The global legumes market was valued at USD 44.9 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 75.8 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6.77% from 2017 to 2025. Consistent increase in the consumer demand for plant-based protein has introduced large varieties of legume foods.
Apart from providing high protein and essential vitamins, this is an affordable and non-perishable ingredient which is also driving the demand for the market. Moreover increasing demand among consumers with specific dietary requirements, such as athletes are also pushing the legume-based food products.
Legumes such as beans, chickpeas, and peas are considered as healthy food. These are widely used as snacking items and are easy to prepare. Companies are marketing legumes in prepared forms. Rising incidences in health disorders such as diabetes, obesity and digestive problems among consumers are driving the acceptance of healthy foods. Attributing to the fact that legumes reduce and prevent the onset of various health issues, the market is expected to grow in the next few years.
As per the taste preferences of the consumer, companies are offering various types of product in the form of snacks across different regions. For instance, spiced, salted, and roasted chickpea snacks are majorly consumed in Turkey. Companies such as Pulseroastedchickpeas, Biena Snacks are supplying snacks made with chickpea. Companies in India offer roasted corn with chickpeas as a snacking item. It has been observed that the demand for fresh chickpeas with coriander and lemon is significant in the South Asian market.
Segmentation by Type
The beans market value was estimated to be USD 26.6 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach a market size of over USD 46.1 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of around 7.1%.
Beans are rich in mineral and fibers content without saturated fats which helps people to improve blood cholesterol and prevent heart diseases. Beans are consumed with pita bread, soups, salads, and pasta dishes.
Consumers have inclined towards gluten-free and high protein foods, which drove them to consume foods made from grain and legumes such as beans, lentils, peas, and others. It has been observed that bean pasta is an emerging trend in the U.S. as well as global market.
Pea accounts for more than 22% of the global market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2017 to 2025. In 2017, worldwide production of dry peas was more than 12,000 million metric tons. China, Canada, Russia, India, U.S., France and Ukraine represent the major pea producing countries.
Canada is the major dry and yellow pea exporter followed by the U.S. and France. The popularity of pea-based snacking items in the market is increasing as they are offered in different flavors, including onion, cheese, lemon, sweet chili, and chive. Therefore, companies such as The Good Bean, The Happy Snack Company are offering various legume-based snack products which will boost the overall legumes market from 2017 to 2025.
Lentils are the primary products considered under the others segment. In 2017, world lentils production was more than 7 million metric tons. Canada contributes more than 45% of the global lentils production. The low calorie and high nutrition content is driving the acceptance of this product among the consumers. China, India, Australia, the U.S., and a few other countries represent significant lentils consumers. In 2017, the others category accounted for about 6.22% of the global market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2017 to 2025.
Segmentation by region
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Central and South America
• Middle East and Africa
The Asia Pacific held the largest share of over 30% in the global legumes market. The Asia Pacific was valued at USD 14.11 billion in 2017, and is expected to reach USD 25.81 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 7.84% from 2017 to 2025. China and India are the largest importers of legumes. Around 50% of the products is imported from Canada.
The rise in food safety issues and growing health concerns are driving people for more nutritious and healthier food products. Chinese consumers are more inclined towards sophisticated and premium food products. Companies like Dalian Taijin Trading Co. Ltd. are supplying different types of raw beans to Chinese consumers. The growing acceptance and inclusion of plant proteins in daily diets are expected to drive the demand for the global market.
The U.S. is the largest consumer of legumes in the North American market. More than 55% of U.S. households prefer buying high protein food ingredients. More than 5.4 billion of the U.S. population spend their lives on a high protein diet by consuming more than 20 gm in the daily meal. People are changing their food habits. The trend of veganism and vegetarianism is observed among U.S. consumers. Moreover, increasing health awareness among the population will exhibit a significant boost in the market.
Some of the major players operating in the market are Archer Daniels Midland Company, B&G Foods, Inc. Conagra Brands Inc., EDEN FOODS, General Mills Inc., Dunns (Long Sutton) Limited, Olam International and others. The market is fragmented by nature with the presence of many small and medium level suppliers.
The significant trend observed in this market is that large scale food and beverage manufacturers are acquiring small companies to gain a significant share in the global market. For instance, Archer Daniels Midland Company has acquired Caterina Foods which manufactures gluten-free pasta from different legumes. This has opened up a new opportunity for Archer Daniels Midland Company to produce different specialty pasta from legume grains.
Research Support Specialist, USA