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The global sunflower oil market size was USD 18.50 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with sunflower oil witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a lower growth of 5.02% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 19.53 billion in 2021 to USD 29.59 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.12% in the 2021-2028 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Sunflower (Helianthus) is a native crop of North and Central America widely cultivated for its seeds, flowers, and oil extraction. The oil derived from the seeds is extensively used in food, energy, and chemical industries globally. However, its wide utilization in the food industry is one of the factors boosting the market growth. According to the research paper published in Oilseeds & fats Crops and Lipids (OCL) 2020, sunflower seed oil is the fourth largest consumed vegetable oil in the world. The oil is rich in oleic acid, linoleic acid, and other essential nutrients that lower bad cholesterol levels in the body. This has gradually increased its consumption as a healthy cooking oil and frying oil in food manufacturing services and households. This oil is also used to manufacture vegan mayonnaise, cheese, spreads, and also as an ingredient in cosmetics. Thus, these factors cumulatively aid in driving its demand during the forecast period (2021-2028).
Supply Chain Disruptions Amidst COVID-19 to Hamper Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has heavily impacted the global economy and disrupted supply chain activities worldwide. The governments' imposition of lockdown and trade barriers has negatively wedged the growth of the sunflower seed and oil industry. The stay-at-home consumer tendency has been reflected negatively in the foodservice and HoReCa (Hotel, restaurants, & Café) sectors. The Coronavirus outbreak has led to an increase in edible oil prices, hitting hard the major oil-exporting countries. According to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), there has been a 5% decline in edible oil imports to reach 14.2 million tonnes. This was owing to the disruption in the supply chain and reduced consumption by the low-income consumer group. However, the disturbances in the supply chain and logistics have started to ease up, and with countries lifting the trade bans, the industry is expected to regain its pace in the forthcoming years.
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Fortification of Sunflower Oil to Meet the Demand for Healthy Products is a New Trend
The increasing health and wellness trends among consumers have gradually shifted their focus towards fortified or nutrient-rich edible oils. The sedentary lifestyle of consumers in the modern era has led to various cardiovascular diseases and obesity. This has led to consumers switching to edible oils fortified with essential vitamins and minerals to support the body's functioning. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), edible oils with vitamin A are efficacious and proved to be effective in developed countries. Various developing countries in Asia and Africa are adopting vegetable oil fortification to curb malnutrition and mineral deficiencies. The rising trend of high-value food worldwide owing to rapid urbanization and improving education levels is likely to support the Sunflower oil market growth.
Wide Inclusion of Healthy Cooking Oils in Processed Foods to Influence Market Growth
There has been a significant rise in recognizing the positive health effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in recent years. This has led to an increase in demand for cooking oils with monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and PUFA. Various scientific studies have suggested the consumption of MUFA increases the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or ‘good cholesterol’ in the body. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also supports the claim that edible oils containing at least 70% oleic acid may reduce the chance of coronary heart disease.
Further, the rising global population and increasing demand for foods have led to increased consumption as it is commercially utilized for culinary purposes. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), sunflower seed oil production is expected to reach 60 million tonnes by 2050, implying a rise in its per capita consumption.
Growing Utilization of Sunflower Oil for Producing Biodiesel to Augment Growth
The increasing scarcity of fossil fuels has led to the switch to other alternative biofuels or biodiesel, made from vegetable oils as renewable fuels. Sunflower seeds have high oil content, and average yields can produce nearly 600 pounds of oil per acre, which is more than soybeans. This has led to the oil quickly gaining popularity as a feedstock crop for biodiesel production, as it can be grown easily and is profitable at both small farms and large-scale fields. This helps recycle the waste cooking oil and emerges as a sustainable, eco-friendly fuel with lower emission of pollutants. Thus, leading to its comprehensive utilization in biodiesel manufacturing; thereby, benefiting the market growth.
Availability of Substitutes to Impede Market Growth
The presence of substitute edible oils such as olive oil, canola oil, and coconut oil with similar nutritional attributes acts as a restraint in its market growth. The manufacturing process of oils with high wax content, such as sunflower, is expensive due to the additional filtration and dewaxing process. This increases the overall end-product price, which is comparatively higher than other conventional oils such as soybean, palm, and groundnut. Thus, also acting as a factor for its low adaptability in various emerging economies. Various manufacturers are investing in mineral fortification in edible oils and technologies to retain the essential nutrients of the oil during the manufacturing process. This has increased the consumers’ interest in canola and olive oil as replacements. Olive oil is a healthier cooking oil than sunflower in terms of vitamin K, fatty acids, and mineral content, impeding the market growth.
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Mid-Oleic to Hold Major Share Due to its Health-benefiting Properties
The mid-oleic sunflower oil is considered the standard variant, as it is the most common type available worldwide. This is because mid-oleic oil retains linoleic acid levels to remain an excellent dietary source, along with the high levels of oleic acid making it less prone to rancidity and breaking down. Thus, eliminating the need for hydrogenation and resulting trans fat. It is primarily utilized in the cooking industry in conditions with high cooking temperatures. Along with this, the oil is recognized to have lower trans fats and provides health benefits at a reasonable price point. The oil is also utilized as an emollient in cosmetic formulations. According to the National Sunflower Association (NSA), the mid-oleic type has proven to lower cholesterol levels.
The high-oleic segment is projected to showcase substantial growth owing to its higher demands and superior qualities than the other two variants. The higher shelf life, stability at high temperatures, and neutral taste make it a favorable option among food manufacturers and processors.
High Utilization of Sunflower Oil in Foodservice Sector to Fuel the Market Growth
The increasing demand for sunflower seed oil as a healthier cooking oil across the foodservice sector is a major factor fuelling its market growth. The growing interests of consumers towards dining out and growing restaurant chains have supported the development. According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada report, 80.5% of edible cooking oils in India in 2018 were consumed through food restaurants, while 6.4% of sales through pubs, bars, and clubs.
Further, it is widely used for manufacturing various processed foods such as snacks. For instance, from 2003 to the present year, Frito-Lay, an American subsidiary of PepsiCo, completely switched to using this type of oil for manufacturing its snacks. It is also incorporated as an ingredient in manufacturing cosmetics as it helps improve skin hydration and provides antioxidant protection.
Europe Sunflower Oil Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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Europe in 2020 held the largest sunflower oil market share with USD 6.28 billion. The region is witnessing robust growth in the market, attributable to the rapid increase in this type of oil consumption. The high level of unsaturated fatty acids and the high smoke point drive its rapid utilization in the region. Russia and Ukraine are the leading producers of sunflower seed oil in the world. According to an article published by the Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal, 2018 Russia produced 4.6 million tonnes of sunflower seed oil in 2017. European consumers’ fast-paced lifestyles have urged them to opt for healthier cooking oils to support their overall health. This has influenced the increased utilization of oil in the foodservice sector and household cooking purposes.
The Middle East and Africa is the fastest-growing region due to the presence of countries such as South Africa and Turkey as they are among the world’s most prominent producers. The domestic demand for this oil has increased in recent times as food processors widely use this oil for frying and cooking purposes. Besides, an increasing number of companies are investing in major food processing facilities in the region. Many international firms are also eyeing collaborations with local producers to serve the regional demands. Further, its utilization in producing biodiesel has significantly contributed to the sunflower seed oil market growth.
The Asia Pacific exhibits significant growth potential in the global market due to the extensive utilization of sunflower oil in manufacturing bakery, snacks, and confectionery products. The bakery industry in the region is continuously expanding, and the demand for innovative and healthy bakery products is increasing, according to a report by Food and Hotel Asia, 2019. Along with this, the government in various Asian countries is focusing on lowering the consumption of partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) due to their detrimental health effects. For instance, the Ministry of Health, Singapore, in 2019, declared banning all PHOs as an ingredient in all foods from June 2021. This has made the food processors shift to sunflower seed oil, which is projected to further boost its consumption in the region. India and China are the major importing countries in the region, as they are among the world’s most populous countries. This leads to a significant rise in the per capita consumption of edible oils.
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South America is anticipated to witness substantial growth due to the increase in sunflower cultivation and production in the region. Due to increasing health and wellness concerns among the consumers, the consumption of such healthy cooking oil is surging. An increase in demand for sunflower seed oil and its by-products is forecasted internationally, and the region is expected to contribute to meeting the needs significantly.
North America holds a relatively small share in the market. However, it has tremendous opportunities for the sector to grow in the upcoming years owing to its extensive use in culinary preparations and animal feed.
Key Players Focusing on Geographical Expansion and New Product Launches to Maintain Competitive Edge
The market is moderately consolidated owing to the presence of prominent players worldwide. Companies such as Conagra Brands, Inc., Bunge Ltd., Cargill, Inc., Hanoon Oil Factory, and Archer Daniels Midland Company are focusing on expanding their geographic presence and business expansion acquisitions and new product launches. For instance, in November 2018, Abu Dhabi Vegetable Oil Co. (ADVOC) announced a partnership with Patanjali Ayurved Limited to produce a range of edible oils for the middle-eastern market.
An Infographic Representation of Sunflower Oil Market
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The global sunflower oil market research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the market size and growth rate for all the segments. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of related markets, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key sunflower oil industry trends.
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 18.50 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 29.59 billion by 2028.
Growing at a CAGR of 6.12%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).
The mid-oleic segment is expected to lead the market, based on product type.
Awareness about the health benefits associated with sunflower oil is expected to fuel the market growth.
Conagra Brands, Inc., Bunge Ltd. Cargill, Inc., Hanoon Oil Factory, and Archer Daniels Midland Company, are a few of the key players in the market.
Europe dominated the market share in 2020.
Foodservice/HORECA to emerge as the leading end-user segment of the global market during the forecast period.
Strategic mergers, new product launches are the key market trends that are driving market growth.
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