Meat Starter Cultures Market: Growth Opportunities, Challenges, Scope, and Overview

According to MarketsandMarkets, the global meat starter cultures market size is estimated to be valued at USD 62 million in 2020 and projected to reach USD 76 million by 2025, recording a CAGR of 3.9%. It is witnessing significant growth due to increasing demand for processed meat products with higher shelf-life. The growing demand for processed and convenience meat among consumers is creating a demand for meat starter cultures. With the advancement of new technologies and innovative technologies in the food and beverage sector, the incorporation of meat starter cultures across various industries is increasing. Europe segment is going to dominate the market due to its high production of processed meat products.

Meat Starter Cultures Market

Market Dynamics:

Opportunities: increased in organized retail sector boosts distribution and availability of packaged meat products

The development of the retail sector in the form of supermarkets, hypermarkets, and convenience stores is a major factor driving the growth of packaged meat products. The modern urban consumers have been highly driven by convenience and hygiene, which has been pushing their purchases from the retail stores. The increasing adoption rate of packaged meat products has been a promising take for the growth of the meat starter cultures. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the retail sector globally. Due to the nation-wide lockdown during the pandemic, the food manufactures have been emphasizing the meat products with higher shelf-life, which is expected to propel the market for meat starter cultures in the coming years. The outbreak of COVID-19 has created a shift toward an organized retail market for preventing any further virus outbreaks. These developments underscore the need for the food value chain to move from open-air markets to an organized retail model that keeps meat products fresher for long. This is expected to propel the demand for meat starter cultures during the forecast period. Large food retail chains such as Walmart, Tesco, Spar, and 7-Eleven have been expanding their presence in developed countries such as the UK, Germany, and the US and in emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and Argentina. For instance, Walmart is the largest American multinational retail corporation with over 11,000 stores across 27 countries.

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Challenges: Lack of proper technology for the usage and monitoring of meat starter cultures in developing regions

The meat starter cultures market is highly consolidated in the emerging markets across Asia, Africa, and South America. The usage of meat starter cultures in small & medium enterprises has been a challenge due to lack of resources or the technology and facilities required to monitor high-quality meat starter cultures. Moreover, the selection of the right composition of starter culture is a key aspect that many companies have not figured out perfectly. This selection plays a crucial role in sustaining the flavor and texture of meat applications. The type of bacteria used (thermophilic or mesophilic) also plays a key role in the overall property of the meat products. The selection of the right composition of meat starter culture is a complex method that requires validation at a laboratory level and factory-scale. Lack of awareness among experts on the characteristics of the strain can lead to huge production losses, and hence, this factor has been posing as a major challenge for the meat starter culture market. Adequate training provided to the professionals in regard to the product functions and characteristics can help the manufacturers attain the desired quality end-product, with minimal production losses. Furthermore, the use of meat starter cultures requires advanced technology such as microbial count monitoring devices, pH measuring devices, and devices to determine bacterial community composition. Thus, the lack of these devices and huge initial set-up costs involved poses as a challenge for the use of meat starter cultures in developing countries.

The bacteria segment is projected to account for a major share in the meat starter cultures market during the forecast period

By microorganism, the meat starter cultures market is segmented into bacteria and fungi. Bacteria has been the most widely used microorganism as a starter culture, due to its large-scale application in meat products. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are the most commonly used bacteria-based starter cultures in the industry. These are the main microorganisms used in meat products in order to prohibit pathogens and spoilage microorganisms during the pre- and post-processing of meat products. Therefore, this segment is projected to grow at a higher CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period.

The European region dominated the meat starter culture market with the largest share in 2019.

The meat starter cultures market in Europe is dominant due to the increasing demand for processed meat products with higher shelf-life because of a shift in lifestyle trends. People are looking for ready-to-cook meal options as they are leading a busy life. The consumption of sausage has been prominent in these countries, resulting in a rise in demand for meat starter cultures for their production. The leading companies dominating the meat starter cultures market include Chr. Hansen (Denmark), Kerry Group (Ireland), and DSM (Netherlands); have a robust presence in Europe due to higher demand for packaged meat in these regions.

North America is the fastest-growing market as the technological advancements involved in monitoring and using meat starter cultures are available in the region, and meat manufacturers have been adapting to the changing technologies. The demand for meat starter cultures is increasing as consumers have been inclined toward organic and clean-label meat products. Also, key players are increasingly investing in the North American meat starter culture market.

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Key Market Players:

Chr. Hansen (Denmark), DSM (Netherlands), Kerry (Ireland), DuPont (US), Frutarom (Israel), Galactic (Belgium), Lallemand (Canada), Proquiga (Spain), Westcombe (UK), Biochem SRL (Italy), RAPS GmbH (Germany), DnR Sausages Supplies. (Canada), Sacco System (Italy), Canada Compound (Canada), Biovitec (France), Genesis Laboratories (Bulgaria), Meat Cracks (Germany), THT S.A. (Belgium), Stuffers Supply Co. (Canada), MicroTec GmbH (Germany), and Codex-Ing Biotech (US).

Recent Developments

  • In July 2018, DuPont (US) expanded its research & development division by setting up an innovation and application system in Japan. This would serve as a hub for food developments that will allow markets to leverage strong innovation capabilities.
  • In January 2019, Chr. Hansen (Denmark) launched a new starter culture in extension to its Bactoferm Series to primarily offer color, color stability, and development of flavor in dried, cured meats, such as dried sausages as per the rising demand in the North American and European regions.