Recent technological advancements have made phytosterols fit for commercial extraction. In the last few years demand for phytosterols has considerably increased across developed countries as they witness a high incidence of heart diseases. Despite being structurally quite similar to cholesterols, phytosterols have cholesterol lowering properties. The knowledge regarding the same has been fuelling their demand across countries with high prevalence of obesity, which is a primary cause of heart diseases. 

However, as per Transparency Market Research (TMR), the phytosterols market is yet to establish a strong footprint across developing countries. The inadequate awareness about the intrinsic health benefits of phytosterols limits scope for the market’s growth across these regions.

Nevertheless, the prospects for the market in Asia Pacific seem very lucrative, as India and China witness a rising incidence of coronary heart diseases. Spurred by these factors, the global phytosterols market is expected to report a CAGR of 10% between 2015 and 2021. The market is expected to reach US$926.7 mn in 2021 from a valuation of US$473.8 in 2014.

Use of Phytosterols as Food Ingredients to Increase Rapidly 

Phytosterols exhibit diverse applications across industries such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food and beverages. In 2014, the use of phytosterols as food ingredients held the largest market share in terms of value. According to TMR, demand from food ingredients segment accounted for over 50.45% of the market in 2014. The rising use of phytosterols as food ingredients due to their cholesterol lower properties is expected to fuel demand from the segment during the forecast period. Manufacturers operating in the food and beverages industry are including phytosterols in many of their food products to cater to their consumers’ health requirements.

However, during the forecast period demand from the pharmaceuticals segment is expected to rise at the highest rate. The increasing awareness among consumers about the benefits of phytosterols in reducing the risk of heart diseases is fuelling demand from the segment. Furthermore, the incidence of heart ailments is expected to increase in India and China, thereby escalating phytosterols demand from these countries.

Besides this, the cosmetics industry is a niche segment in the global phytosterols market. However, the demand from this segment is also expected to rise in the forthcoming years. The rising disposable income of consumers will be the primary factor bolstering use of phytosterols in the cosmetics industry.

Europe and North America Emerge as Most Lucrative Markets for Phytosterols

Geographically, Europe accounted for 40.27% of the demand witnessed in the global phytosterols market in 2014. The increasing application of phytosterols across end-use industries such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food and beverages has been fuelling demand for phytosterols from the region. Besides this, the increasing incidence of coronary heart diseases is a key factor fuelling demand for phytosterols from Europe and North America, alike.

The high prevalence of obesity has emerged as a major cause of concern for policymakers in North America. Since phytosterols are cholesterol reducing agents, they are considered ideal for preventing increased cholesterol level in human body. Their demand is thus expected to increase substantially across these developed regions through the forecast period.

In contrast, the lack of awareness about the benefits of phytosterols is limiting the market’s expansion across Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). However, TMR, expects, the phytosterols market in Rest of the World to rise at the highest pace during the forecast period. The rising disposable income of consumers in RoW has led them to upgrade their lifestyle. This will subsequently boost prospects for the phytosterols market.

Some of key players operating in the market are Archer Daniels Midland Co., BASF SE, Bunge Ltd, Triple Crown AB, E.I. DuPont De Nemours, Pharmachem Laboratories, and others.

Phytosterols include plant sterols and plant stanols. Saturated sterols which lack a double bond in the sterol ring are called stanols. Chemically, phytosterols resemble cholesterol but the distinctive factor between the two is the level of absorption in the blood stream. Cholesterols are absorbed in the blood stream, which raises the cholesterol level in the human body, thus increasing the chances of coronary heart diseases. Phytosterols, on the other hand are not absorbed by the body due to the resemblance in the chemical structure, phytosterols block cholesterol from being absorbed by the blood, thus reducing the triglyceride levels in the body. Phytosterols are found exclusively in the fatty tissue of plants. They are widely used as food additives in sausages, beverages, bakery products and several others. A large number of commercial products which includes both finished products and raw materials contain phytosterols in various proportions. 

Factors such as the increasing coronary heart diseases among people in the developed regions such as Europe and North America are driving the global phytosterols market. Phytosterols act as blockages for cholesterol and prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the blood stream. This reduces the level of triglycerides in the human body which in turn reduces the chances of coronary heart diseases. Regulating bodies approving the usage of phtyosterols in food ingredients is another factor fuelling the demand for the global phytosterols market. Variety of end user applications of phytosterols which includes food ingredients and pharmaceutical items and the health benefits are expected to propel the demand for phytosterols globally. 

Lack of awareness about the health benefits offered by phytosterols in the developing regions such as Asia-Pacific and Middle East is a major factor impeding the growth of the global phytosterols market. Moreover, lack of support from the government regarding the promotion of phytosterols as a part of the consumer’s healthy diet is contributing to the low consumer awareness about the health benefits offered by phytosterols. In addition, the availability of similar functional products such as omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) is another factor inhibiting the growth of the global phytosterols market. The growth rate of omega 3 fatty acids is more compared to phytosterols due to which the manufacturers are shifting their focus to omega 3 fatty acid ingredients.

Technological innovation is expected to enable the extraction of phytosterols from several other sources such as berries, nuts and fruits. Thus, this factor is expected to provide a suitable opportunity for the growth of the global phytosterols market. Asia Pacific and Middle East has a potential for becoming one of the largest markets for phytosterols in the future. The increasing incidences of coronary heart diseases along with the rising awareness about the benefits of phytosterols are expected to drive the phytosterol market in these regions. 

Β-sitosterol dominated the global phytosterols market and is projected to remain the market leader in the future. Campesterol held the second largest market share and is expected to retain its position during the forecast period. Europe was the largest market for phytosterols and is projected to remain the market leader during the forecast period. North America held the second position in terms of market share. The market share of Asia Pacific and RoW are comparatively low but are expected to witness a rapid growth in the future.

The global phytosterols market is marked with aggressive competition by some major players. Expansions, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships are some of the main strategies adopted by the players to strengthen their market presence. Archer Daniels Midlands Co., BASF SE, Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc., E.I. DuPont De Nemours, Pharmachem Laboratories are some of the major players operating the global phytosterols market. 

The report has been segmented by product type, application type, and geography and it includes drivers, restraints and opportunities (DRO’s), supply chain analysis of the phytosterols market. The study highlights current market trends and provides forecast from 2015 to 2021. We have featured the current market scenario for the global phytosterols market and identified future trends that will impact demand for phytosterols during the forecast period.

The global phytosterols market has been segmented into following types based on their product types including B-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol and others. On the basis of application, the global phytosterols market has been segmented into food ingredients, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

The report also analyzes factors driving and inhibiting growth of the phytosterols market. The report will help manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors to understand the present and future trends in this market and formulate strategies accordingly.

The Phytosterols Market has been segmented as:

Global Phytosterols Market, by Product Type

  • B-sitosterol
  • Campesterol
  • Stigmasterol
  • Others

Global Phytosterols Market, by Application Type

  • Food Ingredients
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cosmetics

Global Phytosterols Market, by Geography/Country

  • North America
    • The U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • K.
    • France
    • Italy
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • India
    • China
    • Japan
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Rest of the World (RoW)
    • Middle East
    • Latin America
    • Africa