The global sunflower seeds market was valued USD 22.95 billion in 2017 and is projected to exhibit growth at a CAGR of 3.4% from 2017 to 2025. The seeds are a key source of vitamin E, selenium, phytosterols, and magnesium and are witnessing demand from various end-use industries such as food & beverage, personal care, and animal feed.
Processed sunflower seed products have low-cholesterol content and are an effective alternative to peanut butter, especially among consumers suffering from peanut allergies.
Over the past few years, oilseeds have gained traction as functional ingredients in the bakery industry. The positive outlook of gluten-free, wholegrain, and additive-free bakery products in countries such as Germany, UK, and France is expected to drive demand in the coming years.
Segmentation by Application
• Edible Oil
• Bakery Products
In 2017, sunflower seeds based edible oil was the largest market segment accounting for more than 55.0% of global demand. These seeds are rich in vitamin A and vitamin E and contain more than 80% of mono-saturated fats which help in controlling the cholesterol levels in the human body.
Application in snacks accounted for more than 15.0% of the market share in 2015. Seeds are used in a wide range of snacks including barbecue, hot sauce, bacon, and nacho and are used for salad garnishing. Sunflower seeds are also used as an effective chewing tobacco alternative.
Others segment includes demand from animal feed, personal care, pulp & paper, and textile industries. In the animal feed industry, the seeds are processed to form a valuable fodder, which comprises around 36.0% crude protein, methionine, and amino acids. The growth of the animal feed sector in China and India is expected to increase its demand in the coming years.
Segmentation by Distribution Channel
Offline was the largest channel accounting for more than 80.0% of the market in 2017. Sunflower seed-based bakery products and edible oils are largely sold from hypermarkets & supermarkets, and convenience stores which are among the key retail formats in the offline channel. Walmart, Carrefour, and SPAR are among some of the popular hypermarkets & supermarkets.
The online channel is expected to grow at the fastest rate in the coming years. The increasing availability of products on various online platforms such as Amazon coupled with the increasing penetration of the internet and smartphones are expected to drive demand from the online channel in the near future.
Segmentation by Region
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Central & South America
• Middle East & Africa
In 2017, Europe accounted for more than 70.0% of the market. Sunflower seed producers have a strong foothold in Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria which addresses the demand from domestic food & beverages industry. Sunflower kernels are widely used in bakery and confectionery products in the Netherlands and Germany, while consumers in Spain consume salted and roasted seeds in snacks, popularly known as, Pipas.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market at a CAGR of more than 5.0% from 2017 to 2025. The growth of the food & beverages sector in key consumer-led countries such as India and China coupled with the changing eating habit to include healthier products is expected to drive demand in the coming years.
The global sunflower seed producers are focusing on organic certification of their products. In addition, companies are collaborating with snacks and ready-to-eat food companies. For instance, in 2017, Conagra Brands, Inc., a subsidiary of Conagra Foodservice, Inc., signed a partnership with Yum! Brands, Inc. to introduce sunflower seeds-based Tacos.
Mergers & acquisitions are expected to remain one of the key initiatives among the companies in the coming years. For instance, in 2018, Conagra Brands acquired Thanasi Foods, L.L.C., a manufacturer and distributor of snack and ready-to-eat foods.
Some of the key manufacturers include Conagra Foodservice, Inc., ADVANTA SEEDS PTY LTD., DuPont (Pioneer Hi-Bred), KWS SAAT SE, PANNAR (Pty) Ltd., Syngenta AG, TAKII & CO., LTD., and Sakata Seed America.
Research Support Specialist, USA