Analysts MarketsandMarkets have predicted the functional flours market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.2% from 2014 to 2019 thanks to rising demand for baked goods offering health and wellness benefits.
The report defines functional flour as pre-cooked flour, fortified flour and specialty flour – which includes gluten-free, pre-gelatinized, enzyme-treated, extruded and partially transformed flour, and accounts for 87% of the market.
Gluten-free trend drives market growth
Food safety legislation and concerns about the hazards of gluten for gluten-sensitive individuals has helped educate consumers about the health benefits offered by functional flours, said MarketsandMarkets research associate Mahejabi Radhanpura.
“In light of the benefits offered by different functional flours, and the increasing demand for bakery products and snacks, government of various countries are promoting the functional flours industry, assisting manufacturers and suppliers,” she said.
Growing concern about gluten intolerance has increased the use of functional flours derived from rice and legumes as a bakery ingredient.
Functional flours containing starch and hydrocolloids are gaining importance in gluten-free baked goods because they replace the functionality of gluten, Radhanpura added.
Manufacturers seek opportunities in developing economies
Awareness about the use of functional flour as a baking ingredient is also increasing in developing regions, the report shows. However, in contrast to developed countries, the functional flour market in developing regions is fragmented among small to medium players.
“In developed countries, the market for functional flour is dominated by a few large players; especially in North America, players such as Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill and General Mills dominate the market,” Radhanpura said.
Demand for non-GMO ingredients
But US bakery manufactures are facing a challenge in procuring non-GMO raw materials as demand for non-GMO products grow, she added.
“It restricts further growth locally, forcing manufacturers to search for new market opportunities in developing economies,” Radhanpura said.
The US functional flour dominates the global market in terms of consumption, the report shows, but it is projected to grow at a slower pace compared to its counterparts in the Asia-Pacific region.