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  • Published In : Mar 2024
  • Code : CMI747
  • Pages :120
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Food Ingredients

Global krill oil market size is expected to reach US$ 996.7 Mn by 2031, from US$ 524.3 Mn in 2024, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6% during the forecast period. Krill is a supplement that is gaining high demand in the market as an alternative to fish oil. It is a rich source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is a type of omega fats that are mainly found in marine species. Krill oil has numerous health benefits as it has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps in reducing arthritis and joint pain. The fats present in the krill oil is easier for the body to absorb in the bloodstream. The consumption of krill oil can also enhance the blood flow and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Market Regional Insights:

  • North America accounted for a market share of 38.9% in 2023. Some of the key application sectors in the region include pharmaceuticals, infant formula, and supplemental & functional foods. Product demand for functional food and beverage applications is anticipated to be driven by rising consumer fitness preferences in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Canada. The demand for krill oil supplements in North America is also anticipated to increase in the near future as a result of expanding health benefits and the launch of various dietary supplement product forms.
  • Asia Pacific is expected to witness a CAGR of 10.5%. Krill oil as dietary supplements is increasingly popular among middle-aged consumers in China for eye and immune benefits. Rising demand for supplements in countries like India, China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Australia has fueled the growth of omega-3 in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Europe is predicted to witness steady growth across the forecast period. Increasing New product launches with innovative formulations and delivery formats, and increased online product delivery services across developed countries in Western Europe including Italy, the U.K., Germany, France, and Spain will positively influence the market growth in the region.

Figure 1. Global Krill Oil Market Share (%), By Region, 2024

Global Krill oil market By Region

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Analyst’s Views:

The market has significant growth potential driven by rising consumer awareness about health benefits of krill oil. Krill oil is known to provide omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which are beneficial for heart and brain health. Increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases would push more consumers to opt for krill oil supplements. Growing vegan and vegetarian population is opening new avenues for plant-based and algae-based omega-3 products including krill oil. However, factors like sustainability concerns around krill fishing and higher product costs as compared to fish oil can hamper the market growth. Strict regulations surrounding krill fishing quotas in Antarctica also impact supply stability. The challenge for manufacturers would be to address sustainability issues and reduce production costs to make krill oil more affordable.

The Asia Pacific region is expected to dominate the market owing to rising health consciousness and growing economies in countries like China, India, and Japan. Western Europe and North America markets also offer significant opportunities due to established supplement industries and consumer preference for natural products. Manufacturers should focus on expanding in high growth emerging markets while raising awareness through effective promotional campaigns highlighting health benefits of krill oil.

Market Drivers:

Rising health consciousness among consumers

Krill are tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that provide essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that krill oil provides more potent forms of omega-3s along with antioxidants which deliver cardio-protective and brain-healthy properties. As people are seeking natural preventive healthcare options and alternative sources of important nutrients, products using krill oil extract are witnessing increased sales. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend as maintaining good immunity has become a top priority.

With rising disposable incomes and investment in preventive care, both retail and B2B sectors are contributing to the market gains. Food and beverage companies and supplement producers have expanded their offerings featuring krill oil to cash in on this boom. Health nutrition brands are launching new krill oil infused products for heart, brain, eye and joint care to meet burgeoning needs. According to reports provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases account for over 70% of global mortality with cardiovascular illnesses being the leading cause of deaths worldwide. This growing disease burden and increased longevity is expected to drive consistent demand for supplements that are derived from natural sources like krill oil over the forecast period.

 Increasing demand for omega-3 fatty acids supplements

The global demand for omega-3 fatty acids has been rising steadily in the recent years due to increasing health consciousness. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to provide numerous health benefits such as reducing inflammation, lowering the risk of heart diseases, boosting brain function, and improving eye health. Krill oil has emerged as a popular source of meeting this rising omega-3 requirement as it contains phospholipid-bound omega-3 fatty acids which are considered better than triglyceride forms present in fish oils.

The awareness about the superior absorption of phospholipid omega-3s from krill oil compared to fish oil capsules has been a major driver for the krill oil market. Various scientific studies conducted on krill oil have validated its anti-inflammatory properties and other health advantages. For example, in 2021, according to a clinical trial published by the British Journal of Nutrition,  the effects of krill oil and fish oil supplements were compared on cardiovascular risk factors. It found krill oil to be more effective in reducing low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and other markers of heart health risk. Such extensive research promoting the health benefits of krill oil has increased its popularity globally.

Surging adoption in neutraceutical applications

The growing awareness about the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil is a major factor propelling the global krill oil market forward. Krill oil has emerged as a popular neutraceutical or dietary supplement due to its fatty acid profile that is easily absorbed and used by the human body. Contrary to fish oil supplements, krill oil provides omega-3 in a form that is similar to what exists in human cells, thus making it more beneficial. Furthermore, krill is lower in mercury and more sustainable to farm as compared to other marine sources of omega-3.

The neutraceutical properties of krill oil are extremely useful for various healthcare applications such as improving cognitive functions, heart health, joint problems and metabolic syndrome. As non-communicable diseases related to lifestyle excesses have risen substantially worldwide, there is growing focus on preventive healthcare. Population is increasingly proactively taking supplements for overall wellness in addition to medication. Krill oil has emerged as a versatile natural supplement suitable for all age groups for its range of health benefits. Consequently, its use in dietary supplements, functional foods, and infant formula is witnessing strong growth momentum.

Consumer inclination towards natural health solutions is a major megatrend in the food and beverage industry currently. According to a  report provided by WHO, in 2021, non-communicable diseases caused approximately 71% of all global deaths.

Krill Oil Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 524.3 Mn
Historical Data for: 2019 to 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 - 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 9.6% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 996.7 Mn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East: GCC Countries, Israel,  and Rest of Middle East
  • Africa: South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa 
Segments covered:
  • By Form: Liquid and Tablets
  • By Application: Dietary Supplements, Functional Food & Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Pet Food and Animal Feeds and Others (Infant Formula)
Companies covered:

Neptune Biotech Pvt. Ltd., Aker BioMarine AS, Enzymotec Ltd, Fuji Chemicals, Krill Canada, Rimfrost, Norwegian Fish Oil, Darduck Frd, and Quingdao Kangjing Marine Biotechnology Co. Ltd.

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising health consciousness among consumers, 
  • Increasing demand for omega-3 fatty acids supplements 
  • Surging adoption in neutraceutical applications
Restraints & Challenges:
  • High cost of krill oil products and 
  • Sustainable harvesting of Antarctic krill

Market Opportunities:

Untapped growth potential in emerging markets

The krill oil market has immense untapped growth potential in emerging markets across Asia Pacific and Latin America. These regions are witnessing rising health consciousness among consumers who are increasingly opting for superfoods and supplements to support their nutrition and overall well-being. Krill oil, with its unique composition of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, is well-positioned to benefit from this trend.

Countries like India, China, Brazil and Mexico offer a huge consumer base that is still in the nascent stage of adopting krill oil. With improving economic conditions and rising disposable incomes, more consumers in these developing nations  have the means and inclination to incorporate premium health products in their daily lives. This presents a major opportunity for krill oil suppliers to establish new distribution networks and build brands in these emerging hotspots. Moreover, studies show chronic diseases like heart problems and diabetes have been steadily increasing across developing regions on the back of changing lifestyles and diets. For example, India recently overtook China as the country with the highest diabetes prevalence in the world, with an estimated 77 Mn diabetic adults according to the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas published in 2021.

New product launches with innovative formulations and delivery formats

Global krill oil market has immense scope for new product launches especially in innovative formulations and delivery formats. While traditionally krill oil has been available as softgel capsules, the industry leaders are focusing on developing products with more enhanced bioavailability and absorption. For instance, krill oil nanoemulsions and microemulsions which are water-soluble formulations allow for better nutrient assimilation in the body as compared to regular softgels. These delivery systems help overcome issues like burping and gastric discomfort that is associated with oil-based forms.

Market players are coming up with interest specific formulations that are targeted at key health conditions. Krill oils enriched with omega-3s combined with other nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin K or astaxanthin are being designed for bone, heart, and brain health. Products that are tailored for different age groups like children, adults, and seniors are also gaining popularity. Liquid forms including juices, elixirs, and even edible films and gums have been introduced to make dosage more convenient, especially for younger kids. Such an expanded product portfolio caters to evolving consumer demand for more customized wellness solutions.

Increasing popularity of krill oil as sports nutrition supplements

Increasing popularity of krill oil as sports nutrition supplements presents a great opportunity for growth in the global krill oil market. Krill oil has gained substantial traction in recent years among health-conscious consumers and athletes seeking nutritional supplements that enhance performance and support recovery from strenuous workouts. Krill oil is touted as a superior source of omega-3 fatty acids as compared to fish oil, as it contains phospholipids that allow for easier absorption and utilization of EPA and DHA in the body.

Sports nutrition and specialty supplements have become a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. As people increasingly take up active lifestyles and look for legal performance-enhancing options, the demand for effective recovery aids is surging. Krill oil has found favor among many professional and amateur athletes due to research showing its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce muscle soreness. Some studies have also indicated krill oil in supporting endurance, strength and focus. For example, according to a  study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2020, krill oil intake was associated with improved run times in recreational runners.

Market Trends:

Surging demand for clean label and natural ingredients based products

The demand for clean label and natural ingredients based products has significantly influenced the global krill oil market in recent years. Consumers are increasingly becoming more health-conscious and seeking natural products with minimal processing and recognizable ingredients. Krill oil offerings have grown in popularity as they are witnessed as more natural and sustainable alternative to fish oil supplements. Krill is a tiny crustacean and krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA similar to fish oil, but it is harvested in a sustainable manner and does not produce environmental pollutants like mercury often found in some fish.

Manufacturers are responding to the clean label trend by developing krill oil pills and softgels with simpler and more transparent formulas. They are focusing on using only krill meal that is extracted through food-grade processes as the primary ingredient. Additional value-add ingredients are being minimized and artificial preservatives or colors are being replaced with natural alternatives to meet consumer demand for recognizable components. For example, Aker BioMarine unveiled its QRILL Aqua brand in 2021 that are made from sustainably farmed Antarctic krill with a label listing only krill meal as the sole ingredient. Their clinical studies showed it provides the same omega-3 benefits as traditional fish oil. Aker BioMarine is a Norwegian fishing and biotech company providing krill products through a fully documented and secured catch and process chain.

Rising prominence of e-commerce as sales channel

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 dramatically accelerated this shift towards online shopping. Countries went into lockdowns which shut physical retail outlets but e-commerce became a lifeline for consumers to obtain essentials and other items from the safety of their homes. According to the data provided by  the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales in the U.S. rose by 31.8% year over year between Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.This massive surge in online demand has compelled more krill oil producers to invest significantly in optimizing their websites, improving logistics and fulfillment to meet consumer expectations of fast delivery when shopping online. The growth of online shopping is allowing niche products like krill oil to find more customers globally as e-commerce helps lesser known brands to be discovered far more easily. Overall, the rising clout of e-commerce as a sales avenue is serving to expand the customer base and drive higher sales volumes for krill oil producers.

Market Restraints:

High cost of krill oil products

The high cost associated with krill oil products is significantly hampering the growth of the market. Krill oil is generally much more expensive than fish oil as harvesting krill requires greater infrastructure, effort, and resources. Krill is harvested from the waters of Antarctica and Southern Oceans where bitter cold temperatures and rough seas make the harvest difficult and dangerous. The commercial krill fishing industry is still in a nascent stage with only a handful of companies operating specialized vessels that are equipped to fish krill in these harsh polar environments. As a result, the costs of harvesting, processing, and bringing krill oil products to the market are substantially greater as compared to fish oil extracted from more ubiquitous fish species.

The high retail prices of krill oil supplements, which commonly range between US$20 to US$50 per bottle, pose severe affordability issues for general consumers. Many consumers often compare the pricing of krill oil with relatively cheaper fish oil supplements and opt for the latter. According to a report provided by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, in 2021, the average per capita income in developing nations, which make up the bulk of the world population, ranged from only US$1500 to US$5000. At these income levels, spending US$20-50 monthly on krill oil supplements is simply not feasible for most households.

Counter Balance: To overcome this restrain, Use Development of Low VOC Formulations: Investing in research and development (R&D) to create adhesives with lower VOC emissions can help companies comply with regulations while maintaining product performance

Sustainable harvesting of Antarctic krill

Sustainable harvesting of Antarctic krill has been restraining the steady growth of the market. Krill is a key component of the Antarctic marine ecosystem and the populations need to be carefully monitored to prevent overexploitation. Due to environmental concerns, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) which manages krill fishing has imposed conditions like limiting the catch size in any fishing season, thereby monitoring the impact of krill fishing on dependent predators. These sustainable practices are slowing the supply growth.

For example, according to data provided by the  CCAMLR, the total krill catch was pegged at an upper limit of 620,000 metric tons for the 2022 fishing season. While this ensured protecting krill stocks and dependent predators including penguins, seals and whales, it also meant limited supply for krill oil producers. As a result, krill oil manufacturers had to operate below capacity or rely more on inventory stockpiles. This supply side challenge impacted the ability of the market to scale up and meet increasing demand from the burgeoning neutraceutical sector.

Counterbalance: To overcome this restraint, Use Diversification of Raw Material Sources: Companies can mitigate the impact of price fluctuations by diversifying their sources of raw materials. This can help reduce dependency on a single source and provide more stability in procurement. And entering into long-term supply agreements with raw material suppliers can provide stability in prices and supply, reducing the impact of short-term price fluctuations.

Recent Developments:

  • In September 2023, Aker BioMarine and Swisse collaborated to launch a ground-breaking product under Australia’s listed assessed medicine category. The product, Swisse Ultiboost High Strength Krill Oil, utilizes Aker BioMarine’s Superba Boost Krill oil and has been included on the Australia Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) with an AUST L(A) 417392. The specific indications for the product are to decrease/reduce/relieve knee pain and stiffness in mild to moderate osteoarthritis and to increase knee physical function in mild to moderate osteoarthritis.
  • In September 2022, Aker BioMarine unveiled a new technology paving the way for the next generation of Superba Krill Oil. This development marked a significant advancement in their krill oil products. Aker BioMarine is a Norwegian fishing and biotech company providing krill products through a fully documented and secured catch and process chain.

Figure 2. Global Krill Oil Market Share (%), By Application, 2024

Global Krill oil market By Application

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Top Companies in this Market

  • Neptune Biotech Pvt. Ltd.
  • Aker BioMarine AS
  • Enzymotec Ltd
  • Fuji Chemicals
  • Krill Canada
  • Rimfrost
  • Norwegian Fish Oil
  • Darduck Frd
  • Quingdao Kangjing Marine Biotechnology Co. Ltd.

*Definition: Global krill oil market refers to the industry that encompasses the production, distribution, and sale of krill oil, which is an extract that is prepared from a species of Antarctic krill. Krill oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and phospholipid-derived fatty acids, thereby making it a popular dietary supplement known for its potential health benefits. The market includes various product forms such as liquid krill oil and krill oil tablets, and it finds applications in dietary supplements, functional food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, pet food and animal feed, and other areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

High cost of krill oil products and sustainable harvesting of Antarctic krill are the key factors hampering the growth of the global krill oil market.

Rising health consciousness among consumers, increasing demand for omega-3 fatty acids supplements and surging adoption in neutraceutical applications are the major factors driving the global krill oil market growth.

The dietary supplements is the leading application segment in the global krill oil market. 

The major players operating in the global krill oil market are Neptune Biotech Pvt. Ltd., Aker BioMarine AS, Enzymotec Ltd, Fuji Chemicals, Krill Canada, Rimfrost, Norwegian Fish Oil, Darduck Frd, and Quingdao Kangjing Marine Biotechnology Co. Ltd.

North America leads the global krill oil market.  

The CAGR of the global krill oil market is 9.6%.

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