The global guar gum market is projected to reach USD 1.15 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2017. The guar gum market is growing due to its multifunctionality in a wide range of applications and increased health consciousness among consumers about healthy foods. However, imbalanced demand & supply and lack of transparency & market information have been restraining market growth.
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How is the increased consumption and preference for convenience food products creating growth opportunities for manufacturers in the guar gum market?
The global demand for convenience food is increasing with busy consumer lifestyles. The global demand for convenience food has been influenced by factors such as increased usage of household technologies, longer working hours, and rising consumer incomes. Guar gum is one of the essential food additives in convenience food products, such as soups, cakes, pastry, bread, gravies, and snacks, which improves its quality. Increase in consumer interest toward processed food products is expected to further augment the growth of the guar gum market in the near future.
Leading food & beverage manufacturers demand customized food additives that will further enhance the quality, convenience, and mouthfeel. This provides an opportunity for guar gum manufacturers to provide specific products for specific applications. For instance, Ashland Inc. (U.S.) offers guar gum for dairy, confectionery, bakery, frozen foods, and beverages.
Moreover, the increasing preference for low-calorie and low-fat foods favoring guar gum has helped reduce the overall fat content in foods; this trend is benefiting the guar gum market. Guar gum is used as a fat replacer in convenience food. The consumer demand for convenience food products that will fit their lifestyles has been rising, globally. Manufacturers continue to focus on convenience food & beverages as the major potential segment for guar gum application.
Why the availability of cheaper alternatives for guar gum is posing challenges for manufacturers in the guar gum market?
Guar finds a wide range of applications covering the food and oil & gas industries. However, factors such as volatility in guar prices and availability will lead the guar industry to face challenges from cheaper substitutes coming up in various sectors, especially the shale gas & oil sector. Some of the major substitutes or alternatives to guar gum are locust bean gum, xanthan gum, carboxymethylcellulose & carboxymethyl-hydroxyethyl cellulose based gum, starch, clearstar, permstim, cassia tora, and synthetic polymers. Tamarind kernel powder has significantly replaced guar gum in the textile sector, while cassia tora is replacing guar gum in textiles and pet food. The end-user industries of guar gum that witness stable demand due to the increasing preference for natural products are only food and pharmaceuticals. Trican Well Service Ltd. (Canada), Baker Hughes (U.S.), Nabors Industries Ltd. (Bermuda), and Halliburton Company (U.S.) are some of the oilfield service companies that are reported to have begun in-house research on substitutes for guar gum. The uncertainty in supply and price fluctuations beyond a certain range is a major factor posing a high threat of substitution.