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The growing interest in naturally nutritious ingredients has led to the increased consumption of green foods, including green vegetables such as kale, grasses, and seaweed to name but a few. Alfalfa grass is widely utilized for animal grazing and animal feed. In recent years its popularity for human consumption has increased owing to its nutritional benefits. Alfalfa grass is one of the rich sources of chlorophyll. It contains large amounts of vitamins B, C, D, E, K, beta-carotene, bioflavonoids and minerals viz. magnesium, calcium, silicon, selenium, iron, zinc, phosphorous and sulphur. The demand for alfalfa grass powder is anticipated to increase in foreseeable years owing to the rising popularity of plant-based nutrition.
In recent years, plant-based functional food and beverages have gained popularity among consumers across the globe. Alfalfa grass powder is now extensively utilized in plethora of mainstream food and beverages to impart superior functional properties. It also finds extensive application in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The growing consumer interest in organic products is expected to drive the demand for organic alfalfa grass powder. The increasing innovation and product development activities to fulfill the growing demand for alfalfa powder-based dietary supplements are expected to fuel the market growth in foreseeable years. For example, in June 2019, Gorilla Juice, UK-based vegan superfood protein brand launched a vegan protein powder with added alfalfa for boosting the immune system and aid recovery.
The demand for herbal products is increasing among consumers on account of the rising popularity of plant-based nutrition. Alfalfa grass was only utilized for animal feed initially, but in the past few years, it has gained popularity for developing various nutrition products intended for human consumption. Alfalfa is a great restorative tonic that detoxifies and alkalizes the body. It is rich in digestive enzymes and has traditionally been used to aid digestion and build up strength. It is now increasingly being used as an ingredient in supplements and functional food and drinks, often in combination with other natural ingredients with perceived health benefits. The increasing use and rapidly growing market of herbal medicines and other herbal healthcare products, in both developing and developed countries, is driving the global alfalfa grass powder market.
Key Market Driver -
Rising Popularity of Plant-based Nutrition
Key Market Restraint -
Challenges Faced in Masking the Unacceptable Organoleptic Properties of Alfalfa Grass
Botanical extracts and phytochemicals generally impart a bitter taste and off-flavors when added to the food matrices. Although formulating with functional ingredients such as alfalfa grass powder addresses consumer demand for customized health and wellness, the purchase of these products is often driven by taste and flavor. The challenges faced in overcoming the unpleasant notes of alfalfa grass concentrate or powder are acting as a key restraint for the growth of the market. Various technologies such as microencapsulation, polymer coating, and flavor solutions can be applied to mask and modify these unpleasant tastes and produce better tasting final products.
NP Nutra, Nutrient Innovations, Inc., Go India Organic, Brewster Nutrition, Now Foods, Amazing Grass, Bare Organics, Bioriginal Foods & Science Corp, Mountain Rose Herbs, S & S AgriSource Holding, and Herbal Hills Pvt. Ltd. are the key players operating in the global alfalfa grass powder market.
The global alfalfa powder market is segmented by type, application and geography. Organic alfalfa powder is expected to exhibit strong growth owing to the rising demand for organic functional food and beverages. Organic herbs are perceived to be healthier due to the growing awareness of the adverse health effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The perceivable consumer’s shift towards organic plant-based products is anticipated to drive the growth of the segment.
The functional food and beverages segment is expected to witness promising growth. The growing popularity of natural products is driving the innovations to develop healthy as well as indulgent products that attract wide consumer base. The modern day lifestyles drives the demand for on-the-go products that provide health benefits. Alfalfa grass powder-based functional food and beverages are gaining popularity among fitness conscious consumers to prevent health conditions such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
The use of alternative medicines in North America, particularly herbal products has increased in past few years. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), alfalfa is the fourth-largest U.S. crop in terms of acreage and the production value, behind corn, soybeans, and wheat. The rising popularity of natural products that support health and wellness is driving the demand for alfalfa grass powder in the region. The leading players are capitalizing on the growing demand for plant-based healthcare products. For instance, in March 2018, Amazing Grass, a California-based organic whole-foods powdered supplement brand launched a new protein powder, Organic Protein containing alfalfa grass powder.
The popularity of botanical products is on the rise in Europe, with consumers using them to complement their diets or to maintain health, and products are taken in many different forms such as juices, herbal medicinal products and plant food supplements. The ‘good-for-you’ image of vegan, nutrient-rich diet among consumers is expected to boost the growth of the alfalfa grass powder market in the region.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness substantial growth owing to the rapidly growing nutraceutical industry in the region. The rising demand for herbal dietary supplements is fuelling the growth of the market in the region. The emerging trend of natural supplements and personalized nutrition is expected to drive the demand for alfalfa grass powder in the region in the foreseeable years. Asia Pacific shows tremendous opportunities for research and developments for dietary supplements and functional foods that are based on herbs and natural extracts.
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