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Bovine Lactoferrin Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product (Spray-dried and Freeze-dried), By Application (Infant Formula, Pharmaceuticals, Dietary Supplements, Food, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2022-2029

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101656



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The global bovine lactoferrin market size was valued at USD 574.6 million in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 666.6 million in 2022 to USD 1,850.3 million by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 15.7% during the forecast period. Based on our analysis, the global bovine lactoferrin market exhibited a decline of 32.5% in 2020 as compared to 2019. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with bovine lactoferrin experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Lactoferrin is an iron-binding protein found in human and bovine milk. It is an ingredient that helps in the treatment of stomach and intestinal ulcers, diarrhea, and hepatitis C. It is also used as an antioxidant against several bacterial and viral infections. According to an article published by Spandidos Publications in October 2020, it was reported that lactoferrin has a broad spectrum and effective antiviral property for the treatment of COVID-19.

In 2021, the National Health Commission (NHC) of the People’s Republic of China and the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), China, again announced a new GB standard GB 10765-2021 for formula for infants (0-6 months), GB 10766-2021 for older infants (6-12 months), and GB 10767-2021 for young children (12-36 months). This new standard will be implemented from 2023 depicting a few major changes on the labeling information and content for infant formula. Thus, offering a strict regulatory environment for the players operating in the market.

Since then, the market has been volatile in terms of prices due to the frequent changes in regulatory policies. However, increasing demand for lactoferrin among the general population has resulted in a few market players focusing on the expansion of their production capacities. For instance, in June 2021, Beston Global Food Company Ltd. announced the expansion of the production capacity of 95.0% pure lactoferrin at Jervois dairy factory in Australia. In the current scenario, the company has the capability to produce up to 25 MT of lactoferrin per year. Thus, such capacity expansion by key players is expected to fulfill the supply-demand gap and will subsequently boost the market growth during the forecast period.


Stabilizing Prices of Lactoferrin amid COVID-19 Pandemic to Have a Negative Impact on Global Market

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a negative impact on the market globally. Capacity expansion by the major players led to decline of the average selling price of these products.

  • According to key opinion leaders in the bovine lactoferrin industry, it was reported that the average selling price of the product significantly decreased from USD 2,800 per kg in 2019 to around USD 1,500 per kg in 2020. Additionally, the prices further declined to around USD 1,100 in 2021, owing to decreasing dependence of this protein demand in infant formula.

This resulted in the significant decline in the market size during the pandemic. However, the volume for bovine lactoferrin during this period increased at a significant percentage as compared to the prior year. This is mainly due to greater availability of these products by the domestic and international players in the market. Certain application segments witnessed a growth in demand and adoption of this protein due to the increasing awareness among the population about the clinical efficiency of the ingredient in boosting immunity.

  • For instance, in May 2021, Jatcorp announced its plan to launch five new lactoferrin-enriched immune powder formulas in China. This launch was in response to the growing market interest in immune-strengthening functional foods due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

However, post pandemic, the dependency over lactoferrin for infant formula is decreasing resulting in the slower growth of the market during the forecast period.


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Preferential Shift Toward Domestic Products from International Brands

Strong initiatives by the Chinese government to encourage the Chinese population for the adoption of domestic products is shifting the common population from the international brands in recent days.

  • For instance, according to a report published by a2 MILK COMPANY LIMITED, it was reported that the domestic brands such as Shijiazhuang Junlebao Dairy, Heilongjiang Feihe Dairy Co., Ltd., and contributed a major market share in the China Infant formula market. Also, the Chinese parents are preferring the local brands as trustable manufacturers of lactoferrin based dairy products.

Along with this, the applications of these products have increased significantly in the last few years. Till 2015, infant formula was considered as the main application. However, currently, the focus is shifting more toward applications such as dietary supplements, food, pharmaceutical, and more. The growing popularity among the general population of naturally derived supplements rather than consuming chemical molecules has increased the adoption of dietary supplements with added lactoferrin in developed as well as emerging countries.

This has subsequently resulted in the increasing focus of market players toward these sectors in order to gain profit. Also, clinical trials to study the effects of this ingredient in the pharmaceutical industry have increased by 20 to 30 folds to study its pharmaceutical application.

Thus, such diversification of applications is resulting in the higher consumption of these products and is subsequently set to propel the bovine lactoferrin market growth during 2022-2029 period.


Introduction of Cost-effective Manufacturing Process to Drive Market Growth

Currently, a few technology-oriented companies are emphasizing on introducing a cost-effective way of producing these products.

  • For instance, in April 2020, Conagen, Inc., with the help of microbial fermentation technology developed a cost-effective process to manufacture lactoferrin.

Additionally, several researchers are focusing on establishing the efficacy of this ingredient for targeted drug delivery in cancer treatment.

  • For instance, in April 2021, researchers from the University of Strathclyde proposed that lactoferrin bearing gold nano-cages are highly promising gene delivery systems for the treatment of prostate cancer and can be further investigated, alone or in combination with other cancer therapy.

  • According to an article published in Elsevier Inc., in September 2021, it was reported that a significant improvement was observed for respiratory tract infections by administration of lactoferrin.

This along with, increasing number of working women in the emerging countries of Asia Pacific and Europe region is resulting in the decreasing rate of breast feeding and this leads to higher demand for infant formula. This coupled with proven benefits for lactoferrin in the infant formula is surging the demand and adoption of this protein during the manufacture of infant formula and driving the market growth.

Thus, the increasing number of clinical trials being conducted to explore new indications, along with the introduction of cost-effective techniques by manufacturers is expected to boost the adoption of these products during the forecast period.


High Cost of Lactoferrin and Lactoferrin Added Products to Limit Adoption 

Despite the growing demand for advanced nutritional and infant formula products globally, certain factors are restricting the growth of the market. Among them is the high cost of products containing bovine lactoferrin as an ingredient. Different segments, such as food, nutritional supplements, infant formula, and similar others, require different purity levels of the protein ranging from 90.0% to 98.0% purity. The higher the purity required, costlier it becomes to manufacture, subsequently resulting in its higher prices.

Also, as the purity increases, the prices are estimated to increase 2 to 4 times. For instance, the price per kg. of lactoferrin for dietary supplements (requiring 96.0% purity) is comparatively higher than other food applications (requiring 90.0% purity). Thus, the fluctuation in prices and comparatively higher prices of final products are some of the major factors limiting its adoption rate globally.

This along with rising initiatives by the government for promoting breastfeeding is also hindering market growth. The major reason for the promotion of breastfeeding is the lactoferrin content in human milk ranges from 7 g/L in colostrum to 1 g/L in mature milk, while the concentration of lactoferrin in cow’s milk is significantly lower ranging from 0.1 g/L to 0.4 g/L. The significant difference in this valuable protein content is shifting working women toward breastfeeding.


By Product Analysis

Certain Distinct Advantages of Freeze-dried Products Over Spray-dried Products Led to the Market Dominance

By product, the market is segregated into freeze-dried and spray-dried. The freeze-dried segment held a lion’s share of the market during 2021. Some of the major factors attributed for the segmental dominance are high grade quality of the end product, antioxidant activity, and comparatively higher iron-binding capacity.

  • According to an article published in Elsevier B.V. in April 2022, it was stated that the antioxidant activity is approximately 6% lower in freeze-dried bovine lactoferrin, than that of spray-dried and liquid lactoferrin.  

However, the spray-dried segment is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Certain specific advantages, including flexible, scalable, and controllable approaches for particle engineering are contributing to the growth of this segment. Apart from that, spray drying is appropriate for bulk application.

By Application Analysis

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Increasing Demand for Infant Formula was Responsible for the Segmental Dominance in 2021

Based on application, the market is segmented into infant formula, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, food, and others. The infant formula segment accounted for the highest market share in 2021. Clinical benefits of these products such as increasing immunity and digestion among infants are propelling the adoption rate of bovine lactoferrin in infant formula and contributed to the segmental growth. This coupled with increasing demand for infant formula among the working women as an alternative for breast feeding is also increasing the demand and adoption of lactoferrin in the infant formula.

Dietary supplements segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Growing concern for healthy living among the general population along with the adoption of healthy diet in the post-pandemic situation is augmenting the adoption of natural healthy ingredients such as bovine lactoferrin in dietary supplements. This is further anticipated to grow the segment with a staggering CAGR during the forecast period.

Similarly, the pharmaceutical segment is also expected to witness a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Certain key features such as anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects, anti-inflammatory effects, immune stimulating effects, and anticancer effects are the primary reason for integrating these ingredients into the production of pharmaceutical drugs. Thus, these key factors are fueling the growth of this segment during the forecast period.


Asia Pacific Bovine Lactoferrin Market Size, 2021 (USD million)

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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 334.3 million in 2021. The regional dominance is mainly attributed to the increasing demand for infant formula and dietary supplements among the general population of this region. This is alternatively surging the demand for lactoferrin to be integrated into infant formula and other nutritious food products for added nutritional value during the study period. Also, decrease in the breast feeding rate is another key factor for the growing demand for infant formula in this region. This, along with rising adoption of these products in the infant formula as a complementary nutritional product to breast milk is altogether fueling the market growth.

Europe is anticipated to grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Increasing health awareness, along with rising consumption of nutritional foods and beverages, and dietary supplements containing bovine lactoferrin are some of the major reasons for the significant growth of the market in this region.

  • For instance, in May 2020, European headquarters of the SIRIO Group, a global nutraceutical Contract Development, Innovation, and Manufacturing Organization (CDiMO) stated that the demand for immunity boosting products and supplements is likely to be increased in the near future.

On the other hand, North America contributed a significant share in the market in 2021. Increasing number of domestic players focusing toward the production capacity expansion of lactoferrin along with increased consumption of dietary supplements among the U.S. population is poised to offer a lucrative growth opportunity for this region.

  • For instance, In February 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in a survey that 57.6% of the U.S. adults of age 20 and over, used dietary supplement, and the use was higher among women (63.8%) than men (50.8%).

Latin America and the Middle East & Africa are expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period owing to increasing initiatives by governments and other non-profit organizations for the awareness of bovine lactoferrin usage and its nutritious value. This along with lower rate of breast feeding in these regions is also fostering the adoption of infant formula with added lactoferrin among the general population.

  • In March 2022, according to a published research article, South Africa has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates on the African continent due to which the key players are focusing on launching more protein products with added lactoferrin in infant formula, which stimulates the market.


Expansion of Lactoferrin Production Capacity by Major Players Responsible for the Dominant Share

The current market scenario of the industry is semi-consolidated with major players such as MILEI GmbH and Bega Cheese Ltd. accounting for the major share of the global market in 2021. The strong brand image, along with the wide distribution network globally, is offering immense growth opportunities for these players during the study period.

At present, majority of the players operating in the market are focusing on their capacity expansion with an aim to fulfill the demand-supply gap of bovine lactoferrin during the study period. This is expected to increase their global bovine lactoferrin market share during the forecast period. Among key players, MILEI GmbH and FrieslandCampina DOMO are some of the players who expanded the production capacity of this protein and are anticipated to produce more than double of its previous production volume in the upcoming years to position themselves as the market leaders.

Apart from that, advancement of technology infrastructure and acquisition & merger with the key players operating in the milk industry are contributing to the future growth of the leading players such as Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited and others in the market during the study period.

This is further augmented by recent introduction of lactoferrin-based products by the key players such as Beston Global Food Company Ltd., which is fueling the adoption rate of these products among the general population. Certain inorganic growth strategies to comply with the recent GB standards are anticipated to strengthen the brand position of the other market players during the study period.

Other key players in the market are Fonterra Co-operative Group, FrieslandCampina DOMO., Beston Global Food Company, SAVENCIA SA, Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd., Freedom Foods Group Limited, Synlait Ltd., Glanbia Plc., and Ingredia.


  • MILEI GmbH (Germany)

  • Bega Cheese Ltd. (Australia)

  • Fonterra Co-operative Group (New Zealand)

  • FrieslandCampina DOMO (Netherlands)

  • Beston Global Food Company Ltd (Australia)

  • SAVENCIA SA (France)

  • Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd. (Australia)

  • Noumi Limited (Australia)


  • Synlait Ltd. (New Zealand)

  • Glanbia Plc. (Ireland)

  • Ingredia (France)


  • June 2021 ­- Beston Global Food Company Ltd. announced that its Jervois dairy factory in Australia expanded its capacity to produce up to 25 metric tonnes per year of 95.0% pure lactoferrin.

  • June 2021 – Fonterra Co-operative Group announced to sell its two joint venture firms in China with a view to focus more toward New Zealand milk production and prioritizing the Greater China business.

  • November 2020 - Bega Cheese Limited announced its plan to enter into a sale and purchase agreement with Lion Dairy & Drinks to acquire all of its shares to strengthen its brand presence in Australia by expanding its product range.

  • October 2020 - Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited announced a sales and marketing agreement with Land O’Lakes, Inc., with a view to expand its business opportunity into more U.S. foodservice outlets.

  • September 2020 - FrieslandCampina DOMO had announced the initiation of its lactoferrin manufacturing capacity expansion to 70 MT in Veghel, Netherlands by end of 2022 in order to meet the rising demand of lactoferrin. The company is nearing the completion of its plant, and is anticipated to produce the desired quantity by 2023.


An Infographic Representation of Bovine Lactoferrin Market

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The global bovine lactoferrin market research report provides a detailed analysis and overview of the market and focuses on key aspects such as company profiles, SWOT analysis, and applications. Besides this, it offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.




Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD million)


By Product, Application, and Region

By Product

  • Freeze-dried

  • Spray-dried

By Application

  • Infant Formula

  • Dietary Supplements

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Food

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (U.S., Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, Australia, and Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Rest of Latin America)

  • Middle East & Africa (GCC, South Africa, Rest of MEA)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market stood at USD 574.6 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 1,850.3 million by 2029.

In 2021, Asia Pacific stood at USD 334.3 million.

The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 15.7% during the forecast period (2022-2029).

Based on application, the infant formula segment will lead the market.

The increasing demand for infant formula with added lactoferrin and the introduction of cost-effective manufacturing process are the key drivers of the market.

MILEI GmbH and Bega Cheese Ltd. are the top players in the market.

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