18 Food Additives Industry Statistics and Trends

The food additives industry is one of the most mature global industries that is still currently active. These products are added to foods for a variety of purposes. Some enhance the flavor of the food, others change its appearance, and some even change the texture.

A growing trend in the industry is to add items which offer additional health qualities for the consumer, such as functional food ingredients or antioxidants.

From 2009-2013, the food additives industry grew by over $6 billion globally, reaching a total of $36.45 billion. That reflects an annual increase of 5.4%, with a total increase in value terms of almost 22%. What is even more impressive is that those figures do not include the additional of functional food ingredients, vitamins, and minerals.

If all possible additives are figured into the industry, the total value of food additives is an estimated $45 billion each year.

Interesting Food Additives Industry Statistics

#1. 80% of consumers in Europe say that they prefer to have their foods be free of any artificial additives. For that reason, the most popular product claim in the world today is that an item is “free from artificial ingredients.” (Letterhead Food Research)

#2. The percentage of new food products that feature natural flavors rose from 35% in 2008 to 39% in 2012. A similar decline in artificial flavors was also noted by the industry. (Mintel)

#3. The sales of natural products within the food colors market has also increased, rising from 37% in 2009 to 45% in 2003. Most of these gains were achieved at the expense of synthetics that were being used. (Mintel)

#4. North America is the primary launching point for products with natural flavors, accounting for 61% of all new launches. In comparison, 74% of the new product launches in Latin America featured artificial flavors. (Mintel)

#5. Flavors are the largest segment of the food additives industry, accounting for 31% of total industry revenues in 2013. Hydrocolloids represent 18% of the market, followed by flavor enhancers at 11.4%. (Mintel)

#6. Only 2 industry segments are below $1 billion in annual sales within the food additives industry: antioxidants and fat replacers, both of which are valued around $950 million each. (Mintel)

#7. China is the world’s largest producer of vitamins that are added to food products. In 2013, their domestic output was about 225,000 tons, of which 80% was exported. China holds strong positions in the Vitamin C and Vitamin E segments. (Letterhead Food Research)

#8. In the United States, more than 10,000 different additives are allowed in the food supply, despite potential problems within the system to ensure their safe use. (Pew Charitable Trusts)

#9. In 2016, the most popular export from South Korea for the food additives industry was sodium hydroxide solution, with a total value of $101.9 million. Propylene glycol and mixed materials had values of more than $30 million as well. (Statista)

#10. 89% of operators agree that health and wellness topics will have a moderate or great influence on consumer purchasing decisions. This perspective is followed by buying local items (84%), having no chemicals or pesticides (84%), and a clean label (82%). (Emerson Climate Technologies)

#11. In the United States, the average person will consume up to 9 pounds of chemical additives from their food choices each year. More than 1 billion pounds of food additives are consumed in the U.S. annually. (Fooducate)

#12. Although there are 90 million acres of corn grown in the United States each year, less than 1% is intended for the human food chain. Most corn goes into food additives like high-fructose corn syrup. (Nutriliving)

#13. If you have just $1 to spend, you can either purchase 1,200 calories in potato chips or 170 calories in fruit because of the low cost of food additives. More than $50 billion in subsidies has been put into the corn industry alone to help produce domestic food additives. (Nutriliving)

#14. The average American will eat 192 pounds of flour and cereal products each year, most of which have some type of food additive in them, usually vitamins or minerals. (Be Food Smart)

#15. When considering processed foods that contain several additives, Americans will eat 29 pounds of French fries, 23 pounds of pizza, 53 gallons of soda, and 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners. (Be Food Smart)

#16. More than $5.32 billion was spent on food processing machinery in 2014, an increase of 11.3% from the year before. (PackWorld)

#17. Although 2 out of every 3 food processing plants employs fewer than 20 employees, large plants of 100 employees or more represent 77% of the value that can be found in this segment of the food additives industry. (PackWorld)

#18. Shelf stable foods represent the greatest market share of the industry, with almost 22% of segment sales. (PackWorld)

Food Additives Industry Trends and Analysis

Through 2023, the food additives industry is expected to continue growing at a rate of 6% each year. With upgraded portfolios, better product quality, and continued innovation within the sector, food processing providers will continue to look for new additives which entice consumers to make a purchase.

The fastest growing segment for this industry will continue to be healthy substitutes. Consumers continue to be more conscious about what they choose to eat, so look for more natural sweeteners, such as Stevia, to be added to foods and beverages.

The strongest growth, however, will continue to be in the hydrocolloids market. With a 7.1% growth fueled by strong demand from China, these stabilizers, binding agents, thickeners, and gelling agents will continue to see numerous applications for use.