Whey and lactose analysis: Markets on growth track, protein trend remains key

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02 Nov 2018 --- Whey and lactose ingredients will continue to outpace the general food and food ingredients market in terms of volume growth, and the whey and lactose industry will be able to keep up with the growing demand over the forecast period 2018-2022. This is according to Tage Affertsholt of Danish-based consultancy firm 3A Business Consulting. This assertion is supported by large investments in whey and lactose processing capacity and technology over the review period as well as increasing utilization rates of liquid whey as the raw material.

In developed countries, a clear product trend of adding value to the whey pool has become apparent as high-end protein product such as WPC80, WPI as well as DWP90 to some extent, are growing strongly, whereas production of whey powder and other low-end products are stagnating. 

However, in most developing regions, low-end products are still showing significant growth with limited processing into value-added whey ingredients taking place. The primary driver of this value-adding trend in Western Europe, Oceania, and the US, is growth in the important nutritional application sectors, such as sports nutrition, infant formula, clinical nutrition and functional foods. The growth of value-added protein ingredients is expected to continue towards 2022.

“Whey application in foods and beverages will continue to offer great potential driven by the nutrition industry, new technology and a positive consumer perception of whey proteins,” adds Affertsholt.

Major markets
The European Union and the US represent the major producers as well as significant markets for whey ingredients. Meanwhile, Asia has become the primary market for permeate powder and has surpassed North America in terms of market size for permeate. 

Asia, including China, is predicted to be the most dynamic region in terms of demand growth over the forecast period 2018-2022. China continues to remain the dominating importer of whey and lactose ingredients with the EU and the US as the key global suppliers.

The global market value for whey powder and whey proteins amounted to approximately US$6 billion in 2017, down compared to 2016 despite increasing volumes, but with prices significantly lower. At constant 2018 prices, the market value is forecasted to surpass US$7 billion by 2022. 

The global market value for pharmaceutical and conventional lactose along with permeate powder is valued at more than US$2.0 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach US$2.4 billion in 2022, implying a compounded annual growth rate of 3 percent over the forecast period at constant prices.

The major players in the whey and lactose ingredient industry are the leading dairy and cheese companies in the world such as Lactalis, FrieslandCampina, Fonterra, Arla Foods, Saputo, Glanbia, Murray Goulburn, DMK/Wheyco, Leprino, Agropur/Davisco, Sachsenmilch, Savencia/Armor Proteines, Sodiaal/Euroserum and Hilmar. Specialist whey and lactose ingredient companies such as Milk Specialties Global, Meggle, Milei, Volac, Carbery, and Dairygold also play an important role in the global marketplace. 

The world’s two largest dairy companies – Nestlé and Danone – are rarely actual producers; however, they are significant end-users of whey and lactose ingredients. Many FMCG companies have been expanding their product portfolio to include new product ranges with added protein, a top trend for several years and with whey proteins often as a preferred ingredient for protein fortification in many applications. 

Additionally, the trend for natural ingredients and clean labels is likewise positive for whey and dairy ingredients. Aligned with this dynamic is the increasing demand for organic products, and organic whey and lactose ingredients are now also available in the market.

3AB Consulting's newly published Whey Book 2018 presents a comprehensive analysis of whey and lactose ingredients, covering the market in terms of production, trade, demand, new product launches, major companies, investments, strategic alliances, and mergers & acquisitions as well as an outlook towards 2022 of this dynamic growth market. 

You can read more from Tage Affertsholt and Daniel Pedersen in an article in October/November issue of the The World of Food Ingredients where they talk about how proteins play a key role in weight management and healthy aging. The data and trends presented in the article are based on the new study “Dairy and Plant Proteins in Weight Management and Healthy Aging 2018-2022,” published in September 2018. 

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

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