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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Source (Concentrates, Fish Oil, Algae Oil, Krill Oil, and Other Plant Sources), Application (Dietary Supplements, Functional/Fortified Foods, Infant Formulae, Pharmaceuticals, and Animal Feed & Pet Food), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Last Updated: June 03, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100248



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The global omega-3 fatty acids market size was USD 1.54 billion in 2020. The global market is projected to grow from USD 1.62 billion in 2021 to USD 2.24 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 4.80% during the 2021-2028. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with omega-3 fatty acids witnessing a positive impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a higher growth of 5.96% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

The global market is witnessing robust growth primarily due to increasing demand for dietary supplements and functional foods. The increasing awareness regarding the health benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and the technological advancements to improve their bioavailability are the key factors driving the growth of the global omega fatty acid ingredients market.

Outbreak of COVID-19 to Positively Affect Market Development

The COVID-19 pandemic has positively affected the global market. There have been reports of a huge increase in demand for omega fatty acids foods and dietary supplements to enhance health and immunity. The circulation of suggestions from doctors all over the globe to incorporate immunity-boosting dietary supplements in daily life is hugely contributing to the high adoption of the product by consumers. The companies operating in the industry have seen a disturbance in their supply chain mainly due to the transportation restrictions and exponentially spiked logistics and transportation costs related to the ongoing pandemic. Import and production slowdown of raw materials for the product has impacted the manufacturing process of the product.

Moreover, initial lockdowns and their continuation have caused labor shortages across some manufacturing facilities. Product safety, product detail transparency, and hygiene concerns are anticipated to remain a prominent aspect among consumers from now onwards. By ensuring the aforementioned factors are fully taken care of while raw material sourcing, product manufacturing, and packaging, market players can improve their market value and prominence and increase their sales.


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Incorporation of Dietary Supplements in Daily Life to Maintain Health & Wellness

In recent years, consumer inclination towards including dietary supplements in daily lives has increased owing to the increasing prevalence of health conditions due to sedentary lifestyles, stress, aging, and other hereditary factors. This trend has led to the exploration of various ingredients that positively affect certain body functions to maintain overall health and wellness.

Several manufacturers are focused on exploring novel functional ingredients and developing innovative methods for their delivery to capitalize on this emerging trend. Functional/fortified foods are the budding category that involves incorporating active principles in certain ingredients for the improvement of overall health. The increasing demand for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in dietary supplements has contributed to the growth of this market. The rising trend of consuming natural, plant-based, and non-GMO ingredients has led to increased research and development activities to bring forth innovative ingredient solutions for consumers.


Rising Awareness of Health Benefits of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) Will Aid Market Growth

The recent recognition of the positive health effects of PUFAs has created a huge demand. The product is used in various applications such as dietary supplements, functional foods, and pharmaceuticals. Several recent clinical studies suggest that the consumption of PUFAs primarily supports cardiovascular health and various other functions in the body. The growing awareness regarding the omega fatty acids benefits and the importance of essential fatty acids is fuelling the demand for long-chain PUFAs. In the past few years, omega fatty acids have gained remarkable popularity as they can not be produced by the body and have to be administered externally with omega-3 rich diets or dietary supplements.

The most significant source of polyunsaturated fatty acid is fish oil. The recent evolution in market trends, such as the rising popularity of plant-based, clean-labeled ingredients, has contributed to exploring novel sources to extract PUFAs. Algae oil and flax seeds are important sources of these fatty acids that are perfect for consumers following vegetarian diets. The emerging methods and studies that prove the health claims of PUFAs are expected to aid the growth of the market in the years to come.

Technological Advancements to Support Market Growth

One of the major factors supporting omega-3 fatty acids market growth is the ongoing technological improvements that increase the delivery and absorption of these substances in the body. The production of lipid-based supplements remains a challenging endeavor owing to their bioavailability and unpredictable absorption rate. Numerous studies suggest that several aspects can limit the uptake of omega fatty acids in the body. The crucial players in the market are investing massive capital in research and development to integrate technology that will improve the bioavailability of omega-3 in the body. For instance, in October 2019, Pharmako Biotechnologies launched a new AquaCelle self-emulsifying drug delivery system that boosts oral omega-3 absorption by six-fold as compared to the standard fish oil.

Moreover, the advances in processing techniques that enable the extraction of omega-3 from novel sources will fuel the demand for the product. Moreover, the efforts taken to improve the organoleptic properties of the fatty acids extracted from marine sources are expected to aid the market's growth in the forthcoming years.


Organoleptic Properties and other Process-related Challenges to Impede Market Growth

Fish and Krill are the most significant marine sources of the product. The extraction process of omega-3 from marine sources has evolved in the last few years. There are a few process-related challenges faced by producers that hamper the growth of the market. Omega-3 sourced from marine sources has a fishy odor and taste, which results in an unpleasant sensory experience. Functional foods containing these fatty acids may lose their flavor balance.

Furthermore, high temperatures in the processing may also affect the quality of the product. The extraction and purification processes of omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources produce a large amount of waste, and the contamination in the extracted product can limit its purity. The challenges faced in the process of producing high-quality, extremely purified products are impeding the growth of the market.


By Source Analysis

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Concentrates Hold the Largest Market Share Owing to High Content of EPA & DHA

The global market is expected to exhibit promising growth due to its increasing health and wellness space demand. Based on the source, the concentrates segment is expected to hold the largest market share. This is mainly attributable to the high percentage of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) present in them. Concentrates are highly pure, generally containing more than 80% EPA & DHA combined. These favorable attributes are the main reason why this segment is expected to exhibit dominance in the forecast period.

Traditionally, fish oil was a primary source in the extraction of omega-3 fatty acids as they are rich in content. Due to over-fishing in the wake of increased demand for direct consumption, the declining fish population has led to the search for natural and more sustainable alternatives to fish sources. Krill oil and large oil have gained higher importance in recent years as alternatives to fish sources to extract omega-3 type of fatty acid contents. Krill oil contains approximately 30-40% of EPA and DHA and is widely considered a rich source of these products and carotenoids. Algae are also classified as generally recognized as safe by the FDA, and it majorly serves as an option for the vegetarian population. Algae contain only DHA, while krill oil and fish oils contain both EPA & DHA. At the same time, emerging trends of plant-based ingredients are in high demand, and omega fatty acids vegan sources such as flax and sunflower seed oils are projected to witness huge demand in the coming years.

By Application Analysis

Rising Popularity of Dietary Supplements Contributes to the Market Growth

One of the major factors contributing to the growth of this market is the rising popularity of dietary supplements. The positive health effects of omega-3 that support heart health, mental health, and brain development in infants have increased it’s demand. The newly emerged trends of personalized nutrition have enabled consumers to independently measure the levels of EPA & DHA in their blood. This, in turn, will create a huge demand for supplements that provide omega-3. The development of innovative delivery techniques to improve the absorption of EPA & DHA in the body is driving the advances in omega-3 dietary supplements space. The increasing incorporation of these products in infant formulae is also contributing to the growth of the market.

Functional/fortified foods are the fastest-growing application category in the market. Consumers in the developed markets of North America and Europe are focusing more on health management with functional food products such as dietary supplements. Moreover, the rising popularity and preference for healthy snacking have brought several inventions into the functional food category. The recent surge in sales in this category has encouraged processors and manufacturers to fortify a wide variety of food mediums with omega fatty acids. Furthermore, the rising awareness about the benefits of such fatty acids for dogs is anticipated to increase the product incorporation in pet foods and animal feed.


North America Omega-3 Fatty Acids Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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North America is the Leading Region while Asia Pacific is the Fastest Growing

The market value in North America stood at 0.62 billion in 2020 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 4.36%. The robust growth of the market in North America is attributed to the rising awareness about the positive health effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related health conditions, the increasing number of aging population, hectic lifestyle, and stress factors will create a huge demand for dietary supplements and functional foods in this region. The rising trends of veganism and vegetarianism in the region will lead to a huge demand for these fatty acids sourced from plants. The recent development in regulations by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) that allow qualified health claims confirming these products can reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions is expected to boost their demand in this region. The increasing investments by key giants for the development of innovative solutions to improve delivery and the absorption of these type of fatty acids in the body further contribute to the growth of the market.

Asia Pacific has immense potential for omega fatty acids, and it is expected to witness growth rates higher than the global average. The market's growth is attributed to the rising awareness of the health benefits and increasing discretionary incomes that enable consumers to spend on healthcare products that promote wellbeing. The demand for dietary supplements is increasing rapidly in highly populated countries of the region, such as China and India. The increasing popularity of functional food and beverages in the region contributes to the growth of omega-3 fatty acid-fortified foods.

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Nevertheless, regions such as Europe and South America are expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The growing understanding of the health benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids among European and South American customers has resulted in the enhanced demand for omega fatty acids containing functional foods and dietary supplements. In the few years, the omega-3 fatty acid concentrates segment has witnessed substantial growth in these regions. Moreover, the extraction of these type of fatty acids from various novel sources is driving the growth of these regional markets.


Increasing R&D Activities to Aid the Growth of the Market

The global market structure is moderately consolidated due to players such as Evonik, BASF SE, Royal DSM N.V., and Lonza & Epax. These major players are working towards further consolidation by acquiring small players in the industry. Partnerships, agreements, and investment in research & development are some of the key strategies adopted by these players to strengthen their market position.

The new entry of small and niche players in the market further escalates the competition and adds stimulus to the market growth. The exploration of novel sources for omega-3 by key players significantly contributes to the growth of the market.  


  • Royal DSM N.V. (Netherlands)

  • Evonik (Germany)

  • BASF SE (Germany)

  • Lonza (Switzerland)

  • Epax (Norway)

  • Croda International, Plc (U.K.)

  • Cargill, Inc. (U.S.)

  • Golden Omega (Chile)

  • Corbion (Netherlands)

  • Polaris (U.S.)


  • In July 2021, Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc., a diversified and fully integrated health and wellness organization focused on plant-based, sustainable and purpose-driven lifestyle brands, introduced a new Forest Remedies' plant-based Multi Omega 3-6-9 gummies and soft gels with Ahiflower as a major ingredient. This new product can help consumers to fulfill the nutrient requirement of the human body.

  • In February 2021, India-based start-up OZiva announced the launch of new vegan Omega-3 multivitamins to fulfill the increasing demand for plant-based dietary supplements.

  • In March 2020, Wiley Companies launched its first omega-3 concentrate in powdered form, designed for food and beverages. The product has been manufactured without a fishy smell or taste to appeal to customers looking for attractive sensorial products.


An Infographic Representation of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Market

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The market report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the type and applications of omega-3 type of fatty acids, market intelligence, market size, and growth rate for all possible segments in the market. Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of related markets, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in important countries, and key industry trends.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



 Value (USD Billion)


By Source

  • Concentrates

  • Fish Oil

  • Algae Oil

  • Krill Oil

  • Other Plant Sources

By Application

  • Dietary Supplements

  • Functional/Fortified Foods

  • Infant Formulae

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Animal Feed & Pet Food

By Region

  • North America (By Source, Application, and By Country)

  • U.S. (By Application)

  • Canada (By Application)

  • Mexico (By Application)

  • Europe (By Source, Application, and By Country)

  • U.K. (By Application)

  • France (By Application)

  • Italy (By Application)

  • Spain (By Application)

  • Germany (By Application)

  • Russia (By Application)

  • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Source, Application, and By Country)

  • China (By Application)

  • India (By Application)

  • Japan (By Application)

  • Australia (By Application)

  • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • South America (By Source, Application, and By Country)

  • Brazil (By Application)

  • Argentina (By Application)

  • Rest of South America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Source, Application, and By Country)

  • South Africa (By Application)

  • UAE (By Application)

  • Rest of MEA (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the value of the market was at USD 1.54 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 2.24 billion by 2028.

Growing at a CAGR of 4.80%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).

The omega-3 concentrates segment is expected to be the leading segment based on the source in the global market during the forecast period.

Rising awareness of the health benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids is the key driving factor for the market.

DSM, BSF SE, Evonik, and Lonza are a few key players.

North America is expected to hold the highest market share in 2020.

Algae oil is expected to witness the fastest growth in the sources segment.

Incorporation of dietary supplements in daily life to maintain health and awareness is the market trend.

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