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The global specialty fats & oils market size is driven by a growing demand for high-quality fats and oils for designing and developing products that are not only functionally superior but also exhibit improved nutritional content by addressing the consumer concerns towards heart health.
Specialty fats & oils are intermediate products with distinct characteristics and superior functional properties as compared to traditional ones such as margarine and shortening. This superior trait is attributed to the modified crystal structure of fat molecules in them. The specialized structure allows for customized applications in a variety of food products. They were initially conceptualized to replace cocoa butter by imitating its organoleptic characteristics.
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The global market has witnessed a strong demand for cocoa butter. However, the lack of supply owing to the seasonal harvesting scenario has brought specialty fats & oils to the forefront. The ability of these fats to fulfill the targeted characteristics in products such as dairy, bakery, confectionery, and cosmetics is driving the market.
Manufacturers like Cargill are seeking to capitalize and innovate on niche application areas. For instance, Cargill develops a whole range of lauric specialty fats and oils for confectionery applications. Companies in the industry are also focussing on new product development and expansion in distribution channels for increasing or retaining specialty fats & oils market share.
The robust demand for high quality, safe and indulgent bakery and confectionery products is fuelling the sales growth of specialty fats & oils in the global marketplace. Major confectioners and baking establishments have become more sensitive towards the health concerns of the consumers. Specialty fats & oils are touted as a balance between the health and indulgence of processed food products. The price fluctuation of oil crops resulting from weather, political and economic instability is expected to hamper the specialty fats & oils market growth.
Some of the major companies that are present in the global specialty fats & oils market include Cargill, Liberty Oil Mills Ltd., Willmar International Limited, Henry Lamotte Oils GmbH, and the Savola Group.
Palm oil is one of the leading segment in the global market of specialty fats & oils owing to its wider availability and superior composition. Moreover, palm oil is a versatile ingredient that is used as raw material for both food and non-food products.
Confectionery followed by bakery are the two leading application segments of specialty fats & oils market. These specialty ingredients are known to impart specific sensory and textural characteristics in confections.
The anti-inflammatory features of specialty fats & oils also make them suitable for cosmetics and personal care applications. Cosmetic companies are increasingly seeking specialized oils of consistently high quality coupled with added benefits. The antioxidants in these type of fats are known to neutralize the free radicals thereby helping in rejuvenating the skin and addressing the growing inclination towards “natural” cosmetic products.
The Asia Pacific is expected to remain a leading regional market for specialty fats and oils owing to the robust production scenario coupled with strong export potential emerging from western countries. The region has also witnessed huge demand for such fats and oils in bakery, confectionery and dairy sectors. The consumers have also realized the potential health benefits of specialty fats and oils. There is a strong inclination towards such ingredients that are not only healthy but also retain the sensory characteristics of the food products in which they are utilized.
Specialty oils and fats with genuine and reliable certifications are appealing food and cosmetic products manufacturers in the developed market. These fats with high exclusivity factor is expected to witness greater utilization in the development of high-value, premiums offerings.
Consumers have also shown greater willingness to pay a higher price for the products developed using specialty oils, this has also boosted confidence of manufactures thereby driving the overall market for specialty fats and oils.
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