality enhancement. Increasing chocolate production is anticipated to augment demand for the product.
Cosmetics is witnessing considerable growth over the past years. According to L'Oréal 2017 Annual Report, the global cosmetics industry has grown at a CAGR of 4% to 5% from 2008 to 2017. Expanding beauty product lines, increasing marketing activities, and growing population of high-income class people are fueling demand for the product.
The market can be divided based on geography as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central and South America, and Middle East and Africa (MEA). MEA is leading the market in terms of production. According to Hajiah Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria accounted for 57% of global shea production as of 2017.
In 2017, Europe led the market in terms of consumption, followed by North America due to increasing demand of personal care products, cosmetics, and chocolates. According to CAOBISCO, the Association of Chocolate, Biscuits and Confectionery Industries of Europe, the chocolate production reached 2.83 million tons in 2016, which was increased by 54.86 thousand tons from 2015 in EU-28. Europe is a leading region in the global cosmetics industry and U.K. is one of the key contributors to the region’s growth. According to the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA), the EU cosmetics industry was valued at USD 87.57 billion in 2015 and the U.K. cosmetics market was valued at USD 12,036.0 million in 2016. Growing consumption of cosmetics and chocolates is expected to propel the market growth in Europe.
Key players operating in the shea butter market include StarShea, Ltd, The Savannah Fruits Company, Akoma Cooperative Multipurpose Society, and Ghana Nuts Limited. Manufacturers are focusing on increasing production activities in order to meet the growing demand for the product. In August 2015, Ghana Nuts Limited (GNL), a leading agro processing company, set up a refinery in Tema to expand its export trade to European cosmetic companies. The 3000 metric ton facility is dedicated for refining soya-bean and shea crude.
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