A new report forecasts the hemp-based foods market around the world will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20.3% between now and 2020.
The publication, Global Hemp-Based Foods Market 2016-2020, says the emergence of hemp as a “superfood” will be a primary driver for market growth, based on its compatibility in regard to taste and functionality with other common food ingredients. Hemp can also help address growing demand for plant-based protein.
Mentioned specifically is the rise in demand from Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries. While the report summary doesn’t state it, Australia and New Zealand could be major growth markets if a ban on hemp foods is finally lifted late this year.
Global growth will be significant, but the report’s analysts say some of the challenges facing hemp foods include stringent government regulations relating to the cultivation and human consumption of hemp, low awareness among consumers of the health benefits, and the threat of substitute posed by soy proteins.
While soybeans have a slightly higher protein level, the protein in hemp is considered better quality.
With regard to low consumer awareness, the report’s authors state a major reason is “.. the lack of adequate scientific evidence to prove the benefits of these ingredients, which in turn restricts the marketing initiatives of the manufacturers.”
Global Hemp-Based Foods Market 2016-2020 says online channels will be important sales tools for vendors; as it is in many other sectors.
“This is a key trend for market growth and is encouraging various hemp-based food manufacturers to focus on the internet-savvy customer segment and venture.”
The report analyzes the market potential for various geographical regions (Europe, North America, Rest Of World) based on the growth rate, macroeconomic parameters, buying patterns of consumers, market demand and supply scenarios.
A report published earlier this year by another company also forecasts a double digit growth rate for industrial hemp sourced foods.
Foods derived from hemp seeds are regarded as easily digestible and suitable for some people with various food intolerances and allergies. As well as having high-protein, hempseed is rich in beneficial fatty acids and it’s been said hemp seed oil could be better than olive oil for the heart.