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The global honey market size was USD 7.84 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with honey witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a stellar growth of 9.0% in 2020. The market is forecasted to grow from USD 8.17 billion in 2021 to USD 11.88 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.5% in the 2021-2028 period. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Over the past few decades, sugar and artificial sweeteners have become undesirable ingredients in food products due to their health-damaging properties. Consumer inclination towards sugar substitutes, especially natural sweeteners, has increased for several reasons. One of the prominent reasons is an escalation in diabetic patients and patients suffering from obesity and high cholesterol who are constantly searching for healthier alternatives to sugar. The easy availability of a wide range of products, coupled with its ability to impart a desirable taste in food & beverage products, is aiding market demand.
Global Supply Chain Interruptions amid COVID-19 to Impact the Market Negatively
The sudden COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has impacted the business of several industries across the globe as governments have undertaken lockdown measures and restricted the movement of people to contain the contagion. The closure of processing plants/units significantly affected the production of various food products in the initial months. Moreover, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, trade restrictions, fluctuating logistics, transportation shortages, and others were observed in the lockdown period.
With the re-opening of production facilities across several economies and continuous efforts by beekeepers to restore the disrupted supply chain, the economic condition of the natural sweetener industry is likely to improve. As it is considered a health-enhancing product, its sales across several countries have witnessed an incredible rise and have resulted in a remarkable amplification of quarterly revenues of companies. For instance, in July 2020, Dabur India Limited, in its first quarterly report (Q1 2020-21), disclosed that its immunity products Dabur Honey and Dabur Honitus witnessed a growth of 60% and 80%, respectively, in the first quarter.
The demand for immunity-boosting products even after the end of the pandemic is expected to remain strong, which can add to the market's profits. Due to its antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties, this product is receiving a wider acceptance across regions and acts as an effective medicine for the treatment of acute throat infection and cough, especially in corona-infected patients. The Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines have recommended that honey as a prominent first line of treatment in treating acute cough caused due to respiratory tract infection, which is one of the noteworthy symptoms in patients suffering from COVID-19 disease.
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Surging Demand for Organic Products across Different End-use Sectors to Aid Market Growth
The demand for organic honey has increased at a notable pace in the last few years, especially in the developed markets of Europe, the U.S., and Japan. The high profits associated with organic products and their high demand across environment-friendly and health-conscious consumers are driving the natural honey industry growth. The application of the aforementioned product in innovative health drinks and supplements is emerging as one of the popular market trends across several economies.
For instance, in July 2019, Manuka Honey, a prominent New Zealand-based health and beauty products company, under its brand Manuka Doctor, launched “Manuka Plus,” a vitamin supplement range that contains MGO300 high strength Manuka honey. Furthermore, rising support for organic agriculture from associations such as the National Beekeepers Association and the National Organic Value Chain Association is further anticipated to support organic product sales.
Rising Demand for Natural Sweeteners to Play a Significant Role in Product Growth
Honey is being progressively advocated as an ideal substitute for conventional sugar due to its various health-benefiting properties. The rising health consciousness among consumers has motivated them to include natural sweeteners in their diets and reduce white sugar usage. The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of natural sweeteners and the presence of several crucial minerals and vitamins within them have made them an ideal sweetener choice. Furthermore, the longer shelf-life of the product, coupled with high affordability, are other prominent factors that positively impact the market's growth rate.
Increasing Utilization of the Product in Drug Production to Support Market Growth
Potential therapeutic effects of the product due to the presence of various amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and other nutritional substances have fetched its roaring popularity across the pharmaceutical sector. The product has arisen as a prominent ingredient in cough syrups due to its antibacterial properties and its ability to act as a demulcent. This is one of the major factors driving the growth of the global market. Moreover, rising acceptance of the Ayurveda medical system globally due to its effectiveness and low to no side effects is expected to positively impact the honey market growth. In Ayurveda, the product is used to treat several diseases and conditions such as skin problems, insomnia, indigestion, sore throat, etc.
Rising Adulteration of the Product to Hamper Market Growth
In recent years, honey adulteration and fraud incidents have emerged as one of the industry's major problems, which has severely impacted the product’s price and has further negatively impacted market growth. According to the U.S. Pharmacopeia’s Food Fraud database, it has emerged as the third most targeted food for adulteration after milk and olive oil. The extensive supply of adulterated products in the local and global markets has resulted in a loss of profits for high-quality and pure product producers. Moreover, alternatives such as stevia, maple syrup, and others in the market and their rapid adoption by consumers are predicted to hamper the market's growth.
Buckwheat to Emerge as the Leading Type
Buckwheat honey, a monofloral variety, is widely popular in Russia, China, and several European economies. The demand for this product type is high due to its high nutritional value, less sweet taste, and a high presence of antioxidants. Buckwheat product type also has various medicinal properties, and hence its demand for cough syrup production is rising rapidly.
Alfalfa is another prominent type with high demand across North American countries and is used to prepare cuisines and direct consumption due to its mild taste and aroma. The recognition of clover honey is predicted to rise rapidly in the upcoming years due to its antiviral, antioxidant properties, and crucial minerals and vitamins.
Food & Beverage Segment to Dominate the Global Marketplace
The application in the food and beverage industry as a sweetener and additive is wide, and the product is also consumed directly. Different types of this sweetener are used in confectionery products, beverages, and other baked goods in place of sugar or in combination with sugar to give the product a desirable taste and texture.
The demand for the product in the pharmaceutical industry, especially for the formulation of cough syrups and liquid dietary supplements, is rising due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and other health-enhancing properties.
In the personal care & cosmetics industry, honey utilization in soap, face wash, moisturizers, and other products is growing at a fast rate. This is the product's potential in retaining skin moisture, inducing soothing effects on the skin, and acting as an anti-aging agent.
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Bottle Segment to Witness Robust Growth in the Upcoming Years
Glass and plastic bottles are the most preferred packaging containers globally as they are easy to store and offer higher convenience than other packaging. Bottles can be structured in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and they are also easy to transport, making them an ideal choice for consumers.
Glass jars are highly preferred by consumers who are looking for environment-friendly, safe, and hygienic packaging.
The popularity of large tubs in the foodservice end-use segment is rising rapidly. Hence, the demand for the product packaged in tubs is anticipated to rise in the forthcoming years.
Asia Pacific Honey Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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Increasing Investments by Governments and Foreign Companies to Support Growth of the Asia Pacific Market
Asia Pacific is the leading region, accounting for the market's highest revenue share, and the region is predicted to dominate the global industry throughout the forecast period. Increasing production and consumption across countries such as China, India, Australia, and others are anticipated to drive the regional market. China is one of the leading producers and exporters of natural honey in the world.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), China exported 123,826 tonnes of honey in foreign markets in 2019. Moreover, at country levels, in economies such as India and Australia, rising governmental investments in promoting beekeeping and boosting its production will support the market growth. For instance, in May 2020, the Government of India allocated approximately USD 68 million towards beekeeping under its Atma Nirbhar Abhiyan.
Europe is expected to follow Asia Pacific in terms of revenue and honey market share. Rising awareness about the product’s health benefits across European countries is fueling the demand for the product across the region.
In North America, the growing number of beekeepers in the U.S. and Canada positively impacts the regional industry. According to the Canadian Honey Council, the number of beekeepers in Canada is approximately 7,000, operating a total of around 600,000 honeybee colonies.
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In the Middle East & Africa, the demand for the product across Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and others is proliferating on account of rising populations and per capita income.
Industry Players Focus on Expanding Product Portfolio and Global Reach to Remain Dominant
The global market is fragmented, with a huge number of industry players operating within the market. The rising demand for this sweetener across several economies due to the increased consumer inclination towards natural sweeteners and healthy sugar alternatives has offered market players an abundance of opportunities to innovate and expand across the globe. Along with new product launches, companies such as Capilano Honey Ltd., Barkman, Dabur India Ltd., Comvita, and others are focusing on various strategies such as base expansion, sales or distribution channel expansion, and others to increase their market share. Comvita Limited, for instance, is one of the leading key players in the global market, adopting various strategies to establish and maintain its significance among consumers.
April 2019 – Comvita entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the remaining 49 percent of its Chinese Joint Venture (JV), Comvita China Ltd., and Comvita Food Ltd. The acquisition is aimed to strengthen direct business in China and obtain higher flexibility for sales optimization and higher profitability.
January 2018 – Comvita, a prominent Manuka honey brand, announced its expansion and retail availability across the United States and Canada's robustly growing markets. After launching a novel store on Amazon and signing a distribution deal with Costco, the company made this announcement.
An Infographic Representation of Honey Market
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The global market research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights and market intelligence on this market, and a detailed analysis of the size and growth rate for all possible segments in the market. In the report, 2021 has been considered the estimated year and forecasts 2028 data and number of years falling in between the estimated year, i.e., 2021 and forecast years, i.e., 2022-2028. Along with this, the report provides an elaborative research-based analysis of the market dynamics and its competitive landscape. Various key insights provided in the report include the overview of related markets, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in key countries, and key industry trends.
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market was USD 7.84 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 11.88 billion by 2028.
Growing at a CAGR of 5.5%, the market will project modest growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).
Buckwheat is expected to be the leading type in the market during the forecasted years.
The intensifying demand for natural sweeteners due to their potential health benefits is predicted to drive the global market growth.
Capilano Honey Ltd., Dabur India Limited, Bee Maid Honey Ltd., and Barkman Honey LLC are some of the top players in the market.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to hold the highest share in the global market.
The bottle segment is expected to hold the dominant share in the global market.
The increasing demand for organic honey across different application sectors and end-users is emerging as a key trend in the global market.
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