Growing interest in functional oils drives global edible oils market growth

Consumer interest in health and wellness is fueling the demand for functional oils fortified with vitamins, antioxidants and other health-boosting ingredients, according to new market research.

Rachel French, Contributing writer

May 14, 2024

2 Min Read
edible oils

At a Glance

  • Functional oils fortified with vitamins, antioxidants and other bioactive compounds are supporting the market’s growth.
  • Functional oils cater to health-conscientious consumers seeking benefits like heart health and overall well-being.
  • Companies in the edible oils sector are expanding their portfolios to cater to shifting consumer preferences.

Growing interest in functional oils, including oils fortified with vitamins, antioxidants and other bioactive compounds, is a key trend driving growth of the global edible oils market, according to new research from Persistence Market Research.

The global edible oils market is projected to reach approximately $278 million by 2033, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%, the market research firm reported. In 2023, the global edible oils market was valued at approximately $190 million with a CAGR of 3.2%.

Functional oils, which resonate with widespread growing interest by consumers in health and wellness, are helping to drive growth of the category. Functional oils contain nutraceutical ingredients like omega-3s, phytosterols or antioxidants that provide specific health benefits, such as support for the heart, immune system or overall well-being.

“Consumers are increasingly expecting their food and beverage purchases to provide nutritional benefits as a baseline,” Michelle Peitz, technical solutions and marketing for oils at ADM, said. “This comes at a time when 63% of global consumers state that they are taking a proactive approach to health to focus on prevention. This behavior shift, coupled with the growing expectation for functionality, is driving new appreciation for functional edible oils or what some deem as ‘good fats.’”

According to Peitz, consumers are apt to seek out attributes like “heart healthy,” “low in saturated fat” and “contains essential fatty acids” in products with functional edible oils.

“These attributes may also align with various lifestyle diets, checking the nutritional boxes for consumers partaking in keto-friendly or vegan diets,” she said.

Further supporting the popularity of functional oils, Persistence Market Research reported, is economic growth in emerging markets, which is creating higher disposable incomes that allow consumers to spend more on premium edible oils, including health-boosting functional oils.

In response, companies in the edible oils sector are expanding their portfolios to cater to shifting consumer preferences, including demands for healthier, specialty and premium oils.

Looking to trends in the functional oils sector, Peitz said lipids like canola oil carry fat-soluble essential fatty acids and “are excellent sources of energy,” while options like flaxseed and soybean oil contain omega-3 fatty acids. Corn oil is another popular option for its omega-6 fatty acid content, she said.

“Oils like corn oil inherently contain plant sterols, which is positively associated with heart health support,” Peitz added.

High-oleic oils are also gaining traction. “This is due to oleic being a monounsaturated fatty acid, which helps support nutritional demands along with oxidative and shelf stability, ideal for baked goods and snacks,” she explained.

Peitz pointed to fermented oils, an emerging technology that gives the oils potential to support a range of targeted lipid nutrition goals.

About the Author(s)

Rachel French

Contributing writer

Rachel French joined Informa’s Health & Nutrition Network in 2013. Her career in the natural products industry started with a food and beverage focus before transitioning into her role as managing editor of Natural Products Insider, where she covered the dietary supplement industry. French left Informa Markets in 2019, but continues to freelance for both FBI and NPI.

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