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Soy Lecithin Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Form (Liquid and Solid), Application (Food and Beverage, Nutritional Supplements, Animal Feed, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI106316



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The global soy lecithin market size was USD 525.82 million in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 536.18 million in 2021 to USD 740.62 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 4.72% in the 2021-2028 period. Based on the analysis, the global market exhibited a lower growth of 1.20% in 2020 than the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The growth in CAGR is attributable to this market's demand returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented, with soy lecithin witnessing a slightly negative effect on supply-chain across all regions amid the pandemic.  

Lecithin, extracted from soy oil, is utilized for everything from processed food, protective coatings to pharmaceuticals. It is commonly used as a natural emulsifier and lubricant in numerous industries. Soy lecithin offers a multi-functional, flexible, and versatile tool. It is one of the best-known ingredients for its emulsifying properties, which help give consistent texture to dressings and promote solidity in margarine. It is also used in coatings and chocolate and to counteract spattering during frying. Furthermore, its unique lipid molecular structure makes it is useful for pharmaceutical and cosmetics applications and various industrial uses such as paints, lubricants, textiles, and others.

Supply Chain Disruptions amid COVID-19 to Hamper Market Performance

The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a global standstill of various industries such as food and beverage, medication industries, along with impacting the global economy negatively owing to the closure of various manufacturing facilities. Soy lecithin manufacturing companies faced difficulties in meeting the product demands due to labor shortages, firm closure of manufacturing facilities, restrictions on transportation, and disruptions in raw material procurements.

Currently, the global pandemic situation is normalizing and several industries are returning to their normal operations. The sale of the product was not affected much as the demand from the processed food industry continued throughout the lockdown period. However, this pandemic has led the companies to realize that there could be production concerns during such global crises, and they must cope up with this new normal for smooth functioning in the upcoming years.


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Launch of Organic Product is a Prominent Trend

Consumers now-a-days are demanding for the products that can help them in living a more responsible and sustainable life. Henceforth, the popularity of organic products is increasing tremendously. Moreover, by using organic ingredients for the manufacturers are eyeing to drive the consumers to make healthier food choices. Therefore, in September 2019, the U.S.-based company Praan Naturals announced the launch of organic soy lecithin liquid and powder into its ethically sourced product range for personal care product development.


Rising Application of the Product across Multiple Industries to Boost Sales

Soy lecithin is a multi-functional food ingredient that primarily functions as an emulsifier and dispersing agent.  It is mostly used as an emulsifier in various industrial applications such as animal feed, food, paints, plastics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and others. Therefore, the wide and continuously rising product category for lecithin applications is anticipated to support the steady growth of the market.

The increased per capita expenditure on food and evolving food habits are positively affecting the growth of the processed and packaged food industry which is anticipated to benefit the market. The increasing concerns towards a healthy lifestyle are propelling the demand for nutrient-rich beverages, foods, and supplements, eventually projected to push manufacturers to use cost-effective and nutrient-rich and products such as soybean lecithin. Moreover, wide chemical and physical properties of the product make it a beneficial product in the cosmetic and paint industry. In addition, the maturing use of lecithin in animal feed and pharmaceutical is predicted to accelerate the sales of the product.

Rising Raw Material Production and Increasing Expenditure on R&D to Drive Growth

Soybean is one of the most important sources of commercial lecithin. Henceforth, the abundant availability and low pricing of soybean in international markets is generating traction. The major soybean producing countries such as China and the U.S. are embarking on abundant soybean production, which is expected to support the steady growth trends of the market. Furthermore, the increasing expenditure on technology for soybean seed breeding to improve productivity and yields of soybean protein and other derivatives, including lecithin is anticipated to drive the market growth. Additionally, the increasing focus of several government bodies on the technological advancements to upsurge soybean yields is anticipated to positively impact the market growth. For instance, in February 2019, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China published its new policy document, which included a plan for soybean farming revitalization.


Rising Concerns Regarding the Use of GMO Soybean in Manufacturing Process to Hinder Growth

Demand for the product will continue to increase over the coming decades. But, the increasing use of genetically modified (GM) soybean for soybean lecithin production is likely to restrain the market growth in the forthcoming years. Although lecithin is a highly processed product and raw material origin, i.e., GMO or Non-GMO soybean, is very difficult to detect. But, the strict rules and policies in Europe regarding the use of GMO soy lecithin are anticipated to hamper the market growth.


By Form Analysis

Liquid Segment to Hold the Major Share Backed by Its Wide Incorporation in Food and Beverage Industry

Among the two forms of soy lecithin available, the liquid form is the most preferred and hence, holds the major share.

The liquid form of the product can be seamlessly blended into several processed food products, thus removing blending barriers commonly found in both granules and powder. Bakers employ liquid product for its ability to help the dough rise, create uniformity and suspension in the batter, and lessen the dough’s tendency to be sticky while kneading.

Furthermore, solid soybean lecithin is easily dispersible and can be handled without pumps. This product form is especially useful in powdered products, such as instant products, bakery mixes, and soups.

By Application Analysis

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Food and Beverage Segment to Dominate the Market in the Near Future

Based on applications, the market is segmented into food and beverage, nutritional supplements, animal feed, and others.

Food & beverage accounts for a major soy lecithin market share. This type of lecithin is not only a versatile ingredient in diverse food applications, but it also has nutritional benefits. This type of lecithin is cholesterol-free, a rich source of polyunsaturated fats, and a natural source of choline.

It is extensively utilized in chocolate and compound coatings as a substitute in reducing cocoa butter usage and as an emulsifier. In crackers, cookies, pies, and cakes, the product acts as a release agent and improves shortening, dispersion. In bakery industry, it is broadly used to rise moisture retention, even blending, and as a shelf-life extender. This lecithin interacts with other ingredients in foods such as proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Excepting food, lecithin also has various pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and other industrial applications.

The animal feed segment is likely to emerge as the fastest-growing segment in the upcoming years. This type of lecithin is widely utilized in animal feed to ensure excellent digestibility of fat and energy because it acts as natural emulsifier absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins. It has been specially developed for use in energy-rich feed mixtures for animals.


North America Soy Lecithin Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)

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Soybean and its derivatives have been consumed for thousands of years in North America, but soy derivatives application has expanded dramatically within the processed food industry over the last few decades. The significant growth of the market in North America can be attributed to the increasing application of the product in processed food, especially bakery and confectionery. The rapid evolution across the food and beverage industry in the region has significantly enhanced the demand dynamics for soy lecithin and its end-use application products. Technological advancements have enabled the leading players to focus on improving the product's shelf life, texture, and overall quality.

Moreover, the rising area under soybean cultivation and abundant availability of soybean within North America are expected to drive the regional market growth. For instance, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT) data, the area under soybean cultivation in the U.S. has increased from 116 million hectares in 2016 to 120 million hectares in 2018.

Currently, the Asia Pacific market is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR of 5.10% during the forecast period. The increasing product acceptability and rising consumer base have forced local Asian companies to expand their product portfolio in this particular category. Therefore, in June 2021, India-based company, Kiri Nutrients, invested in modern soybean lecithin extraction processes compliant with international norms. Kriti Nutrients produces soy-based protein and soybean lecithin at the Dewas plant.

Europe is predicted to hold a significant share in the market. The rising demand for plant-based protein-rich ingredients and intensive research on Non-GMO soybean lecithin are predicted to support the steady growth of the market. Moreover, the increasing investment of prominent local players on the advancements in the packaging and preservation of the product are predicted to boost the market growth in the region. Furthermore, the regional associations, such as European Lecithin Manufacturers Association (ELMA), seek to improve knowledge about lecithin’s usefulness in different applications and provide factual information about lecithin to interested parties across Europe. Therefore, the presence of these associations and rising awareness regarding product consumption and uses are expected to positively impact the regional market growth.

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The Middle East & Africa and South America markets presently account for a small fraction of the global turnover in the industry, but soybean lecithin is expected to evolve further as an important additive in the food and feed sector over the forecast period.


Prominent Companies are Focusing on Strategic Investments to Expand Their Global Reach

The global market is moderately consolidated with the presence of a few prominent global players. The increasing use of soy lecithin in the processed food industry is predicted to drive the global market in the forthcoming years. Companies, such as Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill Incorporated, American Lecithin Company, are embarking on strategic investment to increase the production quantity and product quality. For instance, in March 2021, Cargill Incorporated invested roughly USD 475 million in its U.S. soy processing capabilities, including modernizing the plants to make them more efficient and expand operations at its crush facilities network.


  • Archer Daniels Midland Company (Illinois, U.S.)

  • Cargill, Incorporated (Minnesota, U.S.)

  • American Lecithin Company (Connecticut, U.S.)

  • Bunge Limited (Missouri, U.S.)

  • Denofa (Fredrikstad, Norway)

  • Lasenor (Barcelona, Spain)

  • Lipoid GmbH (Ludwigshafen, Germany)

  • DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (Delaware, U.S.)

  • Ruchi Soya Industries (Mumbai, India)

  • Ceresking Ecology & Technology Co. Ltd. (Tianjin, China)


  • January 2019: Avril has announced the acquisition of Lecico, a German company specializing in the production and distribution of soy lecithin. This acquisition can help Avril to increase its footprint in the global market.

  • February 2019: Lasenor Emul, S.L. and Simmons Grain Co. announced the joint venture under the name Lasenor USA LLC to produce a full set of organic soya lecithin products suitable for different food and feed applications.


An Infographic Representation of Soy Lecithin Market

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The global soy lecithin market research report includes qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the market size and growth rate for all possible market segments. Various key insights presented in the report are overview of related markets, competitive landscape, recent industry developments, such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key market trends.

SOY LECITHIN MARKET Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



 Value (USD Million)

By Form

  • Liquid

  • Solid

By Application

  • Food and Beverage

  • Nutritional Supplements

  • Animal Feed

  • Others

By Geography

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

    • U.S. (By Form)

    • Canada (By Form)

    • Mexico (By Form)

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

    • U.K. (By Form)

    • France (By Form)

    • Italy (By Form)

    • Germany (By Form)

    • Spain (By Form)

    • Rest of Europe (By Form)

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

    • China (By Form)

    • India (By Form)

    • Japan (By Form)

    • Australia (By Form)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Form)

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

    • Brazil (By Form)

    • Argentina (By Form)

    • Rest of South America (By Form)

  • The Middle East and Africa (By Form, Application, and By Country)

    • South Africa (By Form)

    • UAE (By Form)

    • Rest of ME&A (By Form)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 525.82 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 740.62 million by 2028.

Increasing at a CAGR of 4.72%, the market will exhibit promising growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).

The liquid segment is expected to lead the market in the upcoming years.

The increasing application in the food and beverage industry is the key factor driving the market.

Archer Daniels Midland Company, Bunge Ltd., Cargill Incorporated, and DuPont de Nemours, Inc. are a some of the leading players in the market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.

The food and beverage segment holds a major share in the global market.

The rising launch of organic products is the key market trend.

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