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Lactic Acid Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Raw Material (Sugarcane, Corn, Yeast Extract, and Others), By Form (Liquid and Dry), By Application (Polylactic Acid, Food & Beverages, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics & Personal Care, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: May 17, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102119



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The global lactic acid market size was valued at USD 7.14 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 8.37 billion in 2024 to USD 31.84 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 18.0% during the forecast period.

Lactic acid is a naturally occurring organic acid and is also known as 2-Hydroxypropanoic acid. It is mainly used in industries such as chemicals, food, cosmetics, medical, and pharmaceuticals. It is considered an environmentally friendly product, as it is manufactured from renewable resources by using a sugar fermentation process. The acid is also majorly adopted in the production of Polylactic acid (PLA), a compostable, biodegradable, and thermoplastic polymer manufactured from renewable sources.

Additionally, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are gaining traction among the key bacteria groups, which offers several health benefits to animals, plants, and humans, such as control of improved digestion of lactose, intestinal infections, and improved nutritional value of food. The growing properties, along with its metabolic activity, are the major factors fueling its demand in key applications, including probiotics, food manufacturing, and the agriculture industry. Moreover, several associations globally have made research & developments on the product and concluded that the acid is safe to use. For instance, as per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), lactic acid is generally recognized as a safe additive for miscellaneous purposes. However, the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted various industries operating in the market. Travel restrictions, along with nationwide lockdown measures, significantly disrupted the supply chains, thereby affecting the adoption of products in the cosmetics and food & beverages industries.

Lactic Acid Market Trends

Low Carbon Footprint of PLA on the Environment to Create Growth Opportunities in the Market

PLA is a relatively new and innovative biopolymer that is bio-based and can be degraded easily. The growing improvements in sugarcane farming led to a reduction in environmental footprint, as a result enhancing PLA efficiency in the manufacturing process and the adoption of renewable energy in the conversion process. Additionally, PLA bioplastic is highly bio-based, thus helping to reduce the carbon footprint and further support its adoption. For instance, major players, including Corbion, launched Luminy PLA, which provides a reduction in carbon footprint by 75% in comparison to traditional fossil-based plastics. The company adopts European sugar beet and Thai sugarcane as raw materials for 2-Hydroxypropanoic acid manufacturing that produces bioplastics.

Furthermore, PLA is manufactured from renewable raw materials, such as sugarcane, sugar beet, corn, and cassava. Such feedstocks are GMO-free crops and thereby make PLA bioplastics biodegradable in the right environment, where they serve as a food source for microorganisms and fungi. Such characteristics of PLA surge its adoption in various established markets, including fresh food packaging, organic waste bags, durable consumer products, 3D printing, non-woven toys, and tea bags.

Initially, most PLA bioplastics cannot withstand high temperatures. However, a company, Total Corbion PLA, has introduced a product with a highly heat-resistant advanced solution for PLA-based bioplastics. Hence, this would further propel the PLA adoption and will fuel the market growth during the forecast period.

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Lactic Acid Market Growth Factors

Growing Cosmetics & Personal Care Industry to Drive Market Growth

Lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is mainly found in milk and has been adopted in cosmetic and skincare therapies since ancient times. In recent times, it has been utilized as a pH adjuster, humectant, skin conditioning agent, and exfoliator in several personal care and cosmetic products. Its ability to smooth and brighten skin while reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots makes it a preferred choice in the cosmetics industry. Additionally, the acid is adopted in hair products, as it can strengthen weak hair. The increasing per-capita income, coupled with consumer awareness, is anticipated to boost the adoption of cosmetics and personal care products.

Additionally, rapidly growing personalized ads, famous social influencers and social media users are endorsing cosmetic products, thereby expected to boost personal care as well as cosmetic product sales through online platforms. Many e-commerce businesses and online stores such as Amazon and Alibaba have simplified purchasing items as a result of surging adoption of personal care and cosmetic products. For instance, L'Oreal recorded a rise of 47.2% in e-commerce sales in the first quarter of FY2021, accounting for 26.8% of total sales. Moreover, rising social media impact, rapid digitalization, and creative online marketing are anticipated to surge demand for personal care products. Hence, such factors are anticipated to augment the market growth.

Rising Product Demand in Food & Beverages Industry to Flourish Market Growth

The growing food & beverage industry globally is anticipated to promote product adoption. A significant contributor to lactic acid adoption is its widespread use in fermenting foods. This acid is a common starter culture due to its fermentation ease and functional attributes. This leads to a heightened requirement for encapsulated lactic acid in the production of dry or semi-dry sausage. Moreover, numerous food producers incorporate product into packaged items like bread, desserts, olives, and jams to prolong their shelf life, as it serves as an effective preservative by eliminating and inhibiting bacteria. Additionally, it aids in preventing discoloration and acts as a gelling and curing agent. Consequently, these factors are fueling market growth.


Fluctuating Raw Material Prices to Hinder Industry Growth

Raw sugar extracted from sugarcane and sugar beet, or dextrose from corn starch or cassava starch, are the key raw materials used for the manufacturing of 2-Hydroxypropanoic acid. Meanwhile, the raw sugar is generally obtained locally based on a particular region's most readily available feedstock. The change in climate and soil conditions affected the farming of raw sugar and caused unavailability sometimes. This also causes fluctuation in raw material prices, along with the rise in commodity costs, which restrains the overall market growth and product demand.

Lactic Acid Market Segmentation Analysis

By Raw Material Analysis

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Sugarcane Segment to Lead the Market Due to Abundant Biomass Material Availability

Based on raw materials, the market is segmented into sugarcane, corn, yeast extract, and others.

The sugarcane segment is anticipated to lead the market during the forecasted timeline owing to the wide availability of biomass materials. Harvesting residue and sugarcane bagasse are abundant resources that could be adopted as feedstock. The growing adoption of sugarcane in the food and biochemical industries, along with rising bioplastics development, will fuel segment growth.

On the other hand, the yeast extract segment is anticipated to grow at a significant growth rate during the forecast period. Yeast, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, can tolerate lower pH and grow on mineral media, thereby helping to produce 2-Hydroxypropanoic acid to ease acid purification. Moreover, the growing adoption of corn-based products, including pH regulators, acidulates, and microbial activity enhancers, in the food & beverage industry, will stimulate market growth during the review period.

By Form Analysis

Liquid Segment Held Highest Market Share Due to Rising Demand from Food and Pharmaceutical Industries

Based on form, the market is segmented into liquid and dry.

The liquid segment accounted for the highest market share. The rapid expansion of the food and pharmaceutical industries is promoting the adoption of a liquid form of product. Its consumption is mainly increasing as acidulates and preservatives are used in several products such as pickles and salad dressings. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is mainly used as an excipient in oral and topical medications due to its solubilizing properties.

On the other hand, the high dry segment is growing at a significant growth rate in the global market. The high demand for dry forms of products as leavening agents in the production of dry mixes, such as baking powder and beverage powder, will augment the segment growth. Also, the adoption of dry acid for the dyeing and finishing process is increasing in the textile industry.  

By Application Analysis 

Polylactic Acid Segment Accounted for Major Share Owing to its Biodegradable Properties

By application, the market is segmented into polylactic acid, food & beverages, pharmaceutical, cosmetics & personal care, and others.

The polylactic acid segment accounted for the higher lactic acid market share. PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic polymer achieved from the fermentation of cassava, corn, sugarcane, potato, and cassava. Growing demand for PLA in automotive, food packaging material, engineering plastic, and textiles industries shall augment the segment growth. Also, the biodegradable characteristics of PLA surge its adoption in glasses, tea bags, disposable cups, bottles, and mulch films. Further, PLA generates around 68% fewer greenhouse gases (GHG) and does not emit toxic fumes during production.

Food & beverages segment holds the second-highest market share of the global market. The natural fermentation of food products such as yogurt, soy sauce, cheese, pickles, meat, and sourdough forms lactic acid. It is the main ingredient in the food industry and occurs naturally in many edible products. Its non-toxicity and subsequent recognition as a generally recognized safe substance by the U.S. FDA surge its adoption as an additive in the food industry. The acid serves as a preservative, flavoring agent, or pH regulator in food products. Thereby, it finds its adoption in several food applications, including bakery products, beverage products, salads, confectionery, ready meals, meat products, and dairy products.


North America Lactic Acid Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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Based on region, the market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. 

North America dominated the market with a value of USD 2.85 billion in 2023. The region’s growth is mainly associated with the increasing product demand from the pharmaceutical, and cosmetics, and food & beverage industries. In this region, the U.S. dominates the overall market growth due to the key presence of many pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co., and Johnson & Johnson. Additionally, the rapid expansion of the pharmaceutical industry due to advancement and research & development in drug delivery systems is expected to boost PLA adoption.  PLA has a range of applications as a biocompatible and biodegradable polymer in the pharmaceutical industry.  Moreover, the growing demand for naturally derived ingredients in cosmetic & personal care products will further augment the regional growth.

Europe is anticipated to display significant growth owing to the increasing adoption of the product in the bioplastic industry. Increasing concerns about environmental damage along with the detrimental effects of non-biodegradable plastics are anticipated to surge the demand for biodegradable plastics as an ideal substitute. The producers in the region are initiating to increase the adoption of bioplastics in packaging materials as consumer demand for eco-friendly products is likely to rise. The growing consumer awareness related to environmental protection, along with the rising e-commerce industry within the region, is expected to drive the adoption of packaging material. As a result, it is expected to fuel the market growth in the region.  

Asia Pacific is projected to grow at a sustainable growth rate due to increasing product demand as a flavoring, preservative, and curing agent in the food & beverages industry. The major industry growth factors include rising consumer purchasing power coupled with improvement in living standards. Furthermore, the expanding food processing industry will drive market growth in the region during the forecast period.

Rising demand for ready-to-eat delicious food items due to rising per-capita disposable and changes in consumer food consumption behavior is projected to boost the flavor and preservative market. As a result, this shall boost the market growth in South America during the forthcoming years. The market in the Middle East & Africa is expected to witness a significant growth rate due to the expansion of the personal care industry. Factors such as the high penetration of personal care and cosmetics products and high per capita income are predicted to augment the market growth in the region.

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List of Key Companies in Lactic Acid Market

Key Market Players Providing Sustainability Solutions to Various Industries to Strengthen their Market Position

Most of the key players operating in the market invest in research & development activities to innovate developed and sustainable technologies. In March 2021, Corbion introduced a multi-faceted initiative to substantially increase the capacity of lactic acid and its derivatives.

In addition, the key companies are largely engaged in new product launches, production capacity expansion, strategic acquisitions, partnership, and capacity expansion to expand their product portfolio, strengthen their production capacities, and gain a competitive edge in the value chain.



  • June 2021: International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) launched YO-MIX ViV, an “extremely robust” LAB culture for ambient yoghurt and other fermented drinks products. The launch of the product will expand the brand in China.

  • March 2021: Sandoz Inc. launched AmLactin, a new Rapid Relief Restoring Cream. The cream consists of 15% lactic acid, used as an everyday moisturizing cream.

  • March 2021: Galderma announced a European re-launch of Sculptra (injectable poly-L-lactic acid), a collagen stimulator. The product is ideal for treating skin laxity that occurs from aging and collagen loss.

  • January 2021: Corbion will expand lactic acid capacity in North America by around 40% to meet the growing demand for natural ingredients in multiple industries.

  • September 2020: NatureWorks LLC increased the PLA biopolymer capacity at its Blair, Nebraska facility. The projects will be completed by the end of 2021.


The report covers a detailed market analysis and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, types, forms, and applications. Further, the report provides insights into market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report includes various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


CAGR (2024-2032)

CAGR of 18.0% from 2024-2032


Value (USD Billion), Volume (Kiloton)


By Raw Material

  • Sugarcane

  • Corn

  • Yeast Extract

  • Others

By Form

  • Liquid

  • Dry

By Application

  • Polylactic Acid

  • Food & Beverages

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Cosmetics & Personal Care

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Raw Material, Form, Application, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

  • Europe (By Raw Material, Form, Application, and Country)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Raw Material, Form, Application, and Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • South America (By Raw Material, Form, Application, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Raw Material, Form, Application, and Country)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • Saudi Arabia (By Application)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 7.14 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 31.84 billion by 2032.

Growing at a CAGR of 18.0%, the market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period (2024-2032).

Polylactic acid is the leading application segment of the market.

The increasing demand from food & beverage and cosmetics & personal care industries will drive the market.

Corbion, NatureWorks, CELLULAC, and Galactic are the leading players in the global market.

North America held the largest market share in 2023.

PLAs low carbon footprint is expected to drive product adoption.

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