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Food Thickeners Market Research Report Information By Type (Protein, Starch, and Hydrocolloids), By Source (Animal and Plant), By Application (Bakery & Confectionery, Dairy Products, and Others), And By Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, And the Rest Of The World) – Market Forecast Till 2032

ID: MRFR/F-B & N/1935-HCR | 110 Pages | Author: Pradeep Nandi| June 2024

Global Food Thickeners Market Overview

Food Thickeners Market Size was valued at USD 8.9 billion in 2023. The food thickeners industry is projected to grow from USD 9.42 Billion in 2024 to USD 13.29 billion by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% during the forecast period (2024 - 2032). The key market drivers boosting market share are the growing demand for convenience foods, consumers preferring healthier lifestyles, rising awareness of healthy eating, and the numerous advantages and characteristics associated with food thickeners.Global Food Thickeners Market OverviewSource: Primary Research, Secondary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

Food Thickeners Market Trends

  • Growing consumer preferences for ready-to-eat foods to drive market growth

Food thickeners help foods become thicker or more consistent without changing their flavor or other characteristics. The food thickener makes the drink thick by absorbing the liquid in it. Food thickeners are frequently used in the food and beverage industry to boost the viscosity of food and beverage products, including sauces and puddings, when combined with different ingredients. The market for food thickeners relies on factors such as the high functional potential and compatibility of thickeners with other ingredients, the growth of research, development, and innovation, the rising demand for patients with dysphagia, and the rising demand for processed food products.

Food thickeners may decrease the likelihood of dysphagia in patients by making it easier for them to swallow. As a result, patients with cancer, trauma, aging, and neurological disorders who have difficulty swallowing food can benefit from the food thickener. Babies who cannot digest breastmilk are also given food thickeners on prescription. Additionally, it aids in the assimilation of food's nutritional content. Food thickener manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to innovate to expand their portfolios and make significant investments. All these factors are contributing to the increased demand for food thickeners. Other factors contributing to the food thickeners market CAGR growth include improvements in functional and organoleptic properties of products. The food thickeners market revenue is growing due to rising demand for prepared foods, rising disposable income, and the advantages and numerous uses of their use. Moreover, increased consumer health awareness should provide significant growth opportunities for players in the sector.

Food Thickeners Market Segment Insights

Food Thickeners Type Insights

Based on the types, the food thickeners market segmentation includes protein, starch, and hydrocolloids. The hydrocolloids segment held the majority share in 2022, contributing to around 50-53% of the food thickeners market revenue. Pectin, alginate, guar gum, locust bean gum, carrageenan gum, xanthan gum, and beta-glucan are various hydrocolloids used as food thickeners. The fiber-rich nature of hydrocolloids under low pH increases their application in the food and beverage industries. Hydrocolloids are extensively used as food additives and thickeners, such as a sugar substitute in whipped cream and steamed bread, a wheat flour substitute in cookies, a coating material in nuts and dried fish, a food stabilizer in whipped cream, a bulking agent in ice cream and yogurt, and a starch dispersion agent in rice.

Figure 2:  Food Thickeners Market, by Type, 2022 & 2030 (USD Billion)Food Thickeners Market, by Type, 2022 & 2030Source: Primary Research, Secondary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

Further, the starch segment will witness the highest market CAGR in the food thickeners industry over the forecast period. High viscosity, reliability, and low cost are expected to drive the use of starch as a food thickener even further over the forecast period. The growing demand for gluten-free goods is also anticipated to increase product demand. Corn, rice, wheat, and tapioca are some of the main starch sources. Starch is widely used as it is inexpensive, widely accessible, and gives sauces and soups a thick base texture. The product makes gravies, soups, and sauces have a better mouthfeel and texture. These factors are expected to increase starch product demand as a food thickener in the forecast period.

Food Thickeners Source Insights

Sources have bifurcated the food thickeners market data into animal and plant. The plant segment dominated the market in 2022 and is projected to be the faster-growing segment during the forecast period 2022-2030. Due to their high efficacy and competitive pricing, plant-based ingredients are used most in most applications, including bakery, confectionery, and ready-to-eat meals. Cornstarch, agar, rice flour, tapioca, xanthan gum, and pectin are some of the most used plant-based food thickeners. Food thickeners derived from plants are sustainable and in high demand from consumers, owing to the growing trend of veganism and vegetarian diets, particularly in bakeries, confectionery, and processed food. The easy availability of the necessary ingredients for manufacturing plant-based food thickeners, combined with consumer preference for the product, is expected to drive market growth throughout the forecast period.

Food Thickeners Application Insights

The food thickeners industry has been segmented based on application into bakery & confectionery, dairy products, and others. Bakery & confectionery held the most prominent segment share in 2022. The demand for food thickeners is anticipated to increase over the forecast period due to the growing popularity of organic and natural baked goods and healthy snacks. Increasing demand for convenience foods due to rising consumer awareness of products with exotic and traditional flavors is expected to drive the food thickeners market during the prediction period. Manufacturers are also enlarging their product line by incorporating functional ingredients, exotic flavors, and organic herbal fillings into their product formulations to meet shifting consumer preferences. These factors are expected to drive demand for confectionery products, increasing the demand over the forecast period.

Food Thickeners Regional Insights

By Region, the study provides market insights into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World. The North American Food Thickeners market accounted for USD 4.08 billion in 2022 and is likely to exhibit a significant CAGR growth over the study period. The highly developed food and beverage industries in the United States and Canada drive the food thickeners market in North America. Numerous multinational food processing and manufacturing companies also benefit the market, resulting in increased demand for the product. In recent years, North America has seen increased demand for products such as pastries, muffins, and cupcakes. Players in the bakery and confectionery industries incorporate innovation into their products through various thickeners. Moreover, demand for bakery and confectionery products is increasing in the region.

Further, the major countries studied in the  market report are the U.S., Germany, Canada, France, the UK, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Australia, China, South Korea, and Brazil.

Figure 3:  FOOD THICKENERS MARKET SHARE BY REGION 2022 (%)FOOD THICKENERS MARKET SHARE BY REGION 2022Source: Primary Research, Secondary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

The European food thickeners market accounts for the second-largest market share. A robust regional bakery & confectionery industry, combined with rising consumer demand, is expected to increase demand for food thickeners in Europe. In addition, rising demand for packaged juices and energy drinks is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period. European food thickener companies value-added export products such as thickener blends and flavor ingredients. Western Europe has the highest concentration of exporters, while Eastern Europe is seeing an increase in manufacturing activity. Further, the German food thickeners market held the largest market share, and the UK food thickeners market was the fastest-growing market in the European region.

The Asia-Pacific Food Thickeners Market is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR from 2022 to 2030. The region's economic growth is attributed to the rising consumption of different food thickeners. Food and beverage producers are concentrating on new product development, health considerations, and enhancing functional aspects of their finished products, such as texture, flavor, and other organoleptic qualities. Additionally, escalating consumer demand for wholesome and low-fat food is fueling further growth in this region. Moreover, China’s food thickeners market held the largest market share, and the Indian food thickeners market was the fastest-growing market in the Asia-Pacific region.

Food Thickeners Key Market Players & Competitive Insights

Major market players prioritize new product development through significant R&D investments and innovative technologies to produce high-quality products at low prices. Important players in the food thickeners industry are forming joint ventures, partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions to broaden their geographic reach and strengthen their market position.

Along with other key market developments, market players introduce new products, sign agreements, acquire businesses, increase investments, and collaborate with other organizations to broaden their reach. The food thickeners industry has recently provided some of the most significant benefits to bakery & confectionery applications. The food thickeners market major players, such as Cargill, DuPont, Tate & Lyle PLC, Olam, AAK AB, and others, are working to increase demand by funding research and development initiatives.

Cargill Inc is an agribusiness firm providing food, financial products, and agricultural, industrial, and risk management services. It sells, markets, and distributes grains, oilseeds, sugar, meat, other food products, and cotton. Natural ingredients are also manufactured for cosmetics, pet food, animal feed, and bio-industrial products. Cargill acquired Smet, a Belgian chocolate and sweets decoration supplier, in March 2019. This acquisition will increase the company's investments in food-thickening agents.

Also, Kent Precision Foods Group, a US-based food manufacturing company specializing in dry mix food products, introduced Thick-It original beverage and food thickener in fresh, innovative stick wrapping in thin and thick consistencies in April 2020. Thick-It original food and beverage thickener single-serve packets have several distinct advantages, including fast mixing and easy use, safely thickening hot or cold beverages and pureed foods to the desired consistency without changing the flavor. They are perfect for use in facilities where medical and culinary staff can quickly and safely thicken meals and beverages without additional measurement. Each serving is portioned, and the flexible, narrow packets are undetectable.

Key Companies in the food thickeners market include

  • Cargill (U.S.)

  • Tate & Lyle PLC (U.K.)

  • Archer Daniels Midland (U.S.)

  • Ingredion Incorporated (U.S.)

  • I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (U.S.)

  • Kerry Group Plc (Ireland)

  • TIC Gums (U.S.)

Food Thickeners Industry Developments

November 2020: INGREDION INCORPORATED purchased Verdient Foods Inc. This acquisition significantly assists the company in increasing total sales, expanding production capacity, and collaborating with partners to meet the emerging demand for plant-based food thickeners.

April 2019: CP Kelco US Inc announced the launch of a new product portfolio called 'NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber,' which focused on consumers' natural demand for own-brand products. The product will be used as a thickener, stabilizer, gelling agent, and water replica for beverages, dairy products, bakery products, meats, sauces, soups, and other applications.

Food Thickeners Market Segmentation

Food Thickeners Type Outlook

  • Protein

  • Starch

  • Hydrocolloids

Food Thickeners Source Outlook

  • Animal

  • Plant

Food Thickeners Application Outlook

  • Bakery & Confectionery

  • Dairy Products

  • Others

Food Thickeners Regional Outlook

  • North America

    • US

    • Canada

  • Europe

    • Germany

    • France

    • UK

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia-Pacific

    • China

    • Japan

    • India

    • Australia

    • South Korea

    • Australia

    • Rest of Asia-Pacific

  • Rest of the World

    • Middle East

    • Africa

    • Latin America

Report Attribute/Metric Details
Market Size 2023 USD 8.9 billion
Market Size 2024 USD 9.42 billion
Market Size 2032 USD 13.29 billion
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) 5.9% (2024-2032)
Base Year 2023
Market Forecast Period 2024-2032
Historical Data 2020-2022
Market Forecast Units Value (USD Billion)
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Market Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends
Segments Covered Type, Source, Application, and Region
Geographies Covered Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and the Rest of the World
Countries Covered The U.S., Germany, Canada, the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, India, Australia, China, South Korea, and Brazil
Key Companies Profiled Cargill (U.S.), Tate & Lyle PLC (U.K.), Archer Daniels Midland (U.S.), Ingredion Incorporated (U.S.), E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (U.S.), Kerry Group Plc (Ireland), TIC Gums (U.S.)
Key Market Opportunities Rising obesity rates, as well as increased consumption of low-calorie food products
Key Market Dynamics The expansion of the food processing industry is increasing demand for liquid thickeners. Growing demand for agar thickening agents in bakery and confectionery products

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The food thickeners market size was valued at USD 8.9 Billion in 2023.

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period, 2024-2032.

North America had the largest revenue share of the market.

The key players in the market are Cargill (U.S.), Tate & Lyle PLC (U.K.), Archer Daniels Midland (U.S.), Ingredion Incorporated (U.S.), E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (U.S.), Kerry Group Plc (Ireland), and TIC Gums (U.S.).

The plant category dominated the market in 2023.

Bakery & confectionery had the most significant market share.

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