Shortening is prepared from vegetable oil or animal fat and is solid at room temperature. Shortening made by hydrogenation of vegetable oils such as Soy, Palm or Cottonseed are commonly used in applications such as bakery, snacks & savory products, and confectionery products. Shortening is added to the flour before baking, in order to prevent lengthening of gluten strands and to avoid formation of tough matrix. As shortening contains saturated fats, unsaturated fats and trans-fat, it is enriched in calories. Therefore, most of the companies are changing their shortening product portfolio towards trans-fat free, to tap potential market of low calorie food.
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Increasing demand for baked goods, globally is creating a conducive environment for growth of global shortenings market. According to Coherent Market Insights’ analysis, per capita consumption of bakery products in Germany, France, and the U.K. was 85.5 kilograms, 71.5 kilograms, and 47.3 kilograms, respectively, in 2017.
However, availability of alternatives to shortenings such as butter and stringent government regulations on use of unsaturated fatty acids in food products are some of the factors restraining growth of the shortenings market. In 2015, U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided that unsaturated fatty acids are not considered as a safe food additive, due to health risk associated with consumption of these. Therefore, companies are focusing on development of products that are alternative to shortening. Moreover, use of shortenings in food products is highly dependent on requirement of the final properties of end products. For instance, some people prefer butter over shortening as butter offer richer flavor and crispier texture.
Excessive consumption of high calorie shortening leads to risk of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, consumers are shifting their preference towards low calorie products, which represents immense opportunity for growth of the low calorie shortening in the global shortenings market throughout the forecast period.
On the basis of form, solid segment accounted for major market share in global shortenings market in 2017. Multiple advantages of solid shortenings over liquid shortenings such as ease of handling & storage and longer shelf life are factors aiding in growth of this segment.
On the basis of source, plant-based segment was dominant in terms of share, in the market in 2017. The segment is projected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. Plant-based shortening is cheaper as compared to animal based shortening and possesses high shelf stability. It contains more fat, as a result, it adds more flaky texture to food products.
On the basis of application, bakery segment accounted for the highest market share in the market in 2017. Shortenings are preferred in the manufacturing of bakery products, in order to get crumbly, flaky, and crusty texture. Therefore, increasing demand for shortenings in the manufacturing of biscuits, cookies, and various other products is fueling growth of the bakery segment.
Owing to bulk availability of raw materials required for shortening such as palm oil, Asia Pacific is expected to gain major traction in the global market over the forecast period. ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are the leading producers of palm oil in Asia Pacific. According to combined study conducted by Indonesia Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) and Indonesia Ministry of Agriculture, the overall production of palm oil was 32 million tons in 2016, out of which, 27 million tons of palm oil was exported. Moreover, according to Gapki, the overall production of palm oil in Indonesia is projected to reach 40 million tons by 2020. This is one of the major factors driving growth of the market in the region.
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Key players in Global Shortenings Market
Key players operating in the global shortenings market include Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill Incorporated, Bunge Limited, Wilmar International Limited., Ventura Foods, LLC, Conagra Brands, Associated British Foods PLC, and AAK AB.
Several companies that manufacture shortening are adopting various organic and inorganic growth strategies, in order to sustain their market position. Mergers, acquisitions and expansions in various geographies, and new product launches are some of key strategies followed by major players in the shortenings market. For instance, in October 2016, Cargill Incorporated launched five new bakery shortening products under its Regal product line. The new Regal bakery shortenings include Regal Icing Shortening NH, Regal Donut Fry Shortening, Regal Puff Pastry Shortening, Regal Cake & Icing Shortening, and Regal All Purpose Shortening. These products were strategically launched to meet rising demand for shortening from bakery industries. Such activities are creating a conducive environment for growth of the market.