Hemp-based food products have gained immense popularity due to their easy digestibility by dint of being free from gluten, allergens, genetically modified organisms (GMO), lactose, phytoestrogen, and pesticides. Hemp is a good source of fiber and vitamins &minerals including magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, and iron. Consumption of hemp-based food products aids the maintenance of a healthy digestive system which further drives the overall market across developed regions such as North America and Europe. Hemp seeds are a highly nutritious source of protein and are being increasingly used in packaged foods such as granola bars, pretzels, bread, and cereals. The global hemp-based food market is divided by ingredients into the protein, oil, and seed categories. Among these, hemp seeds dominated the global market in 2015 and are expected to retain its leading position over the forecast period. Their growing usage in various foods such asnut butter, corn chips, and snack bars is expected to motivate the hemp-based food products market over the forecast period. In addition to this, hemp seeds are rich with amino acids which made these products an ideal choice for health-conscious and vegan consumers. Hemp-based food is emerging as the ultimate source of protein for vegans due to its better digestibility than that of other plant proteins. Apart from this, hemp seeds could be easily added to baking goods or incorporated into salads or soups.
The hemp-based food market is geographically distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (MEA), and Latin America. North America held the maximum share in this market in 2015due to a growing consumer preference for healthy food products free of allergens. It was followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Their gluten-free property has propelled several gluten-sensitive consumers to change their inclination toward these products. Asia Pacific is a highly attractive market, owing to the adoption of Western food habits among this region’s population. Latin America is a potential market with its share likely to rise over the forecast period.
The global hemp-based food market is extremely competitive with the presence of a large number of large-scale and small-scale vendors who compete with each other in terms of product differentiation, quality, price, innovation, distribution, and brand promotion. Key players operating in the market include Hemp co, Naturally Splendid, Mettrum Originals, and Manitoba Harvest. Other prominent ones include Canada Hemp Foods, Braham and Murray, Elixinol, Nutiva, Healthy Brands Collective, Laguna Blends, Hemp Foods Australia, and The Cool Hemp Company. These players dominate the market with their vast geographic presence and large production facilities across different countries. However, the global hemp-based food market is also characterized by the presence of several emerging regional and small manufacturers who lead the market in countries such as the U.K. and China and invest huge amounts of capital in research and development activities and innovation centers in order to expandtheir production capabilities and meet the growing market demands. In addition to this, major players are expanding their market share through new product development, mergers &acquisitions, joint ventures, and expansion, while focusing on their plans to open new retail outlets to strengthen their distribution channels and increase their earnings. In order to meet the growing consumer demands, a variety of different products are launched in the market by various leading as well as emerging manufacturers.