According to MarketsandMarkets, the “Lactose-Free Products Market by Type (Milk, Cheese, Yogurt, Ice-cream, Confectionery products), Form (Lactose-free, No added sugar/ Reduced sugar claims, Reduced lactose), Category (Organic, Inorganic), and Region – Global Forecast to 2025″, size is estimated to be valued at USD 12.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 18.4 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 8.7%, in terms of value. The growth and awareness among lactose intolerant population regarding self-diagnosis all across the globe is causing a rise in the demand of lactose-free products.
Drivers: Growing lactose intolerant population, awareness and self-diagnosis
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), nearly 65% of the global population is prone to lactose intolerance. Thus, this has led to an increase in the production of lactose-free products. It has also been observed that lactose intolerance is witnessed in nearly 90% of adults in East Asia. In addition, the increase in health awareness and wellness concerns among consumers is a key factor that is projected to drive the growth and demand for lactose-free products. Moreover, according to the US National Library of Medicine, lactose intolerance is prevalent in adults, and 30 million adults in the US have symptoms of lactose intolerance by the age of 20 years. However, in African Americans, the problem of lactose intolerance can occur early at the age of 2 years.
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The sales of lactose-free products have increased significantly in Europe and the US in recent years due to the increase in self-diagnosed cases of lactose intolerance among consumers. However, lactose-free products are gaining traction in the Asia Pacific region, as consumers are becoming more concerned about their health and investing in self-diagnosis in the region, which is projected to support the growth of the lactose-free market during the forecast period.
Restraints: High price of lactose-free products
For the production of lactose-free milk, the milk has to be treated with ultra-high temperature (UHT) method of the pasteurization process for increasing its shelf-life and improving the consistency of milk while turning it into lactose-free milk. For turning the normal milk to lactose-free milk, the milk is treated with lactase enzymes for breaking the complex lactose disaccharide into two simple sugars, namely, glucose and (monosaccharides) galactose. This process of converting the milk into lactose-free milk increases the price of lactose-free dairy products as compared to normal packaged dairy products. Due to these factors, lactose-free milk is offered under the premium product category, which caters to a smaller consumer population, wherein ordinary milk is a commodity offered at cost-effective prices, due to which it is consumed by a large-scale population.
Opportunities: Availability of lactose-free products with added health benefits
The increase in innovations in lactose-free dairy products has led to a rise in health benefits offered by lactose-free dairy products, which represents key growth opportunities for the lactose-free dairy market. The claims in lactose-free dairy products, such as gluten-free and low/no/reduced sugar, help in expanding the consumer base. The innovations are being witnessed around digestive health, such as lactose-free milk products with probiotics. For instance, Activia is a probiotic yogurt introduced by Danone Company S.A. (France), which contains probiotics that improve digestive health. Probiotics are bacteria that have been scientifically studied and proved that if they are consumed in sufficient amounts, they help in providing health benefits beyond basic nutrition. In addition, The Coca-Cola Company (US) under its brand Fairlife LLC provided lactose-free milk with Omega-3, which helps in improving brain health. These innovations are projected to drive the growth of the market.
Dairy manufacturers are capitalizing on this trend to expand their consumer base by promoting easy digestion, lower fat, and sugar content, developing a variety of products by mixing lactose-free ingredients with healthy ingredients, such as vitamins, proteins, and fibers, for providing a wide range of choice to consumers. The inclination of consumers toward healthy choices of food & beverages is increasing globally. The willingness of consumers to pay extra for food & beverages with health features is growing. This creates growth opportunities for lactose-free products in the dairy industry during the forecast period.
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The North America region dominated the lactose-free products market with the largest share in 2019, whereas Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth rate.
The lactose-free products market in North America is dominant due to the growing demand for different types of lactose-free products such as drinkable yogurt, flavored ice-cream, and flavored milk. Also, the North American population has awareness and self-diagnosis for lactose intolerance. In addition, the increase in no sugar or reduced sugar trends are factors that are projected to drive the growth of the lactose-free products market in the region.
The fastest growing market is Asia-Pacific for lactose-free products market. The increase in disposable income among consumers and the demand for health and wellness products have encouraged the consumption of lactose-free products. The increase in urbanization in the region has led to a high demand for food security and premium quality food products. Consumers are willing to pay extra for health-enriching food & beverage products. These factors are projected to encourage the growth of the lactose-free products market in the region.
This report includes a study on the marketing and development strategies, along with the product portfolios of leading companies. It consists of profiles of leading companies, such as The Coca-Cola Company (US), GCMMF (India), Nestle (Switzerland), Danone Company S.A (France), Valio Ltd. (Finland), General Mills (US), Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. (US), Lifeway Foods Inc. (US), LALA U.S (US), Dean Foods (US), Organic Valley (US), Dairy Farmers of America (US), Shamrock Foods (US), Saputo Inc. (Canada), Prairie Farms Dairy (US), Agri-Mark, Inc. (US), Smith Foods, Inc. (US), Meggle Group GMBH (Germany), Drums Food International Pvt Ltd. (India), and Granlatta Societa Cooperative Agricola ARL (Italy).
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