Whey and lactose ingredients continue to show positive growth rates in volume and value terms, although prices have weakened for most products in 2012 compared to 2011, according to a new report on whey and lactose products from 3A Business Consulting.
â€œIt is tempting to say that demand for whey and lactose just keeps growing, irrespective of significant price volatility over the last 5 years and the relative poor performance of the global economyâ€, says Tage Affertsholt, Partner of 3A Business Consulting.
For the forecast period 2012-2015 the assessment is that the whey industry should be able to keep up with demand by undertaking new investments in capacity and technology and by better utilization of the raw material available.
Whey powder, whey proteins and whey protein fractions represent a global market value of approximately $7.2 billion in 2011, more than 20% higher than in 2010 given higher prices, and are forecasted to around $8.5 billion in 2015, corresponding to a CAGR of 4% at constant prices. Lactose, pharmaceutical lactose, permeate and lactose derivatives are worth more than $2 billion in 2011, whereas market value is estimated to nearly $2.4 billion in 2015 resulting in a CAGR of close to 4%.
The major players in the whey and lactose ingredient industry are the leading dairy and cheese companies in the world such as Lactalis, FrieslandCampina, Fonterra, Arla Foods, Saputo, Glanbia, Murray Goulburn, DMK/Wheyco, Leprino, Agropur, Sachsenmilch, Armor Proteines and Hilmar. Specialist whey and lactose ingredient companies such as Meggle, Euroserum, Milei, Volac, Carbery, Dairygold, Milk Specialties Global and Davisco also play an important role, particularly in various specialty products. The worldâ€™s two largest dairy companies – Nestlé and Danone – are not really actual producers; they are however major users of whey and lactose ingredients.
The report shows several clear product trends. For whey, the high-end protein products – WPC80, isolates and hydrolysates – are growing by double digit figures, whereas whey powder and other low-end products are stagnating. The nutritional sectors including infant formula, clinical nutrition and sports nutrition products are mainly responsible for the strong growth in the high-end protein ingredients. For the lactose product group, high growth is apparent for permeate, but also for standard lactose, pharmaceutical lactose and galactooligosaccharides.
EU-27 and the US are the major markets for whey products, whereas Asia is rapidly approaching the top spot for lactose and permeate. For the 2012-2015 period, the Asian region including China will present the highest growth both in absolute and relative terms. EU-27 and the US are also the largest producers of whey and lactose products, with the US showing a stronger growth rate than the EU. In terms of export, the US has also moved into the number one position, according to 3A Business Consulting.
Source: Food Ingredients First