Preservatives are substances or chemicals added to drugs, food products, beverages, paints, cosmetics, and wood, in order to prevent microbial growth and undesirable changes in terms of both, physical and chemical properties. Preservatives are of two kinds, namely natural and synthetic, both of which are used to enhance the quality of the end product. Natural preservatives such as antioxidants, vitamin E, rosemary extracts, and seed extracts are readily available in nature and often obtained from plant sources. Synthetic preservatives such as benzoic acid, sodium nitrite, sulfur dioxide, and potassium sorbate are chemical components processed and added to the end product. Growing health concerns among the global populace has caused an increasing demand for natural preservatives, which is boosting growth for the preservatives market. Growing food industry in emerging economies of India and China is further contributing to growth of the global preservatives market.

On the basis of function, the preservatives market is categorized into antimicrobial and antioxidants. Preservatives that are added to end products to arrest growth of microorganisms are called antimicrobial preservatives. Some of the common antimicrobial agents that are used as preservatives are benzoic acid, lactic acid, nitrate, nitrite, propionic acid, and sulfites. Preservatives that are used to inhibit oxidation process, especially in stored food items are called antioxidants. Food items with high fat content tend to get damaged during oxidation process. Antioxidants are used in such food items to counteract the oxidation process and significantly increase shelf life of packaged food items. Some of the major antioxidants that are used as preservatives are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, carotenoids, lutein, selenium, and lycopene.

Preservatives Market Taxonomy

On the basis of source, the global market is classified into:

  • Natural
  • Synthetic

On the basis of function, the global market is classified into:

  • Antimicrobials
  • Antioxidants

On the basis of end user, the global market is classified into:

  • Food and beverages
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Construction
  • Others

On the basis of geography, the global market is classified into:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • France
    • Spain
    • Russia
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • ASEAN
    • Australia
    • South Korea
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East
    • GCC Countries
    • Israel
    • Rest of Middle East
  • Africa
    • Northern Africa
    • Central Africa
    • South Africa

In the construction industry, preservatives are widely used in wood, steel, and glass materials to enhance their quality and increase their shelf life. In the pharmaceuticals industry and cosmetics industry, preservatives are majorly used to increase the shelf life and enhance stability of products. Rapid deterioration in quality and effectiveness of cosmetic products is experienced due to the presence of microbes or water in the final product. Cosmetics preservatives are used as antioxidants, stabilizers, and antimicrobials in the formulation of face masks, sunscreens, scrubs, and lotions. Cosmetics preservatives are available as wet wipes, rinse off, and leave-on.

Preservatives Market Outlook – Growing Demand for Processed Food Is Fueling the Market Growth

Increasing demand for processed food due to busy lifestyle and increasing number of women in the workforce is projected to drive growth of the preservatives market over the forecast period (2016–2024). In addition, growing retail industry in emerging economies and popularity of processed food among the younger generation is also boosting demand for processed food, which in turn is projected to drive the market growth. According to a study conducted by Coherent Market Insights, the market for processed food is projected to reach US$ 88.2 billion by 2024. Preservatives are used in processed food to enhance its overall quality, taste, and shelf life.

Preservatives Market Challenges – Stringent Government Rules and Regulations

Stringent regulatory scenario regarding the use of preservatives considering their negative health impact is expected to hinder growth of the global preservatives market. Various authorities across the globe regulate usage of preservatives. Despite their usage in various end-use industries such as food and pharmaceutical drugs, preservatives are associated with a number of health issues such as cancer, hyperactivity, and heart issues. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) implemented certain guidelines for usage of preservatives in food products and medicines. According to the U.S. FDA, 'a chemical preservative should comply with purity specifications in regulations in 21 CFR 172, or in the Food Chemicals Codex'. Moreover, countries such as Finland, Norway, Austria, the U.K., and France have banned use of synthetic food colorings, while the U.K. and Canada have banned usage of Olestra (a fat substitute preservative). Such regulations imposed on the usage of preservatives is expected to inhibit growth of the preservatives market to a certain extent.

Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market for preservatives over the forecast period, owing to increasing demand for ready-to-consume food items and growing retail industry in the region. North America is the largest market for preservatives, followed by Europe. These markets are expected to witness significant growth, owing to presence of high number of retail outlets and busy lifestyle of consumers resulting in an increasing inclination towards ready-to-eat food products. Large untapped markets such as India, Bangladesh, South Africa, China, Malaysia, and Mexico are projected to provide lucrative growth opportunities for the preservative manufacturers in the near future.

Key players operating in the global preservatives market include, Corbion N.V., Cargill Incorporated, Kerry Group, BASF SE, Chr. Hansen A/S, Archer Daniels Midland Company, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and Celanese Corporation.

Key Developments

  1. Key companies in the market are adopting various business strategies such as merger and acquisition, in order to gain competitive edge in the global market. For instance, in December 2018, Kerry Group, a food ingredients supplier, acquired Ariake USA, which is Ariake Japan’s North American business in natural food seasonings. The acquisition will strengthen Kerry’s ingredients portfolio, which includes food coloring, preservatives, and flavors.
  2. Key players in the market are involved in various growth strategies such as marketing and advertisement, in order to enhance global market presence. For instance, in November 2018, Archer Daniels Midland Company, a U.S.-based food processing company, showcased its extensive portfolio of high quality sweetening ingredient and preservatives at 2018 SupplySide West Show, held at Las Vegas, U.S.
  3. Major companies in the market are focused on various strategies such as product launches, in order to expand their product portfolio and gain competitive edge in the market. For instance, in January 2019, Symrise AG, a producer of flavors and fragrances, launched first benzyl alcohol-based preservative with added power of SymSave H, SymOcide BHO for cosmetics and personal care products.  
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