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The global food thickener market is growing at a CAGR of 6.12% during the forecast period (2020-2025).

  • The market is mainly driven by its extensive use in the food and beverage sector such as bakery products, confectionery products, sauces, dressings, beverages, dairy & frozen desserts, and processed food. Also, the added benefits of thickeners, such as multifunctionality, absorption of nutrients, compatibility with other ingredients, low cost, and abundant supply of food thickeners. Furthermore, advancements in the extraction and processing of food thickeners from new natural sources is thus one of the major opportunities for the researchers and the leading players competing in the global market. For instance, in June 2015, researchers at Oregon State University discovered and commercialized a new type of dairy thickener- Ropy 352, which can add probiotic characteristics to the product in which it is used.
  • However stringent regulations from regulatory bodies such as Food and Drugs Organization (FDA), the European Commission (EU), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Health Canada, and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) for the use of thickeners are expected to impede the market growth. Also, the fluctuating hydrocolloids price affects the overall food thickeners market heavily. For instance, in October 2011, Danisco announced that the global hydrocolloid price increased by 5% to 15% due to rise in raw material, energy, and logistics costs, which directly affected the overall thickener market.

Key Market Trends

Rising demand for agar thickening agent in bakery & confectionery products

Demand for thickening agents such as agar has been witnessed with an increasing trend, in the bakery and confectionery industry, due to the ability of agar gels to withstand high temperatures, agar is gaining prominence as a stabilizer and thickener in pie fillings, icings, and meringues. Some agars, especially those extracted from Gracilaria chilensis, are extensively used for confectionery with high sugar content, such as fruit candies. Since agar is tasteless and does not interfere with the flavors of foodstuffs, its usage in food and beverage products rises extensively.

Europe and Asia-Pacific to drive the global food thickening market

The Europe and Asia-Pacific region holds the highest share in the food thickener market and is estimated to increase at the fastest rate, during the forecast period. The region is driven by the increasing volume consumption of various types of food thickeners. The food & beverage manufacturers are focusing on product innovation, health aspects, and improving functional characteristics of their end-product such as texture, flavor, and other organoleptic properties. Also, rising consumer demand for healthy and low-fat food is further boosting the growth in these regions. Germany dominated the European food thickeners market, and China, Japan, and India in the Asia-Pacific region in 2016, in terms of both value and volume.

Competitive Landscape

The global market for food thickener is fragmented, owing to the presence of large regional and domestic players in different countries. Emphasis is given on the merger, expansion, acquisition, and partnership of the companies along with new product development as strategic approaches adopted by the leading companies to boost their brand presence among consumers.

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