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Growing Adoption of Convenience Foods is Expected to Drive the Growth of the Specialty Food Ingredients Market

   January 18, 2024

Specialty food ingredients are used to enhance the taste, texture, appearance, shelf life, and nutritional value of food products. These ingredients are primarily obtained from various natural and synthetic sources to provide specific flavors, colors, textures, and health benefits to foods that are not commonly found in major food ingredients. Moreover, these specialty food ingredients offer functional benefits essential in providing today’s consumers with a wide range of tasty, safe, healthy, qualitative, and sustainably produced food.

Specialty food ingredients include several enzymes, emulsifiers, flavors, colorants, acidulants, specialty starches, sweeteners, starter cultures, proteins & amino acids, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, hydrocolloids, essential oils, omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, preservatives, and other ingredients. These ingredients serve various food and beverage applications such as bakery & confectionery, dairy, sauces, dressings & condiments, meat, poultry & seafood, infant food, snacks, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, and other food & beverage applications. This market has seen significant growth due to the growing adoption of convenience foods and an increasing number of health-conscious consumers.

Growing Adoption of Convenience Foods

Consumer demand for convenience foods has grown substantially over the last decade. Convenience foods (ready-to-eat/ready-to-cook meals and snacks) have gained popularity as they take less time and effort to prepare than cooking food from scratch. Consumers are seeking products that save time and effort in preparation while still offering unique flavors and high-quality ingredients. Also, consumers’ hectic lifestyles have boosted the demand for processed foods. According to a survey conducted by the International Food Information Council in November 2022, 81% of the 1,000 American respondents kept shelf-stable, canned, or packaged foods in their households. Moreover, as per a survey conducted by Eating Better’s Ready Meals, 86% of adults in the U.K. consumed ready breakfasts and dinners or ready-to-cook food, and three in ten people ate frozen packaged meals weekly in 2020. Additionally, increasing urbanization is expected to boost the demand for convenience foods, driving the growth of the specialty food ingredients market.

More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and virtually all countries are becoming increasingly urbanized. According to the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects, in 2021, almost 56.6% of the world’s population lived in urban areas, and this number is further expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Urbanization significantly contributes to improved living standards and rising incomes, influencing the affordability of convenience foods. Thus, with increasing urbanization, the demand for convenience food products is increasing rapidly due to changing lifestyles, the rising number of nuclear families, and a significant increase in fast-paced work environments.

Therefore, specialty food ingredients increase the demand for convenience foods by providing a wide range of qualitative, safe, tasty, and healthy foods. These ingredients improve the nutritional properties of processed foods and are also important components in food & beverage processing and manufacturing. As a result, the demand for specialty food ingredients is expected to increase globally in the coming years.

Meticulous Research®, in its latest publication on the Specialty Food Ingredients Market, states that the Specialty Food Ingredients Market is expected to reach $266.20 billion by 2031 at a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period of 2024 to 2031. In terms of volume, this market is projected to reach 83,936.1 KT by 2031, at a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period of 2024–2031.

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