• Soybean, or soya bean is a legume widely known for its edible nature and nutrient rich properties and is considered as the largest grown legume in the world. According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the global production of soybean reached 346 million metric tons in 2018. Beyond utilization of soybean meal for animal feed application, soybean is used as staple food source in several parts of the world. Consumption of soy based food products such as Tofu and Tempeh are increasing owing to the rising interest towards sustainable production practices and demand for meat substitutes.
• The utilization of soy based foods has been rapidly increasing across the globe owing to the rising awareness about its potential health benefits. Soy is considered as an effective alternative to dairy foods owing to its rich protein and low cholesterol content. The increasing lactose-intolerant population is driving the growth of soy-based food products such as soy yogurt, soy ice cream, and soy sauce globally. Soy is also used as a ‘meat analog’. Furthermore, rising veganism is likely to provide immense growth potential for the market over the forecast period.
• According to The VeganSociety, the vegan population in U.K. increased from 150,000 in 2014 to 600,000 in 2018. However, the GM issues associated with soy beans is the primary factor hindering the growth of Soy Food Market. Over consumption of soy foods also pose several health risks including breast cancer.
• The global Soy Food Market is segmented by type into soy milk, soy oil, soy yogurt, soy sauce, tofu, tempeh, edamame and others. Tofu evolved as the largest segment with a share of over 30% in terms of sales value in 2018. The increasing demand for meat substitutes and meat mimicking capability of soy both by texture and nutritional content is increasing the consumption of tofu. Tofu is estimated to hold its market dominance owing to the increasing veganism and vegetarianism across the globe. Bakery and confectionery is leading the Soy Food Market by end use. The demand for soy condiments such as sauces and flour in baking products has increased significantly. Soy sauce is used in wide array of food processing activities.
• By Geography, North America is the leading global Soy Food Market owing to the well-established functional foods and infant formula production companies in the U.S. Infant formulas for lactose intolerant children use soy as the major dairy alternative. The large production of soybeans in American nations is supporting the growth of soy foods in this region. According to USDA, nearly 82% of the global soybean production is accounted by the U.S., Brazil, and Argentina. Asia Pacific is also holding significant share in the market owing to the soy consumption as staple food in countries such as Indonesia and China.
• The global Soy Food Market is highly fragmented with the presence of large number of companies. The high product differentiation is resulting in entry of new companies into the market with novel soy based food formulations. The differentiation in products and limited geographic reach is limiting the competition among players, thus resulting in price hikes in recent times. The companies are focusing towards development of organic soy foods owing to the rising consumer concerns towards GM foods.
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