The World Market for Whey and Lactose Ingredients 2007-2010

A new report on whey and lactose products from 3A Business Consulting, named The World Market for Whey and Lactose Products 2007-2010, clearly demonstrates how whey and lactose ingredients continue to show significant growth rates in volume terms but no longer in value terms, given the dramatic fall in prices since mid summer 2007, particularly for the commodity type of whey and lactose products.

Currently whey powder, whey proteins and whey protein fractions represent a global market value of approx. USD 4 billion compared to USD 6 billion in the summer of 2007, whereas lactose, lactose permeate, pharma-grade lactose and lactose derivatives are worth approx. USD 1.5 billion compared to USD 3 billion last year. Never in history has the industry experienced such price volatility.

The dramatic price increases in 2007 have forced several food manufacturers to replace expensive whey ingredients with cheaper food ingredients, resulting in less demand for products and subsequently a downturn in prices.

Nevertheless, most processed food manufacturers are incorporating whey and lactose products into an increasingly wider range of mass market products. However, the broader nutrition industry including dietary supplements, sports nutrition, clinical nutrition and functional foods is the main driving force for market development.

The report is global in scope with a comprehensive regional analysis of the EU, the US, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific and Oceania. The report focuses on supply and demand including a trade analysis of commodity type products as well as the more specialised derivatives. Specifically, the report covers whey powder, WPC35, WPC80, WPH, WPI, whey protein fractions, lactose, permeate powder and lactose derivatives. For most products covered no official statistics are available so the report is based on original research. The headlines are:
Market size (volume and value) and expected growth rates
Current applications and end user segments
Detailed world trade flows
Global survey of product launches containing whey and lactose
Outlook 2007-2010
Industry mergers and acquisitions including strategic alliances

The market for industrially utilised whey ingredients has become more health and wellness orientated. This has lead to an increasing focus on the more value-added whey and lactose products such as fractions and derivatives, which has shown significant growth rates as high as 20% p.a. However, high-end whey protein concentrates, whey protein hydrolysates and whey protein isolates are also experiencing significant growth rates on the back of the increasing demand from the nutritional segments, e.g. sports nutrition.

The US is the biggest market for WPC35, WPC80 and WPI, with the EU following close by. The US is also taking the lead in the production of many whey ingredients and has similarly moved into the number one position in terms of export of whey and lactose. Asia and China represent the biggest growth markets for whey ingredients over the next 5 years. However, both Latin America including Mexico and Eastern Europe are showing interesting growth potential. 3A Business Consulting predicts the positive trends identified to continue for the review period 2007-2010.

“I think the report will prove a valuable business tool for dairy and for other foods ingredient companies in their strategic planning process and decision making. Likewise end-user companies will want to know, where this industry is heading. I also think that the report provides a lot of valuable market and industry information” , says Tage Affertsholt, Managing Partner of 3A Business Consulting.

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