However, despite strong demand for natural flavors, the higher price volatility, reduced stability, raw material supply challenges, and regulatory requirements limit large-scale adoption. Conversely, factors supporting the growth of artificial flavors include ease of use, cost efficiency, and flexibility to replicate strong and complex profiles.
Globally, artificial flavors held the majority share in 2019; however, changing consumer demand will drive the market toward natural flavors. Although artificial flavors are expected to register stable growth in terms of volume demand, the increasing prices of natural flavors over the forecast period will drive most of the revenue growth. Asia-Pacific (APAC) is expected to witness stable growth in demand for artificial flavors, primarily driven by the unorganized food and beverage sector, which holds a significant share, especially in high-growth markets such as India. The high cost and the lack of stringent regulations for the use of natural flavors in APAC are other key factors that support the adoption of artificial flavors. However, with rising consumer awareness, demand for natural flavors will witness robust growth, especially in high-volume markets such as China as well as Southeast Asian countries. Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa is also expected to witness double-digit growth in demand for natural flavors. North America and Europe recorded strong penetration of natural flavors in 2019, and demand is expected to increase further over the forecast period.
Globally, beverages dominated the food and beverage flavors market in 2019 in terms of both revenue and volume, followed by bakery and confectionery. Savory and sweet snacks, which includes salty snacks, snack bars, processed fruits and vegetables, processed meat and seafood, soups, noodles, and ready-to-eat meals (RTMs), is projected to witness strong growth over the forecast period. Changing lifestyles and the growing demand for convenient, on-the-go food products are key factors driving growth in the global snacks sector. As taste remains one of the key purchase criteria, demand for bold, ethnic, and unique flavor profiles will drive most of the product innovation across snacks and culinary products. Plant-based food products (plant-based meat substitutes, plant-based snacks, plant-based dairy products) are key propellers of growth and offer significant innovation opportunity for flavor manufacturers, especially in North America and Europe.
In general, the market is highly consolidated, and global manufacturers account for most of the share. Acquisitions of regional participants or specific technology-based companies seem to be a key strategy for global manufacturers. Investments in technology platforms that can cater to evolving consumer needs can act as a key growth differentiator for manufacturers.