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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 2021-2028

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



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The global bovine lactoferrin market size was USD 601.1 million in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with bovine lactoferrin witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -32.5% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 635.3 million in 2021 to USD 1,461.3 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 12.6% in the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

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. The concentration of lactoferrin is higher in human milk such as colostrum, the first milk produced after a baby is born, as compared to the bovine milk. This ingredient has several applications in pharmaceutical, food, and other industries owing to its clinical benefits.

In 2017, China which is a major lactoferrin consuming country, reformed its GB standards and increased the stringency of lactoferrin purity for infant formula from 90.0% to 95.0%. The 5.0% increase in purity grade presented a significant challenge for existing manufacturers and forced many domestic players to withdraw from the market. Thus, resulting in a huge gap in supply-demand of lactoferrin and propelling the prices during 2017-2019 period.

Since then this 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 few market players focusing on the expansion of their production capacities. For instance, in October 2020, Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd., announced that its subsidiary MILEI GmbH is expanding its lactoferrin production capacity to around 170 metric tonnes per year and was expected to be opened by spring 2021. 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 the Global Market

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a positive impact on the demand for bovine lactoferrin globally. 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 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the declining prices of lactoferrin in 2020, as compared to the previous year have resulted in the reduction of the overall revenue generated by market players globally. For instance, according to an article published by the Australian Financial Review in March 2021, it was stated that lactoferrin which was sold for around USD 3,000.0 per kg. has now decreased up to USD 1,200.0 per kg.


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Recent Diversification in Applications is a Vital Trend

In the past few years, applications of bovine lactoferrin have increased significantly. Till 2015, infant formula was considered as the main application. However, currently, the focus is shifting more towards 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 towards 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 in order to study its pharmaceutical application.

  • For instance, the Cyprus University of Technology in collaboration with Nicosia General Hospital is conducting a clinical trial on lactoferrin in order to evaluate its effectiveness in the management of treatment-induced anemia in patients with hematological malignancies.

Thus, such diversification of applications is resulting in the higher consumption of bovine lactoferrin and is subsequently set to propel the bovine lactoferrin market growth during 2021-2028 period.


Introduction of Cost-effective Manufacturing Process to Drive Market Growth

Currently, few technology-oriented companies are emphasizing on introducing a cost-effective way of bovine lactoferrin production.

  • 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.

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 bovine lactoferrin during the forecast period.


High Cost of Lactoferrin to Limit the Adoption in Different Products

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 high 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.

Also, increasing initiatives by various government and non-profit organizations to promote breastfeeding is anticipated to limit the demand and consumption of infant formula containing lactoferrin during the forecast period.


By Product Analysis

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Freeze-dried Segment to Grow at Higher CAGR during 2021-2028

Among products, the market includes freeze-dried and spray-dried. The freeze-dried segment held a dominant share of the market in 2020. The dominance is due to technical advantages of freeze-dried products, over spray-dried such as high quality and purity of the product, coupled with comparatively higher iron-binding capacity.

However, the spray-dried segment is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period due to its surging popularity among the pharmaceutical industry and comparatively lower production cost.

By Application Analysis

Infant Formula Segment Dominated the Market in 2020

Based on application, the market is segmented into infant formula, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, food, and others. The infant formula segment accounted for the highest bovine lactoferrin market share in 2020 owing to higher consumption of bovine lactoferrin in infant formula due to its clinical benefits such as immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory properties, among others, promoting good health in infants.

The dietary supplements and food segments are expected to register a significant CAGR during the forecast period. The growth is due to the rising awareness among the general population regarding health and immunity and an increasing number of product launches of dietary supplements with added lactoferrin in the market. For instance, in March 2020, Ariel, a brand founded by an Australian biotechnology company launched a series of nutritional supplements including lactoferrin in the market.

Similarly, the pharmaceutical and other segments are anticipated to account for a comparatively lower share of the global market during the forecast period owing to the current use limited to products in clinical trials, and lack of marketed pharmaceutical products containing lactoferrin.


North America Bovine Lactoferrin Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)

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The bovine lactoferrin market size in North America stood at USD 95.6 million in 2020. The region is anticipated to grow at a significant CAGR due to the recent approval by the U.S. FDA for the use of this ingredient in infant formula, which is resulting in its higher adoption rate as compared to previous years. Additionally, the increasing number of clinical trials conducted by pharmaceutical companies based in the U.S. and the potential applications of this ingredient in the pharmaceutical segment, are factors anticipated to drive the demand in North America during the forecast period.

Europe accounted for a significant share of the global market in 2020. The increasing demand for infant formula, dietary supplements, and pharmaceutical products with added lactoferrin in some European countries are propelling the growth of the market in the region.

On the other hand, Asia Pacific held a dominant share of the market in 2020 owing to the higher demand for lactoferrin containing premium products in countries including China and Australia and the increasing number of domestic players introducing their own products in the market.

  • For instance, in September 2020, Beston Global Food Company Ltd. launched Immune+ lactoferrin drink in South Australia.

However, Latin America & the Middle East & Africa are expected to grow at a moderate CAGR during the forecast period owing to the comparatively lower demand and adoption of naturally derived ingredients.


MILEI GmbH, Synlait Ltd. and Bega Bionutrients Led the Global Market in 2020

The current scenario of the bovine lactoferrin industry is semi-consolidated with major players such as MILEI GmbH and Bega Bionutrients, accounting for the major share of the global market in 2020. The strong brand image, along with the global wide distribution network is a major factor attributed to the dominance of these players.

At present, both established and new players are focusing on their capacity expansion with an aim to gain a higher market share during the forecast period. This is expected to result in a slightly fragmented market by the end of 2028.

  • In June 2021, Beston Global Food Company Ltd. expanded its 95.0% pure lactoferrin manufacturing capacity up to 25 metric tonnes per year in order to fulfill the global demand.

  • In September 2020, FrieslandCampina DOMO announced its plan to increase its lactoferrin production capacity in Veghel, Netherlands, from 9 tonnes to 60 tonnes per year by 2022 with an aim to fulfill the growing demand of lactoferrin for infant formula.

Other key players in the market are Fonterra Co-operative Group, Armor Protéines, Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd., Freedom Foods Group Limited, Synlait Ltd., Glanbia Plc., and Ingredia.


  • MILEI GmbH (Allgäu, Germany)

  • FrieslandCampina DOMO (Amersfoort, Netherlands)

  • Synlait Ltd. (Canterbury, New Zealand)

  • Glanbia Plc. (Kilkenny, Ireland)

  • Bega Bionutrients (Melbourne, Australia)

  • Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd. (Victoria, Australia)

  • Fonterra Co-operative Group (Auckland City, New Zealand)

  • FREEDOM FOODS GROUP LIMITED (Caringbah, Australia)

  • Beston Global Food Company Ltd (Adelaide, Australia)

  • Armor Protéines (Saint-Brice-en-Coglès, France)

  • Ingredia (Arras, France)


  • June 2021 – Fonterra Co-operative Group announced to sell its two joint venture firms in China with a view to focus more towards New Zealand milk 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 in order to acquire all of its shares to strengthen its brand presence in Australia by expanding its product range.


An Infographic Representation of Bovine Lactoferrin Market

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The global bovine lactoferrin market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as company profiles, product, 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 advanced market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Million)


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 601.1 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 1,461.3 million by 2028.

In 2020, North America stood at USD 95.6 million.

The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 12.6% during the forecast period (2021-2028).

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 Bionutrients, are the top players in the market.

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