Sustainable Growth Opportunities in the Shortenings Market

The shortenings market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2%, in terms of value, from 2017 to reach a projected value of USD 4.57 Billion by 2022. Shortenings find a wide range of applications in the confectionery, bakery, and snacks & savory sectors. The factors such as an increase in demand for shortenings in various food applications and a rise in demand for bakery and confectionery products have fueled the growth in the market. Affordability, convenience, and health benefits are the main factors that drive the baked foods market. The market for products such as breads, cereal, cakes, biscuits, and pastries is well-established in Europe. Whereas, demand for bakery and confectionery products is increasing in the Asia-Pacific region with the growing per capita consumption of breads and baked goods.

The key players in the shortenings market include Cargill (U.S.), Archer Daniels Midland Company (U.S.), ConAgra Brands (U.S.), Wilmar International Limited (Singapore), and Bunge Limited (U.S.). Other players include International Foodstuff Company Limited (IFFCO) (UAE), Ventura Foods, LLC (U.S.), Manildra Group (Australia), AAK AB (Sweden), and Associated British Foods (ABF) (U.K.).

Key strategies such as expansions & investments, new product launches, acquisitions, joint ventures, collaborations, agreements, and partnerships were adopted by the prominent players to expand their global presence and increase their share in the market for shortenings. The leading players focused on strengthening their R&D capabilities to offer diversified product portfolios for different applications, particularly in the food & beverage, processed foods, and confectionery & bakery industries.

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Innovative new product launches, strategic acquisitions, and organic expansions, were the core strengths of the leading players of the shortenings market; these strategies were adopted by the players to increase their market presence. They helped the players diversify their businesses geographically, strengthen distribution networks, and enhance their product portfolios. Market leaders such as Cargill (U.S.), Archer Daniels Midland Company (U.S.), ConAgra Brands (U.S.), Wilmar International Limited (Singapore), and Bunge Limited (U.S.) successfully tapped the potential markets through new product launches, expansions, investments, joint ventures, agreements, and acquisitions.

Cargill is one of the leading manufacturers of food ingredients, agricultural products, risk management, financial, and industrial products and services around the globe. The company offers its shortenings in the fats & oils division through its food & beverage ingredients category. It offers a broad range of shortenings such as all-purpose cake, icing, and filling shortening, donut frying shortening, and tortilla shortening. The company utilizes fats & oils for its own products and also offers customized fat & oil brands to large-scale food & beverage players and retailers. Cargill operates in 67 countries through its subsidiaries and affiliates. The company continuously focuses on the development of new products to meet its customers’ specific needs. For instance, in October 2016, Cargill expanded its product portfolio of shortenings by launching high-performance bakery shortenings, which included Regal Icing Shortening NH, Regal Donut Fry Shortening, Regal Puff Pastry Shortening, Regal Cake & Icing Shortening, and Regal All-Purpose Shortening. Also, in June 2014, Cargill introduced non-GMO soybean oils to cater to the customer needs of non-GMO products. This oil would be refined in Cargill’s Des Moines, Iowa facility.

The Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is primarily engaged in food-processing and commodities-trading. It is one of the key players in the agricultural processing and food ingredient providing sector. The company is involved in trade, transport, storage, and processing of a wide range of grains and commodities such as corn, oilseeds, wheat, and cocoa. Its network spans across more than 140 countries. It operates globally through 272 processing plants and more than 470 crop procurement facilities, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in the food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial, and animal feed markets. The company operates through four segments, namely, oilseeds processing, corn processing, wild flavors and specialty ingredients, and agricultural services. The oilseed processing segment is engaged in the processing of oilseeds which include soybeans, cottonseed, sunflower seed, canola, rapeseed, and flaxseed into vegetable oils and protein meals. The salad oils manufactured are further processed to obtain products such as margarine and shortenings.

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The company has been focusing on joint ventures with key companies to support and cater to its customers, globally. For instance, in November 2016, Archer Daniels Midland and Wilmar International Limited (Singapore) launched Olenex, a joint venture to provide a broad portfolio of refined vegetable oils & fats to cater to the demands of its European customers. Also, in January 2015, Archer Daniels Midland signed a Joint Business Development Plan (JBDP) to continue to grow its relationship with Unilever (U.K.), as an oils & fats supplier in Europe, North America, and Africa.