Whey protein is the mixture of proteins derived from whey, the liquid derivative of cheese production. From its obscure beginnings as a simple by-product whey derivatives have come a long way, establishing themselves as an important part of the dairy products market. The varied and diverse ways in which milk products are used is a visible indicator for the importance of the market. Milk derived products, such as Whey proteins, are a major part of global economy and a sign of the vitality of a nation. The global whey protein market is projected to reach a 2020 estimate of $8496.0 with a 2015-2020 forecasted CAGR of 7.6%.
The market is driven primarily by the huge demand for alternative milk products, largely influenced by the perceived health benefits of the whey protein. Factors such as the increase in the population of elderly persons, rising health consciousness, and increase in fitness centers are pushing the market further. The increased enthusiasm in physical fitness is well sustained by the dependence on milk related products. The consistent demand from the sports industry is also a major driver for the industry. The prevalence of elderly population can be well observed in markets such as that of Japan.The rising incidences of obesity in young people, especially in American and Chinese markets, are also making them seek whey derived products for the health benefits they offer. The demand of whey proteins is particularly dominant in the developing parts of the world, wherein the increased role of women in economy is driving the use of infant milk formulations. The success of whey products is pivoted on this demand for infant milk formulations.
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The industry also faces certain constraints from the regulatory framework by both FDA and EFSA; most of the guidelines are uncertain regarding many practical implications. The other challenge posed by the industry is that of high production costs, the dependence on the volatile prices of cheese and the subsequent complex extraction process adds up to a high number. This is a considerable challenge because the success of alternatives is mainly dependent on the economic pricing of the product. Despite these factors the market offers many lucrative opportunities. The increasing demand of protein supplements from the food industry offers an opening into large scale and reliable customers. The rising prescription of supplements by doctors is also helping the market for long term sustainability.
On the global scale Europe, with its high consumer awareness and concern for health, occupies the largest market share and is followed by North America. The high maturity by these regions is leading a splurge of capital in the emerging markets of South America, and Asia-pacific. The market of Asia-Pacific is poised for high growth owing to the increase of its young population and rising standard of living coupled with increasing urbanization. The Asian regions are also undergoing a large scale westernization of diets, leading to an increasing demand in whey products. The market can enjoy further success in these regions once it starts penetrating the unorganized regional sector, which is very prominent in these economies.
The major players in the whey protein market include Fonterra Co-operative Group, Arla Food and Glanbia Food Inc. These companies are mainly focusing on tying up with various regional manufactures through mergers and acquisitions, investing in innovative product development and increasing production efficiency. The success and long term sustainability of a corporation in this market is dependent on their innovative and safe products as well as on their global reach.
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