Market & Trends

Fat and Oils Industry to Focus on Plant-Based Innovation as Consumers Demand Healthier Food

A market report by The Business Research Company has predicted that the fat and oils industry will increasingly focus on plant-based food innovation in the coming years.

As consumers choose healthier foods, demand for specialty fats and oils is increasing, with many companies turning to novel technologies to produce alternatives to animal fats and tropical oils.

Examples include Connectomix Bio, which is investigating a method to transform agricultural waste into lipids for use in meat alternatives, and ÄIO, which converts industry sidestreams such as sawdust into fats that could replace tropical oils. Similarly, agribusiness giant Cargill recently announced that it is collaborating with food tech startup Cubiq Foods to co-develop and commercialize plant-based fat technologies for alt protein products and more.

Meanwhile, Luxembourg-based CSM Ingredients has recently opened an innovation center dedicated to fats, oils, and emulsifiers in Delmenhorst, Germany. The center will conduct research on microbial oils, enzyme technology, and new plant-based solutions.

Plant-based fats
©Cubiq Foods

Globally, there will also increasingly be a focus on processing specialty oils in ways that preserve their flavor and nutrients.

Embracing new technologies

The Asia Pacific is currently the largest region in the fats and oils market, accounting for 52.1% of the total in 2022. Africa and South America are expected to be the fastest-growing regions going forward.

Overall, the market is expected to be worth $251.3 billion in 2027, rising from an estimated $195.6 billion in 2023. This represents a CAGR of over 6%.

“By embracing new technologies, harnessing our full ingredient toolbox, and leveraging our global application knowledge, we’re poised to accelerate the development of next-generation plant-based products,” said Vivek Cherian, Meat and Dairy Alternatives Category Leader for Edible Oils at Cargill.

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