As companies engaged in the production of flour offer similar products with very limited differentiation attributes, the degree of competition in the global flour market is significantly high, says Transparency Market Research in a new study. To maintain a strong hold in the market and expand their business, the established flour manufacturers are focusing on acquiring smaller companies or entering into joint ventures. The leading players in the global flour market are Ardent Mills Canada, Cargill, Associated British Foods plc, ConAgra Foods, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Hindustan Unilever Limited, ITC Limited, Hodgsmon Mill, Wilmar International Limited, and White Wings. Of these, ConAgra Foods, Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Company, and Cargill together accounted for 49% of the overall revenue in 2013 in the global flour market.
Given the ubiquity of flour as a daily consumable, many local players are compelled to compete with international companies with wider product variants and low cost. The leading companies are aiming at product and packaging innovation to enable consumers to differentiate their products from the available variants. As a result of this, the competition in the global flour market is expected to intensify further in the coming years.
The global flour market is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.8% from 2014 to 2020. In 2013, the global flour market was worth US$182.7 bn and is projected to touch a valuation of US$245.8 bn by the end of 2020.
Rising Demand for Bakery Products to Drive Sales of Flour
With the increase in the demand for bakery products across the world, the demand for good quality flour has also taken a boost. “As flour is the most important ingredient used in bread and other baked sweets and savories, the rise in the demand for baked goods is likely to cause a spike in the sales of flour in the coming years,” states a TMR analyst. The consumption of baked products is significantly high in Europe, India, North America, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Among all flour varieties, wheat flour is the most consumed type in these regions. Moreover, the emergence of cafes and the growing fast food sector is likely to further augment the demand of flour. Grocery and supermarkets are also likely to aid the sales of flour as manufacturers enhance their retail options to expand their reach in the market.
Price Volatility of Raw Materials to Inhibit Growth of Flour
The price volatility of raw materials used in the production of flour is likely to hamper in the progress of the flour industry. As a result of low price margin and volatility in the prices of raw materials, consumers are shifting their focus towards the consumption of value added bakery products. Due to low yield and scarcity of row crops, the cost of raw materials is likely to rise resulting to an increase in the price of flour. To survive this price volatility, companies are resorting to risk management strategies.
Non-food Application of Flour to Provide Lucrative Growth
Opportunities to Manufacturers
Researchers across the world are experimenting with the use of flour in biomaterials. As a result of strict environmental regulations imposed by governments across the world regarding the use of plastics and curbing global warming, the demand for biodegradable products is likely to increase in the coming years. With a growing interest in renewable and eco-friendly products, the use of flour in the formulation of biodegradable materials is likely to provide manufacturers of flour with future growth prospects. Moreover, starch based non-food products such as starch-based packaging, starch-based adhesives, and soil conditioners are anticipated to gain popularity over the coming years
Asia Pacific is anticipated to lead the global flour market by 2020 in terms of consumption with a projected volume share of 66,611.8 kilo tons in the year. Bread and bakery products are likely to emerge dominant in the applications segment with a volume of 63,544.9 kilo ton by 2020.
The review is based on the findings of a TMR report titled, “Flour Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 - 2020.”
The flour market has been segmented as follows:
Flour market, by raw material:
- Maize (Including corn flour)
- Wheat (Including durum flour)
- Others (Including oat flour, rye flour, etc.)
Flour market, by Application:
- Noodles and pasta
- Bread and bakery products
- Wafers, crackers and biscuits
- Animal feed (Including pet food)
- Non-food application (Including bioplastics, biomaterials, glue, etc.)
- Others (Including roux, baby food, etc.)
Flour market, by Technology:
- Dry technology
- Wet technology
Flour market, by geography:
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World (Latin America, Middle East and Africa)
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