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Fish-free Omega-3 Ingredients Market: An Emerging Landscape for Innovation

Spurred by the growing health awareness among consumers, a variety of fish, including salmon and mackerel, have gained popularity as the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are an essential part of a healthy diet. However, the mounting wave of veganism and the burgeoning number of consumers shifting to vegetarian diets are among the critical factors increasing the hunt for vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

With a wide range of vegetarian foods that source omega-3 and its magnified demand, fish-free omega-3 ingredients are moving from a niche product towards becoming a billion-dollar industry. Consumer awareness about the body’s need for essential fatty acids, including omega-3-6-9 fatty acids, is growing, and this is creating the potential for innovation in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients space.

Taking into consideration the bioavailability and health benefits of vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids, Transparency Market Research (TMR) conducted a thorough research to reach the growth prospects of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients landscape. In its latest offering, TMR features exclusive, actionable insights for stakeholders and investors in this market to leverage the profitability of fish-free omega-3 ingredients.

fish free omega 3 ingredients market strategies

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Plant-based Omega-3: Evolution from a Magic Number to a Magic Source

The food & beverage industry has been undergoing health-driven transformations with increasing consumer awareness about a health-benefitting diets. Consumers’ knowledge about healthy dietary habits is going beyond the benefits of omega-3s and importance of balancing omega-3 and omega-6 acids in a diet. The interest is shifting from the type to the source of omega fatty acids across the health-conscious consumer base around the world, which is shaping the future of the market for plant-based omega-3 ingredients.

The increasing popularity of plant-based and vegetarian ingredients across the food industry has been bolstering the growth of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients landscape. In 2018, the market witnessed a 6.5% year-over-year growth over 2017, recording a sales of ~35 thousand MT, and reaching a market valuation of US$ 550 million. With ongoing innovations in both, bio-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids and manufacturing procedures, the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market is expected to witness incremental growth in the coming years.

Stakeholders are expected to continue to bank on the growing population of vegan consumers and preference for algae- or plant-based omega-3 ingredients to maintain the momentum. However, slow regulatory approvals will remain a primary challenge for market players, as they will continue to make it difficult for manufacturers to offer competitive prices and delay their products from reaching the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market.

Nevertheless, the ongoing trend of substituting krill oil in omega-3 dietary supplements with vegetarian algae oil will continue to support the growth of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients landscape in the foreseeable future.

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Gains Underpinned by the Proliferation of the Dietary Supplements Industry

The ever-growing demand for herbal and nutritional dietary supplements is mainly attributed to the heightened consumer interest in preventive health, and the need for adding essential nutrients and vitamins to the everyday diet. With consumers realizing the value of good health, the global sales of dietary supplements have reached new heights in the past decade. In addition, the rise of the self-directed consumer base, which believes in self-help and making health-related decisions without professional help, has fostered the growth of the dietary supplements industry.

The global sales of fish-free omega-3 ingredients are expected to be valued at ~ US$ 590 million in 2019, with ~ 45% in the dietary supplements industry. With the increasing demand for nutritional dietary supplements, this trend is likely to grow stronger in the coming years. Manufacturers in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients landscape are likely to tap into the sales potential in the dietary supplements industry, where the trend of personalized nutrition is gaining immense popularity.

Consumer awareness about the health problems caused due to the deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids, such as Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), has triggered the demand for personalized omega-3 dietary supplements. The sales of fish-free omega-3 ingredients rich in ALA have increased rapidly, accounting for half the revenue share of the global market in 2018. Manufacturers are likely to shift focus on personalized nutrition to capitalize on the recent trends in the dietary supplements industry in the coming years.

fish free omega 3 ingredients market europe

Success Strategies Underscore Market Players’ Focus on Gaining Regulatory Approvals

Manufacturers in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market are riding on the coattails of the strong demand for flax-based ingredients, especially in the European Union (EU). Europe accounts for one-third revenue share of the global market, creating sales opportunities for market players in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients landscape.

Europe is expected to grow as the most lucrative market for fish-free omega-3 ingredients; however, the inevitable need to comply with the stringent regulatory framework will continue to create a barrier for stakeholders to attain profitable sales in the region. Leading players in the market are adopting the strategy of investing heavily in research & development (R&D), and launching innovative ingredients, while conforming to the regulations; this also remains a key to grow in the EU.

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Introducing novel fish-free omega-3 ingredients with functional health benefits is expected to gain popularity as the strategy to win in this market. In addition, leading manufacturers are likely to boost investments in developing economies in Asia Pacific, including China, India and some ASEAN countries, to reap benefits of the availability of raw materials in the region. In the coming years, Europe is likely to increase the imports of raw materials from these countries, and this will support the growth of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan).

Analysis on the Competitive Landscape

The fish-free omega-3 ingredients market has been witnessing healthy growth despite the higher demand for fish oil as an omega-3 ingredient. The competitive landscape is highly fragmented, as the number of new biotech companies entering the market is multiplying rapidly. Although the market is currently at a nascent stage, large nutrition companies such as Koninklijke DSM N.V., Cargill Inc., and BASF have entered this landscape, sensing the immense potential for growth in the market space.

Global players are focusing on joining forces with local bio-nutrition companies to combine their R&D facilities with the manufacturing capabilities of local players, and launch innovative products in the market. For instance, in June 2018, BASF announced that it has signed an agreement with Xerion Limited, a life science company in Australia, to capitalize on the personalized nutrition trend in Asia Pacific. The company aims to leverage Xerion’s technology to assess omega-3 levels in the domestic population, and stabilize EPA and DHA on a solid matrix.

New entrants in the market are focusing on product innovation, not only to expand their reach in various end-use segments, especially in nutritional beverages, but also to improve the shelf life of diverse applications of fish-free omega-3 ingredients. For example, in June 2019, Remedy Organics—a producer of plant-based functional wellness drinks, launched a new range of functional beverages—Golden Mind—which include DHA omega-3 ingredients that are derived from sustainably sourced microalgae.

fish free omega 3 ingredients market segmentation

Analysts’ Viewpoint

The authors of TMR’s study on the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market remain optimistic about the scope for growth in this landscape. Product innovation will remain the key for manufacturers to witness growth in the dietary supplements industry, as well as in the functional food & beverage space. The personalized nutrition trend is growing stronger than ever, and fish-free omega-3 ingredient manufacturers who will join the bandwagon will lead the race to replace fish oil in omega-3 ingredients with plant-based oils and seeds. With the paradigm shift from meat-based ingredients to plant-based ingredients in the food & beverage industry, the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market is expected to become a billion-dollar market in the coming decade.

Fish-free Omega-3 Ingredients Market Witnessing Growth Due to Radical Shift towards Sustainability and Longevity

  • Long chain fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are the omega-3 ingredients that are essential for maintaining good health. These omega-3 ingredients are extensively extracted from plant sources and marine sources, which include fish, krill, algae, and others.
  • Increasing pollution in water is hampering marine life and causing the contamination of various ingredients and components sourced from aquatic animals. Overfishing has put pressure on wild fish stocks, which has provided an impetus to the production of fish-free omega-3 ingredients in recent years.

Vegan Diet Lacking in Omega-3 Increasing the Need for Fish-free Omega-3 Supplements

  • Concerns regarding environmental repercussions have driven the shift towards sustainability and longevity. Hence, the need for an alternative increases. People in the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific are turning vegetarian or following a vegan diet, lacking sufficient amount of omega-3, which increases the need for fish-free omega-3 ingredients and supplements.
  • Fish-free omega-3 ingredients are obtained from chia seed oil, flax seed oil, soybean oil, canola oil, walnut oil, and mustard oil, among others. Plant sources for omega-3 ingredients only contain ALA, which is converted to EPA and DHA in the human body. Vegan omega-3 is not as effective as fish oil in terms of potency, as it lacks EPA & DHA. However, algal oil is as potent as fish oil, and is also considered 100% vegan. This is because fish and other aquatic animals become rich in omega-3 by consuming and digesting algae, which itself is rich in DHA & EPA essential fatty acids.

Fish-free Omega-3 Ingredients – A Profitable Business Opportunity

  • TMR’s research finds that, the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market is expected to be valued at ~ US$ 590 Mn in 2019, and is estimated to record ~ 9% Y-o-Y growth in 2019. The fish-free omega-3 ingredients space is expected to be a profitable business for combating the global demand for omega-3 supplements. The fish-free omega-3 ingredients market is also restoring marine life, as manufacturers are opting for alternative sources such as plant-based products, algae, and others.
  • The fish industry is expected to witness major transformation in the near future, with increasing pollution, contamination, and depletion of ocean fisheries. All these factors are raising the global demand to bring more plant-derived products to plates, including fish-free omega-3 ingredients.

Increasing Usage of Fish-free Omega-3 Ingredients in Infant Formula, Nutritional Products, and Adult Dietary Supplements

  • The increasing shift in consumer preference for polyunsaturated fatty acids in dietary supplements over functional food ingredients is anticipated to drive the market of fish-free omega-3 ingredients. Fish-free omega-3 aids visual and neurological development in infants, and therefore, its demand is rising in the manufacturing of infant formula products.
  • Consumers in the U.S. and Europe are becoming more proactive in using nutritional supplements for self-care, maintaining good health, and reducing the risk of diseases, which is expected to support the growth of the global fish-free omega-3 ingredients market.
  • International health organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) have also agreed on the potential beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, further propelling the growth of the fish-free omega-3 market.
  • In 2000, FDA evaluated available evidences to determine the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and reduced risk of CHD, and in a published article concluded that, DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids help in reducing the risks of CHD.

Health Benefits of Fish-free Omega-3 Ingredients Anticipated to Drive Sales

  • Fish-free omega-3 ingredients are gaining acceptance worldwide, credited to expanding applications in food and beverages, dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and animal feed. Broad research, including medical and clinical trials, by independent organizations and ingredient suppliers, coupled with rising awareness about the health benefits of fish-free omega-3 supplements to reduce the risks associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and asthma, are a few factors anticipated to drive the sales of fish-free omega-3 ingredients over the forecast period.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are precursors for a group of eicosanoids such as prostaglandins, thromboxane, and leukotriene.
  • In addition, fish-free omega-3 ingredients are also found to be helpful in the development of babies. The increasing demand for healthy food ingredients in the food and beverage industry has led to the rising preference for healthy food products such as fish-free omega-3 ingredients, and avoidance of unhealthy fatty acids.
  • Fish-free omega-3 ingredients reduce the risk of heart disease. Through emerging research studies, it is known that ALA provides a protective effect.
  • Sufficient amount of EPA intake has been shown to increase neural efficiency, i.e. reducing 'brain effort' relative to cognitive performance.
  • Fish-free omega-3 ingredients have positive effects on brain health, structural integrity, and function. Low levels of DHA in the brain are associated with smaller brain volume and cognitive impairment in otherwise healthy individuals.
  • Fish-free omega-3 ingredients are essential for proper fetal development, and the consumption of supplements during pregnancy are associated with various immune, retinal, and neuronal benefits for infants.
  • Sufficient amount of EPA & DHA offers anti-inflammatory effects. Meta-analysis has proved that, supplement of omega-3 significantly reduces inflammatory biomarkers such as interleukin 6, C-reactive protein, and tumor necrosis factor α.
  • There is some preliminary epidemiological evidence, as well as clinical evidence, suggesting that DHA & EPA supplementation can improve moods and help individuals suffering from depression.
  • Some foods have fish-free omega-3 ingredients added to them, which can be useful sources, especially for vegetarians and others who avoid fish. These include eggs and some brands of milk, yogurt, bread, and spreads.

Fish-free Omega-3 Ingredients: Market Players

Key players operating in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market, as profiled in the study, include

  • Croda International Plc.,
  • Natural Products Drugs GmbH.
  • Hero Nutritionals Inc.
  • Koninklijke DSM N.V.
  • Cargill Inc.
  • Epax Norway AS.
  • Arista Industries Inc.
  • BASF SE.
  • Barleans Organic Oils L.L.C.
  • Algaecytes Limited
  • Cellana, Inc.
  • Denomega Nutritional Oils.

A complete overview of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market has been included in a recent study published by Transparency Market Research (TMR), which offers a detailed explanation on the changing trends and avenues of growth for stakeholders in the market through 2019-2029. The TMR’s study sheds light on the impacts of dynamic advancements in Information Technology (IT) on the growth of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market.

A detailed analysis on pricing and adoption of fish-free omega-3 ingredients industry has been presented in a comprehensive manner in this TMR study. The study includes information about the most critical factors that are instrumental in the expansion of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients industry, which include world GDP indicators and other macro and microeconomic factors that are driving or impeding market growth.

The analysis on changing demand and popular trends in the market can help readers in capturing lucrative opportunities in different regional fish-free omega-3 ingredients markets. It can help manufacturers take crucial business decisions and plan their future strategies to sustain the growing competition in the global fish-free omega-3 ingredients market.

Readers can also find an assessment on how end users’ perception about the adoption of fish-free omega-3 ingredients is changing. Not only the players in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market, but different food journals and researchers can also leverage the insights featured in the study published by TMR. The study also offers important information about the global as well as regional markets for fish-free omega-3 ingredients, which can help decision-makers in the market build important strategies in the coming years.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s Fish-free Omega-3 Ingredients Market Report

  • Which strategies were adopted by leading players in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients landscape to gain a competitive edge?
  • What are the risks of investing in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients markets in developing countries?
  • How are the recent trends in the food & beverage industry impacting the growth of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients landscape?
  • Which regions will prove to be most lucrative for fish-free omega-3 ingredient providers in the coming years?
  • What are the critical challenges faced by fish-free omega-3 ingredient companies in this market?

Research Methodology

A robust approach and unique research methodology is utilized by TMR to carry out the analysis on the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market dynamics, and reach conclusions about the future growth of the market. Along with the information gathered through feedback from leading industry players in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market, analysts at TMR conduct interview sessions with leading players in the market. A 3-dimensional model is the base of the research methodology utilized by TMR for this study.

With the help of industry-validated data gathered through and verified by several primary and secondary resources, the TMR study offers exclusive insights on how the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market will grow and expand through the course of the forecast period. Analysts have also interviewed c-level executives of companies in the supply chain of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market, including fish-free omega-3 ingredient providers and suppliers, as well as researchers, who were the primary resources for the TMR study.

The exclusive information provided by these primary resources acts as the validation from industry players, and makes TMR’s estimates on the growth of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market more reliable. Secondary resources referred to by analysts during the production of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market study include statistics from governmental organizations, various white papers, and research papers that highlight the sales potential for fish-free omega-3 ingredients across the globe.

Segmentation of the Fish-free Omega-3 Ingredients Market

TMR’s study on the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market divides information into four broader categories - ingredient, source, application, and region. Market dynamics and changing trends associated with ingredients, sources, and applications of fish-free omega-3 ingredients are mentioned in detail in TMR’s study.


Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA)

Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)




  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Soybean Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Walnut Oil
  • Mustard Oil
  • Others


Food & Beverages

  • Food Industry
    • Dairy & Desserts
    • Bakery & Confectionary
    • Savoury Snacks
    • Breakfast Cereals
    • Others
  • Beverage Industry
    • Functional Drinks
    • Juices
    • Others
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Infant Formulas
  • Pharma & Personal
  • Animal Feed


North America


Asia Pacific excluding Japan



Latin America

Middle East & Africa

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Fishfree Omega3 Ingredients Market