Specialty Food Ingredients Market Size, Share, Industry Overview, Trends, Growth Drivers, Business Opportunities, and Leading Players

Specialty Food Ingredients Market Size, Share, Industry Overview, Trends, Growth Drivers, Business Opportunities, and Leading Players
Global Specialty Food Ingredients Market Size, Share, Industry Growth, Trends by Type (Acidulant, Colors, Flavors, Enzymes, Emulsifiers, F&B Starter Culture, Preservatives, Functional Food Ingredients, Specialty Starches, Sugar Substitutes), Distribution Channel – Global Forecast to 2028

The global specialty food ingredients market is estimated at USD 179.8 billion in 2023; it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.0% to reach USD 240.9 billion by 2028. Due to population expansion, specialty food ingredients are experiencing huge demand across the world. Some of the key factors boosting demand for specialty food ingredients are the introduction of new products, increasing consumer preference, and the acceptance of new trends across the globe.

Specialty Food Ingredients Market

Consumer preferences are evolving, and there is a growing need for distinctive, high-quality culinary experiences, which is one of the main drivers behind the expansion of specialty food ingredients. In their food selections, consumers are looking for new flavors, healthier alternatives, ingredients with clear labels, and functional advantages. Due to these changing preferences, there is a greater need for specialty ingredients. The desire for natural products and clean eating, as well as the rising knowledge of health and well-being, have all contributed to the demand for specialty food ingredients.

Specialty Food Ingredients Market Trends

The specialty food ingredients market is continually evolving, driven by various factors including consumer preferences, technological advancements, health consciousness, and sustainability concerns. Here are some trends shaping the specialty food ingredients market:

1. Clean Label Ingredients: Consumers are increasingly demanding natural and minimally processed ingredients. Clean label ingredients, including natural flavors, colors, and preservatives, are gaining popularity as consumers seek healthier and more transparent food options.

2. Plant-Based Ingredients: The rising popularity of plant-based diets is driving the demand for plant-based specialty ingredients. Ingredients such as plant-based proteins, alternative sweeteners, and dairy substitutes are seeing significant growth as consumers look for sustainable and ethical food choices.

3. Functional Ingredients: Consumers are turning to foods and beverages that offer specific health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Functional ingredients like probiotics, prebiotics, antioxidants, and vitamins are being incorporated into a wide range of products to support digestive health, immunity, and overall well-being.

4. Sustainability and Traceability: There is a growing emphasis on sustainability throughout the food supply chain, including the sourcing of specialty ingredients. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their food choices and are seeking products made with sustainably sourced ingredients. Traceability and transparency in sourcing are becoming important factors for consumers when choosing specialty food products.

5. Alternative Sweeteners: With growing concerns about the health risks associated with excessive sugar consumption, there is a rising demand for alternative sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit extract, and erythritol. These sweeteners offer sweetness with fewer calories and lower glycemic impact, appealing to health-conscious consumers.

6. Clean Meat and Cultured Ingredients: The development of clean meat and cultured ingredients is gaining traction as consumers become more aware of the environmental and ethical issues associated with conventional meat production. Specialty ingredients used in clean meat and cultured products, such as plant-based proteins and cell-cultured materials, are poised for significant growth as technology advances and production scales up.

7. Customization and Personalization: Consumers are increasingly seeking personalized food and beverage options tailored to their individual preferences and dietary needs. Specialty ingredients that allow for customization, such as flavor extracts, functional additives, and nutritional supplements, are becoming more prevalent as companies strive to meet consumer demands for personalized products.

8. Global Flavors and Ethnic Ingredients: As consumers become more adventurous in their culinary explorations, there is a growing interest in global flavors and ethnic ingredients. Specialty ingredients from diverse cuisines around the world, including spices, herbs, sauces, and condiments, are being incorporated into mainstream food products to add unique and authentic flavors.

Specialty Food Ingredients Market Opportunities: Rising disposable incomes in emerging economies, driving specialty food ingredients segment

The Specialty food ingredients market presents an opportunity for new product development. As the market continues to grow and expand into new geographies, there is a need for companies to differentiate themselves and stand out from competitors. There are ample opportunities for manufacturers to develop innovative food products with enhanced properties to cater to the evolving demands of consumers and various industries. The expansion of the Specialty food ingredients industry into new geographies also presents an opportunity for companies to adapt their products to meet the needs and preferences of consumers in different regions. The Specialty food ingredients offers a promising opportunity for companies to develop new and innovative products that can meet the evolving needs and preferences of consumers.

Health and wellness are given more importance by the expanding middle class in emerging economies. More health-conscious consumers are looking for food items that meet their dietary choices and give nutritional benefits. These needs can be satisfied by specialty food ingredients that offer healthier substitutes for traditional ingredients, such as plant-based proteins, natural sweeteners, and functional additives. Manufacturers now have the chance to create customized food ingredients that satisfy dietary requirements, such as gluten-free, vegan, or organic options.

US is expected to account for the largest market share in 2023.

The US has a significant, wealthy consumer base with significant purchasing power. American consumers are renowned for their openness to trying out novel goods and experimenting with emerging culinary trends. The need for specialty food ingredients is driven by consumers values for convenience, quality, and diversity in their food options. The demand for a wide variety of specialty ingredients, such as flavors, functional ingredients, and natural additives, is further fueled by the different culinary preferences and multicultural populations. The US market is a leader in specialty food ingredients due to the strong customer demand and considerable purchasing power. According to the USDA Food Processing report of April 2023, in the U.S. market, food processing ingredients hold a significant share of 60 percent. Within this sector, specialty food ingredients play a crucial role in shaping the diverse and innovative landscape of the food industry. As consumers increasingly prefer innovative products, the demand for specialty food ingredients continues to grow, further driving the development and expansion of this dynamic sector.

Top Companies in the Specialty Food Ingredients Market

Major manufacturers in this market are based in North America and Europe. ADM (US), DSM (Netherlands), International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. IFF (US), Kerry Group plc. (Ireland), Givaudan (Switzerland), Cargill, Incorporated (US), Sensient Technologies Corporation (US), Ingredion. (US), Chr. Hansen Holding A/S (Denmark), and Tate & Lyle (UK) are among a few leading players operating in the specialty food ingredients market. These players have adopted various growth strategies to strengthen acquisitions, and new product development activities to further expand their specialty food ingredients market presence.


ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) is a world leader in agricultural origination and processing, human and animal nutrition, and food safety. ADM, which has its corporate headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, is well-known and active on all six continents, connecting crops to markets across the world. The organization is able to meet a variety of needs in industries like food, drinks, health, wellness, and more due to its broad range of abilities, vast insights, facilities, and logistical knowledge.

The scope of ADM’s operations includes obtaining agricultural commodities and processing them into a wide range of goods. The company is a major global supplier of ingredients for sustainable nutrition. ADM offers the most comprehensive range of food and beverage solutions in the business, ranging from traditional ingredients like flour, oils, and sugars to innovative substitutions like plant-based meat and dairy.

In September 2022, ADM opened a new extrusion facility in Serbia to meet the rising demand for non-GMO textured soy proteins in Europe. The facility is an outcome of ADM’s acquisition of SojaProtein, a European provider of non-GMO soy ingredients. With the combined efforts of ADM and SojaProtein, the facility expands ADM’s presence in Europe and enhances its production capabilities for non-GMO textured soy, including origination and extrusion.

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DSM was established in 1902 and is a multinational, purpose-driven, science-based firm that operates on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. The business is a leader in the bioscience, nutrition, and health industries. The primary objective of DSM is to address some of the most important concerns facing the globe while also producing profitable development. DSM wants to create economic, environmental, and societal value for all stakeholders by providing innovative goods and solutions.

DSM aims to achieve profitable growth while maintaining its basic principles of respect, integrity, and sustainability. The company’s dedication to financial success, preservation of the environment, and societal impact are clear indications of its commitment to generating shared benefits for all stakeholders.

In the world of food ingredients, DSM Specialty Food Ingredients is a well-known supplier of a wide variety of ingredients. Yeasts, enzymes, cultures, bio-preservatives, hydrocolloids, specialized proteins, and sugar substitutes are just a few of the products in our extensive portfolio. It helps esteemed customers meet the distinctive flavor profiles and dietary needs of consumers by utilizing these substances. At the same time, they are dedicated to reducing the burden on the planet’s finite resources and lowering the food industry’s negative environmental effects. DSM Specialty Food Ingredients gives food producers the resources they need to develop goods that not only cater to consumer demands but also help build a more sustainable future.

In October 2021, DSM announced the acquisition of First Choice Ingredients for an enterprise value of USD 453 million. This acquisition will further accelerate the growth of First Choice Ingredients by offering their products outside the US to DSM’s broad global customer base and integrating their solutions in DSM’s full offering on taste, texture, and health in sustainable solutions for Food & Beverage customers.


Cargill, Incorporated engages in the manufacturing and marketing of food ingredients, agricultural products, risk management, financial, and industrial products, and services worldwide. The company comprises 75 businesses, which are classified into four key segments: agriculture, food, financial services, and industrial. It provides products and services for animal nutrition and feed, commodity trading and processing, industrial/bio-industrial products, energy and fuels, farmer services, financial and risk management, food and beverage ingredients, health and personal care, and salt. The company was recently recognized for driving global progress on farm animal welfare. Cargill operates in 67 countries through its subsidiaries and affiliates.

The company’s primary focus lies in continually elevating the quality and health benefits of their ingredients, while also expanding their resources to meet the growing demand. By leveraging their expertise, DSM Specialty Food Ingredients is committed to providing innovative solutions that improve ingredient quality, enhance nutritional value, and contribute to the overall well-being of consumers over the globe. For instance, in June 2020, Cargill launched a new plant-based protein ingredient brand, PlantEver, in China. This will help the company cater to consumer demand for plant-based ingredients in China.

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International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) is one of the global multinational corporations that provide a range of products such as animal health solutions, extracts and flavorings, carob protein, cellulose gum, and cultures for food, among others. The company operates through its major business segments: Nourish, Health and Biosciences, Scent, and Pharma Solutions. Since its inception, the company has had a strong focus on research and development and invests a significant amount in R&D activities every year. In October 2020, the company also opened a new creation, application, and innovation center for its Taste division in Dubai, UAE, to better serve its customers’ unique needs and drive growth in the African, Middle Eastern, Turkish, and Indian markets. Through its numerous subsidiaries, IFF has significantly marked its presence in more than 200 countries.

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