The global human milk oligosaccharides market size is anticipated to reach USD 101.5 million by 2027, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. It is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 23.0% over the forecast period. Increasing awareness regarding the functions and health benefits associated with Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO) is expected to fuel its demand over the forecast period.
Changing consumer lifestyles and their increasing concerns regarding health and wellness are some of the other prominent factors driving the demand for HMOs around the world. Human milk oligosaccharides in functional food and beverage products and food supplements can help the treatment of certain disorders and high-risk health conditions, which in turn is anticipated to boost the product demand. However, high costs associated with the product may challenge the market growth over the forecast period.
Human milk oligosaccharides is a major source of sialic acid, which is an essential part of the plasma membrane of nerve cells. Over 150 structurally diverse HMOs are available in nature. Moreover, scientists have been trying to develop various structures of HMOs synthetically, for use in the food industry-most particularly infant formulas and medical nutrition. These synthetically produced HMOs are safe for consumption by infants (who cannot be breastfed), as well as children and adults.
Human milk oligosaccharides find application in infant formula, functional food and beverages, and food supplements, among others. Increasing health awareness along with the rising consumption of infant formula is likely to boost the growth of the HMO market over the forecast period. The consumption of HMOs has contributed significantly to bring about a considerable reduction in the global infant mortality rate over the years. As per the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICE) the under-five mortality rate was one per 11 children in 1990 which dropped to one per 26 children in 2018.
Infant formula is the largest and fastest-growing application segment for human milk oligosaccharides. High infant mortality rate and rising concerns regarding health and safety are the factors likely to boost the market growth over the forecast period. HMOs play a key role in the proper development of infants. They fight life threatening infections and are also responsible for the proper development of the brain and gut.
Human milk oligosaccharides are also increasingly utilized in pharmaceutical applications. Furthermore, the prebiotic effects of HMOs make them suitable to be use in functional foods and beverages and food supplements. Functional foods and beverages is the second-largest application segment of HMOs. The demand for HMOs in designing infant formulas is increasing because of the beneficial properties, such as prevention from infection, memory enhancement, brain development, prebiotic effects, and improvement of gut health.
Asia Pacific is expected to be a lucrative market for human milk oligosaccharides and is expected to account for a significant share of the global HMO market revenue by 2027. The increasing demand for infant formulas and functional food and beverages as well as the rapidly growing pharmaceutical industry is expected to positively influence the market growth over the forecast period.
Recent years have witnessed various developments in the infant formula space with prominent end-use companies launching new and innovative products. For instance, in April 2019, Nestl? S.A., a Switzerland-based food and beverage company, introduced three new products in U.K., namely, SMA Advanced Follow-on Formula, SMA Advanced Growing up Milk, and SMA Advanced Infant Formula. These products contained artificial HMOs and were intended for infants who were not breastfed. Such developments within the infant formula sector are likely to drive the demand for human milk oligosaccharides in near future.
Further key findings from the report suggest:
- In terms of application, the infant formula segment is expected to expand at a CAGR of 23.4% over the forecast period. Challenges associated with breast-feeding, such as personal comfort, time, diet, and frequency of feedings have led the increase in the consumption of infant formula, contributing to the segment growth
- Incorporation of HMOs in functional food and beverages promote the growth of good bacteria and eliminates harmful bacteria including salmonella, listeria, and campylobacter
- Growing consumption of functional foods and beverages for improving gut health and overall immunity is expected to have significant impacts on the demand for human milk oligosaccharides over the forecast period
- Distribution agreements, capacity expansions, and investments for the development of low-cost technologies are some of the major strategies adopted by the prominent market players to establish strong competitive positions in the HMO market