Inulin is a slightly sweet carbohydrate that has certain beneficial properties. It is classified as a fiber because it passes through the digestive tract without being metabolized until it reaches the colon. Unlike cellulose fiber (bran etc.) it is a soluble fiber. Inulin comes from a natural source and occurs in a large variety of plants, where it plays an important biological role as reserve carbohydrate. Inulin has been part of our daily diet for hundreds of years, as you find it in many fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, onions, and wheat. When extracted from chicory roots, inulin can be successfully used as a beneficial ingredient in many food applications.
The global inulin market is worth over $266.56 Million in 2016, according to our survey. The production volume of inulin increased from 84409 MT in 2012 to 110817 MT in 2016. Global volumes grew at CAGR of 7.04% in the past several years, due to increasing demand from food and supplement industry.
Inulin industry is a concentrated market with a few leading companies take a majority of the market share. In 2016, the top three producers, which are Beneo, Sensus, Cosucra account for 81.77% of the market. Europe is the major production zone of inulin, followed by China and South America. Beneo alone take nearly 45.11% of the whole market with its major production sites locate in Belgium and Chile. The other two leading companies Sensus and Cosucra are all set their production in Europe. Europe is the major consumption region of inulin, with market share of 68.87% in 2016. North America and China are also important consumption regions of inulin.
A key variable in the performance of inulin producers is raw material costs, specifically the speed at which any increase can be passed through to customers. The materials of inulin include chicory roots and artichoke, while sugar and agave has also been adopted as raw materials too. In terms of our survey, more than 92.32% of world inulin production derives from chicory roots, which is widely produced in Europe. Since the price of chicory roots has been declining in recent years, the price of inulin also declines year by year. The average price of inulin was 2405 USD/MT in 2016, which would be declined to 2030 USD/MT in 2023.
The major applications of inulin are food & beverage, dietary supplements, pharmaceutical, etc. Food & beverage is expected to remain the largest application segment over the forecast period owing to gaining importance of functional ingredients for improving gut health function and reducing sugar level. The markets of dietary supplements, pharmaceutical are also in fast growing due to growing attention to healthcare.
Inulin market has been witnessed with fast growing in the past years. It is predictied the market would still be in huge shortage in the coming years. The global inulin production value will increase to 384.79 Million USD in 2023, from 266.56 Million USD in 2016. It is estimated that the global inulin demand will develop with an average growth rate of around 5.38% in the coming five years.